New Zealand is best know for their zingy, zippy Sauvignon Blancs. They do however make other types of wine and the red wines of the country are slowly gaining international recognition.
Hawkes Bay is one of the prime locations for red grapes; it’s the second biggest wine growing region in New Zealand, and one of the oldest. Syrah is the main grape grown there and one of the better producers is Trinity Hill.
Trinity Hill’s vines are situated in Gimblett Gravels which is a premium wine growing region and has been compared to the Medoc because of it’s gravelly soils which give excellent drainage and is the perfect soil for red varieties.
Trinity Hill was originally started over a bottle of wine in the London restaurant owned by Robert and Robyn Wilson: the Bleeding Heart. Winemaker John Hancock shared a bottle of his award-winning Chardonnay and the idea was born to found a vineyard of red wines. As Robert and Robyn are Kiwis, the three set up their vineyard in Hawkes Bay.
The first vintage of barrel aged Trinity Hill was released in 1998. I was visiting a friend for dinner recently and she had a bottle of Trinity Hill 2007 Gimblett Gravels Syrah, which we drank with pan-fried duck.
The wine has a few years on it so it had evolved a bit with gamey, savoury flavours but still retained it’s fruit it’s character. The fruit was a bit subdued, but cranberry, mulberry and blackberry were all evident. A very smooth wine with velvety tannins on a medium bodied palate. It was quite moreish and we finished off the bottle with dinner.
Trinity Hill is available in the UK from independent merchants.