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Home Winners > Winners 2015 > NEW WORLD: Shiraz/Syrah, Grenache, Mourvedre & Rhône Blends: Rest of the New World

Winner Details

New World: Shiraz/Syrah, Grenache, Mourvedre & Rhône Blends, Rest of the New World


2015: Gold 4 Silver 11 Bronze 9 Commended 9
2014: Gold 3 Silver 7 Bronze 7 Commended 14 


Outside Australia, Syrah is starting to settle in nicely – at least if the number of entries to this year’s Sommelier Wine Awards and generally positive feedback from our tasters is anything to go by. Key to success (from California to the Cape) seems to be in having the confidence to allow the grape’s naturally plush, attractive fruit to speak for itself rather than over-working or over-oaking it.

New Zealand is the most vintage-sensitive of the pretenders, but 2013 seems to have been a good ’un in Hawkes Bay. Elsewhere Paso Robles California, Limarí Chile and the Cape South Africa in general seem to be the places to watch out for.

FOOTNOTE: Includes wines where Syrah, Grenache or Mourvèdre is the main variety, or Rhône blends. Excludes Syrah/Grenache/Mourvèdre/Rhône-blends from Australia

From the Tasting Teams


‘The more expensive [Chilean] wines showed elegance, and the entry-level wines showed clean winemaking with precision. I had more trouble in the middle – still too many green oak chips and a lack of balance.’ Annette Scarfe MW, team leader

‘The fruit and herbaceousness and spice said New Zealand. I think people would be very happy with them, and the price-point we had was good.’ Jade Koch, team leader

‘The South Africans are very flexible and versatile, good for guests that want to match something with quite meaty or robust dishes but who don’t like big tannic wines.’ Deborah-Lynn Morris, consultant sommelier

‘California has impressed with wines that are not trying too hard; confident to be what they are. They show the way in which California is really growing up as a wine region.’ Simon Woods, team leader

‘Herbs, mushrooms, cassis and berries. Interesting, lovely, round and fresh. I really, really liked the NZ Syrahs.’ Joao Ribeiro, Buddha Bar London

Award winners

Found 33 wines

New World: Shiraz/Syrah, Grenache, Mourvèdre & Rhône-style Blends, Rest of the New World

Morgan, Cotes du Crow's, Grenache/Syrah 2012, Monterey County, California, USA

Gold medal winner

Elegance and nicely controlled savoury notes plus a very good price-point added up to Gold for Morgan. 'Gentle, juicy, lovely open floral style, showing some brown sugar notes and tender Victoria plum, with a good grippy finish,' said team leader Simon Woods. 'Well-made wine with good grip,' agreed James Hocking of The Vineyard Group. Match with beef cheeks bourguignon, leg of venison, or caramelised onion tatin.

£12.64 Bibendum

Kleine Zalze, Cleefs Reserve Collection, Shiraz/Mourvèdre/Viognier 2013, Western Cape, South Africa

Gold medal winner

A red Gold to match its white Chenin Blanc Gold, Kleine Zalze is on a roll, and the value for money in this red illustrates why. Roger Jones of The Harrow at Little Bedwyn was taken with this 'exciting, Rhône-style' red, highlighting its 'savoury nose, lots of forward flavours, chunky, meaty, lambs' blood and redcurrants'. He added that it was 'harmonious, long and brooding, with good substance'. Match with pork ribs and barbecue sauce.

£6.84 Hatch Mansfield

Trinity Hill, Hawkes Bay Syrah 2013, Hawkes Bay, New Zealand

Gold medal winner

No stranger to the Gold List for its Shiraz wines, last year it was the Gimblett Gravels 2011, this year it's the Hawkes Bay. 'A dense, rich SGM, this is fresh and likeable,' said team leader Sarah Jane Evans MW. ‘Cedary aromas with berry fruit and complexity, medium dry with red fruits, wood and mushroomy notes, medium intensity and a persistent finish,’ said Joao Ribeiro of Buddha Bar London, while Laurent Richet MS of Restaurant Sat Bains added: ‘Almost an earthy tone with cherry stone fruit.' Match with charcoal-grilled game, perhaps pigeon.

£10.10 Liberty Wines

Tinpot Hut, Syrah 2011, Marlborough, New Zealand

Gold medal winner

Bright and textured, Tinpot Hut strives for a cooler-climate style of Syrah, from relatively higher-altitude vineyards. ‘Blackberry notes with tight, perfumed fruit on the nose,’ began team leader Jade Koch, adding: ‘Elegant, clean, precise and pretty. Has great Rhône-style character coupled with New Zealand warmth. Very good length and Kiwi personality.’

