From 20 year old vines grown on the Gimblett Gravels. A dark ‘velvety’ colour the wine has flavours of berry compote, florals, cocoa powder and an iodine hint. Quite plush in the mouth with fine dusty tannins. A great combination of ripeness and freshness.
Who are Smith & Sheath?
"We are in the business of creating great wines that bring great pleasure. Pleasure that comes from consuming great wine made by fine people to be shared with good friends.
As contemporary negociants Steve Smith and Brian Sheth seek out the exceptional. We have made the most of over 35 years of experience with the growers and makers of New Zealand – forging relationships, hand selecting the best parcels from exceptional vineyards only, then nurturing, blending and bottling these wines. Establishing steadfast relationships with the land, growers and makers who form the DNA of our CRU.
The french call it terroir – a sense of place. In New Zealand we have our own defining word – turangawaewae – our place to stand in the world – it describes the special connection of a people and the land they live, love and work in. Our wines reflect the magic and alchemy of this relationship and the true beauty of these places. CRU has been chosen to collect these wines under one banner as it is the only word that exists that means “vineyards of exceptional quality.” Each wine also has the Maori designation that relates to its whenua (land) origins. The labels have a unique design embossed within that represent the genomes sequence of the grape varieties we are working with. The DNA that is natural to the vine and to the vineyard ecosystem is reflected in each and every wine we make. Our names, Steve Smith and Brian Sheth, are the assurance of a wine that will give inordinate pleasure. Let us share with you the pleasure, culture and craft of our wine."
94/100 Mike Bennie, The Wine Front, November 2020 (2018 Vintage)
"Spicy scents, white pepper, clove, then flinty-mineral whiffs, red berries, cedar. The palate is clove-laden and red berried too, a wash of gummy tannin taking care of shape and structure, pucker too. Serious tannin here, almost amaro characters woven through. Intense syrah here. A feast for the senses."
93/100 Cameron Douglas MS, August 2020 (2018 Vintage)
"This barrique-aged Syrah from 20 year old vines off the Gimblett Gravels – has an exciting, youthful, fruit and spice centric bouquet with aromas of raspberry and sweet Doris plum, some liquorice and brambly earthy qualities. The oak is a feature, but is not loud – just focused, adds a layer of complexity and provides the platform for the fruit and character of the wine to be displayed. On the palate – youthful, tense, fruity and spicy. Once again the oak is noticed, but not driving the wine. Firm youthful tannins and plenty of acidity, some contrasting tarter fruit moments, liquorice, bracken and pepper. A delicious wine, decant for service or wait till sometime in 2022 through 2025+ to enjoy at its best."
4 Stars Cuisine Syrah Tasting, July 2020 (2018 Vintage)
"Plenty in this Gimblett Gravels syrah for the lover of whole bunch wines. Nice stalky notes with cedar and smoky oak on the nose. The palate follows suit with ripe red and dark fruit abounding. Wonderful oak integration supports a taut savoury and complex palate. One to sit and enjoy."
Reviews for previous vintages below…
5 Stars Michael Cooper (2015 Vintage)
"Built for cellaring, the 2015 vintage is deep and bright in colour, with a fragrant, plummy, peppery bouquet. Full-bodied, it is clearly varietal, concentrated, savoury, complex and structured. Best drinking 2021+."
93/100 Jamie Goode, October 2019 (2015 Vintage)
"Refined and focused with peppery black cherry and raspberry notes on the nose. The palate is beautifully weighted with fresh black cherries, some spice and nice focus. Very stylish with nice grippy structure."
5 Stars & 96/100 Sam Kim, Wine Orbit, March 2018 (2014 Vintage)
"Dramatic and brooding, the splendidly fragrant bouquet displays dark fruit, smoked game, thyme, toasted almond and dark mushroom characters with subtle black olive and floral undertones. The palate is substantial and sumptuous, delivering awesome fruit weight and intensity, together with seductive savoury notes, wonderfully framed by loads of fine, chalky tannins. It is engaging, striking and astonishingly good. At its best: 2019 to 2028."