Trophy for Champion Syrah – New Zealand Wine of the Year Awards 2018
Trophy for Champion Hawkes Bay Wine – New Zealand Wine of the Year Awards 2018
Trophy for Champion Syrah – Royal Easter Wine Show Awards 2018
Trophy for Champion Reserve Wine of the Show – Hawkes Bay A&P Wine Awards 2018
Gold Medal – Royal Easter Wine Show Awards 2018
Gold Medal – New Zealand Wine of the Year Awards 2018
Gold Medal – Hawkes Bay A&P Wine Awards 2018
Selected for the 2019 Fine Wines of New Zealand List
Winery notes (2016 Vintage)
"A stunning Reserve Syrah, blended from the best parcels from our premium vineyards in Hawkes Bay’s Gimblett Gravels. Deep, almost inky purple hues lead to a dense and perfumed nose of pepper, black liquorice and graphite, alongside fragrant notes of violets and cocoa. Refined tannins provide for wonderful texture, encasing concentrated fruit characters on the palate which steadily build towards a long finish. Careful cellaring will reward with further complexity over many years."
5 Stars & No. 1 Cuisine Syrah Tasting, June 2018 (2016 Vintage)
"A new approach. After the awesome vintages of 2013, 2014 and 2015 in Hawke’s Bay, 2016 brought everyone back down to earth. “There was intermittent rain from mid to late March, and you had to keep an eye on the fruit every day leading up to harvest,” says Villa Maria Group Chief Winemaker Nick Picone. “Syrah came through as the pick of our reds that year.” Our top wine is a blend of the best fruit from Villa’s Twyford and Omahu Gravels vineyards, both in the heart of the Gimblett Gravels winegrowing district. Picone and his team have been resetting their approach to making syrah over recent vintages. “The focus now is on perfume. We’ve moved away from making darker, extracted styles, and we no longer use so much new oak. We’re after complex aromatics, and that vintage (2016) did deliver on that front.” Only 300 cases were made so interested parties should be in quick. Picone’s food match? “Hawke’s Bay syrah is made for venison.”"
5 Stars Michael Cooper (2016 Vintage)
"The 2016 vintage was estate-grown at two sites in the Gimblett Gravels and matured for 17 months in French oak barriques (30 per cent new). A powerful, fleshy yet elegant wine, it has concentrated plum/spice flavours, ripe and smooth, and excellent vigour, depth and harmony. Still very youthful, it's well worth cellaring to 2021+."
5 Stars & 96/100 Bob Campbell MW, The Real Review, November 2018 (2016 Vintage)
"Elegant syrah with violet, plum, berry and black pepper flavours. An appealing wine with an attractive floral lift. Sweet, ripe fruit flavours are perfectly balanced by ripe tannins. Good now, better later."