£13.10 Liberty Wines

Volcanes de Chile, Tectonia, Red Blend 2012, Central Valley, Chile

Silver medal winner

‘Perfumed character with ripe strawberry and plums,’ said Diego Muntoni of Oxo Tower Restaurant, continuing: ‘Juicy and refreshing, but showing some good intensity too. Great drinkability.’ 'Full in body, with smooth tannins, this combines elegance and power,' added Sara Bachiorri of Chez Bruce.

£15.00 Stone Vine & Sun

Undurraga, TH, Terroir Hunter, Syrah 2012, Limarí Valley, Chile

Silver medal winner

‘Lots of ripe red fruit, this is juicy with fresh acidity,’ said impressed team leader Annette Scarfe MW, adding: ‘Spicy with well-managed oak, and notes of dark chocolate and spice.’ 'Intense with dry blood and juicy berry flavours, meaty and earthy undertones,' said Athila Roos of The Arts Club.

£15.00 González Byass

Strandveld, First Sighting, Shiraz 2011, Elim, South Africa

Silver medal winner

Team leader Martin Lam enjoyed this wine's 'appealing, funky, savoury nose', adding: 'Very savoury Côtes du Rhône style – a very grown-up wine.' Roger Jones of The Harrow at Little Bedwyn enjoyed its 'wonderful richness, cedar, cigar, leather, bright fruit and delicate farmyard hints'.

£8.96 Enotria&Coe

Waverley Hills, Shiraz/Mourvèdre/Viognier 2011, Tulbagh, South Africa

Silver medal winner

Yves Desmaris MS of Lutyens liked this wine's style, saying: 'Good nose, aromatic, intense and flowery. Nice fruits, with dark berries on the palate.' 'Choc-box, sweet savoury, good fruity wine with lots going on,' agreed Roger Jones of The Harrow at Little Bedwyn. Match with guinea fowl.

£12.47 Waverley Hills Organic Wines

Valdivieso, Caballo Loco, Grand Cru, Limarí 2012, Limarí Valley, Chile

Silver medal winner

Sandro Lyhs of Oxo Tower Bar was pleased with this ‘big, juicy, spicy fruit bomb’, adding: ‘Has everything you can ask for, and has a lot of it.’ ‘Liquorice, tobacco, dark plum, spice and good length,’ agreed William Sheard of Donostia Restaurants.

£16.88 Bibendum

Chocalán, Reserva, Syrah 2013, Maipo Valley, Chile

Silver medal winner

‘Approachable, with soft red Grenache fruit showing initially on the palate, followed by fuller-bodied Syrah and lovely spice on the finish,’ said a satisfied William Sheard of Donostia Restaurants. ‘Spicy mid-palate, juicy and attractive,’ added team leader Annette Scarfe MW.

£8.80 Liberty Wines

Luis Felipe Edwards, Marea, Syrah 2012, Leyda Valley, Chile

Silver medal winner

Gareth Ferreira of Launceston Place found all the elements in place: ‘Medium intensity of aromas, with vegetal, green olive notes, sweet spices and smoky meat with black fruit flavours. Long finish and good balance.’ 'Good freshness, this is well blended and harmonious. A great Chilean wine!' said team leader Martin Lam.

£13.30 10 International, Matthew Clark

Eberle, Steinbeck Vineyard, Syrah 2012, Paso Robles, California, USA

Silver medal winner

A top wine with fine-grained oak from one of California's original pioneering Syrah wineries. James Hocking of The Vineyard Group found it to be 'quite intense', with its perfumed aroma, as he concluded: 'Full bodied with fresh fruit and great length, but needs time.' We hope to see a return visit.

£15.75 Alliance Wine

Elephant Hill, Reserve, Syrah 2013, Hawkes Bay, New Zealand

Silver medal winner

‘Dark ruby colour, berry and vanilla nose with complexity. Berry and cherry fruit with a medium-intense finish,’ said Joao Ribeiro of Buddha Bar London. ‘Full fruit with vanilla and jammy texture, a more serious wine,’ added Laurent Richet MS of Restaurant Sat Bains.

£14.87 Barwell & Jones

De Trafford, Blueprint, Shiraz 2011, Stellenbosch, South Africa

Silver medal winner

'Lovely deep colour, showing chocolate and rich spice notes on the nose, with a lovely fruit and acid balance on the palate followed by a rich, warming, satisfying finish,' said a pleased James Hocking of The Vineyard Group. 'More delicate restrained style, with lively fruit and acidity,' added team leader Annette Scarfe MW.

