Although I’m a big fan of syrah from New Zealand’s Hawkes Bay region, merlot is the area’s dominant red grape variety. And this merlot-dominant blend provides a good introduction. Tempranillo, cabernet sauvignon, malbec and syrah play supporting roles. The grapes are from the famed Gimblett Gravels area, as well as from the Bridge Pa Triangle.
The wine is fresh and well-balanced, with ample red fruit flavors, some peppery notes, baking spice and medium tannins. All for just $17.
(Trinity Hill, by the way, also does an admirable job with syrah. It was during a visit to the winery in 2003 that I first encountered how good Hawkes Bay syrah could be.)