Tag Archives: syrah

  • Stylus Vinyl

    March: What's in the box...

    Our friends at Stylus Vinyl, who send out monthly subscription boxes of classic albums on vinyl paired with a great bottle of wine chosen by us, have nailed it once again.

    This month’s album is the sensational London Calling by The Clash. A classic in the true sense of the word, it is a commentary on some of the social issues of 70s Britain including racism and drug use. The Clash transcended the punk scene with this album and opened it to a far wider audience with their eclectic blend of punk, peppered with hints of jazz, rock, ska, reggae, pop and even folk.

    To go with the album we’ve gone with a real favourite. The Chateau du Vieux Parc Cuvée l’Heritage Corbieres is an enigmatic but forthright blend of classic southern French grapes – Syrah, Grenache and Carignan, and is an ideal match for this month’s album. Both album and wine have a untamed, wild edge, but with playful accessibility.  Both stay inherently true to their roots.

    Click here to find out more about Stylus Vinyl >

  • New Zealand - Off the Beaten Track

    We have a new addition to the New Zealand wine list at GWW – and a very welcome one it is too. Crossroads are producers based in the ‘up-and-coming’ region of Hawke’s Bay, one of those areas that has been making great quality reds and whites for decades, but has been hidden in the imposing shadows of Marlborough, and the world’s love affair with Sauvignon Blanc.

    That relationship doesn’t look like it’s about to break up anytime soon - but all that attention has started to benefit one of the unsung heroes of New Zealand - Hawke’s Bay.

    Crossroads’ winemaker Miles Dineen (above) was interviewed in The Drinks Business magazine a few weeks ago, explaining how consumers and investors are starting to stray from Marlborough’s beaten track to discover the treasures of this diverse wine region.

    “We’re kind of like where Marlborough was 15 years ago before Sauvignon Blanc took off,” says Miles, but renewed investment from some of the larger producers has meant that consumer awareness has started to grow, and Miles admits that “it’s a pretty exciting time for Hawke’s Bay.”

    The concentration on Marlborough, and its now classic style of Sauvignon Blanc, has meant that most suitable vineyard space has already been planted in that region. In contrast, Hawke’s Bay is still being discovered, with plantings of grapes suitable to this particular environment the major focus.

    A new style of Sauvignon

    Although Sauvignon Blanc is planted here, it produces a slightly different style of wine to the austere, herbal and gooseberry wines of Marlborough. Here the Sauvignon is “a little more tropical without the herbal thing. It’s not as overtly punchy as Marlborough”, says Miles.

    The development of the area is complementary to, rather than an expansion of the success of Marlborough. Quite rightly, investors like Yealands are not seeking a carbon copy of their existing portfolio, but rather giving wine lovers an even more colourful palette to choose from. At the heart of this expansion is the appreciation of Hawkes Bay’s distinctive landscape, soils and climate.

    Syrah - "the X-factor"

    “On the coast it’s cool, then in the middle of the plains where Gimblett Gravels are you have Cabernet, Syrah and great Bordeaux blends, then you head up the valleys to cooler, aromatic white territory,” explains Miles.

    It’s this diversity of style that has got consumers and winemakers excited. New Zealand has so far concentrated on aromatic varieties like Pinot Gris and Sauvignon Blanc or lighter bodied reds like Pinot Noir. Now the hard work that has gone on behind the scenes over the last few decades in Hawke’s Bay can be fully realised.


    In terms of grapes varieties, the choice is simple and classic – much like the already established benchmark wines of Marlborough (Sauvignon Blanc) and Central Otago (Pinot Noir).

    Chardonnay's back!

    According to Miles, “most winemakers’ main white is Chardonnay, then they have Bordeaux blends and Syrah. For red wine it’s probably going to be Merlot-based blends, but Syrah is coming through too – it’s the darling of Hawke’s Bay that’s got the most press. Merlot is much bigger in volume terms, but perhaps Syrah has the X-factor.”

    These are grapes that most wine lovers are already familiar with - a head start when introducing a new region. But what makes them stand apart is the freshness and sheer vibrancy we’ve come to expect, and appreciate, from New Zealand wines.

    Check out our selection of Crossroads wines right here

    By Chris Penwarden

  • Viña Falernia, Syrah Reserva, Elqui Valley 2010


    £12.95  Now £10.95


    Bright deep colour, spicy, perfumed black fruit aroma. Elegant and pure, rich yet wonderfully soft texture. Full-bodied but beautifully silky. This wine has won more trophies than any other of our wines - best in show at either Decanter World Wine Awards or International Wine Challenge for the last six years.

    Viña Falernia, Syrah Reserva, Elqui Valley 2010

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