Red Rhone Varietal over £10

And the winner is...

Elephant Hill, Syrah, Te Awanga, Hawke’s Bay,
New Zealand 2009 (13.5%)

Soft, plump and weighty with an attractively juicy
but structured palate thanks to supple tannins and
plenty of substance. Firm, classy, complex, elegant
and with lovely harmony overall.
UK: £20.99; Coe, Tau

Reflecting the global appeal of Syrah, this category is hard fought and run through with international pedigree.
Hence this much-lauded region on New Zealand’s North Island can be justifiably proud to take the International Trophy. The Old World meets the New World at Elephant Hill, Hawke’s Bay. The winery is owned by a German couple who fell  in love with the site and planted vines in 2003. It is said young vines don’t produce great wines but that view is challenged here, says managing director Gunter Thies, who was director of the Rheingau Winegrowers’ Association before moving to New Zealand. ‘In Germany, three-year-old vines don’t make very good wine, but here they develop much faster than in Europe.’

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