£16.98 Bibendum

Accolade Wines, Flagstone, Dark Horse, Shiraz 2010, Western Cape, South Africa

Silver medal winner

'Foxy and animal, leathery vanilla nose,' began Frédéric Jean-Yves Billet of Luton Hoo Hotel Golf & Spa, continuing: 'Palate good, with nice exotic wood, excellent spice, cayenne pepper and mint. Polished, big and bold with huge potential.' Robert Tozser of The Rib Room agreed, saying: 'Bright fruit, a bit of liquorice and good tannins.'

£12.10 Matthew Clark

Export Union, Fairway, Shiraz 2012, Western Cape, South Africa

Bronze medal winner

Team leader Martin Lam suggested this as a 'well-knit, good value house wine' option, citing a 'dark, meaty, coal tar nose'. 'Chunky and savoury, good value for steak,' agreed Roger Jones of The Harrow at Little Bedwyn.

£4.46 Molson Coors

Tabalí, Reserva, Syrah 2013, Limarí Valley, Chile

Bronze medal winner

Team leader Natasha Hughes highlighted this wine’s ‘smoky bacon, peppery nose’, adding: ‘Glycerol-rich palate with chunky, rich, ripe character. Decent oak in a fruit-forward style.’

£7.15 Boutinot

KWV, Laborie, Jean Taillefert Shiraz 2012, Coastal Region, South Africa

Bronze medal winner

‘Great style and balance on this, good depth and complexity,’ began Chris Wood of Chelsea Vintners, with Laurent Richet MS of Restaurant Sat Bains adding: ‘Lovely, smoky tar-like aromas with hints of dark chocolate, jammy cassis, mint and almost a slate mineral finish.’

£12.00 Bottle Green

Strandveld, The Navigator 2011, Elim, South Africa

Bronze medal winner

'Very classy,' was the judgement of Frédéric Jean-Yves Billet of Luton Hoo Hotel Golf & Spa, going on to say: 'Foxy style, with old leather, herbaceous mint/eucalyptus, good oak and rounded tannin.' 'Shows maturity, interest and complexity,' agreed team leader Martin Lam.

£13.65 Enotria&Coe

Bottega Family, Idiom, Rhône-Style Blend 2008, Stellenbosch, South Africa

Bronze medal winner

'Soft, smooth, silky palate with great depth. Good structure and complexity, low tannins,' said consultant sommelier Deborah-Lynn Morris. 'Intense and powerful with a touch of spice,' added The Vineyard Group's James Hocking.

£16.96 Amathus

Bisquertt, La Joya, Gran Reserva, Syrah 2013, Colchagua Valley, Chile

Bronze medal winner

Team leader Annette Scarfe MW found this a well-made wine showing ‘typicity and precise winemaking’, saying: ‘Spicy Syrah with redcurrant fruit and fresh juicy acidity.’ ‘Blackcurrant fruit explosion with a slightly black pepper finish,’ added William Sheard of Donostia Restaurants.

£6.39 Molson Coors

Elephant Hill, Syrah 2013, Hawkes Bay, New Zealand

Bronze medal winner

‘A slight toasty character of fresh baked bread crust,’ began Laurent Richet MS of Restaurant Sat Bains, continuing: ‘Close to a Rhône for a New World red, with strawberry jam and red fruits.’ ‘Expressive, appealing and easy,’ added team leader Jade Koch.

£10.76 Barwell & Jones

Eberle, Côtes-du-Rôbles 2010, Paso Robles, California, USA

Bronze medal winner

'Well structured, full fruit,' said consultant sommelier Deborah-Lynn Morris, adding: 'Big mouthfeel, berries and classic blend composition.' 'Slightly confected raspberry, lots of grip and tender fruit,' noted team leader Simon Woods.

£14.88 Alliance Wine

Kleine Zalze, Family Reserve, Shiraz 2010, Stellenbosch, South Africa

Bronze medal winner

'Gentle floral style, plenty of fruit but also no rough edges,' commented team leader Simon Woods. Equally impressed, consultant sommelier Deborah-Lynn Morris added simply: 'Beautifully composed, berries prominent.'

£20.96 Hatch Mansfield

Charles Smith, Milbrandt Vineyard, Syrah 2012, Columbia Valley, Washington State , USA

Commended medal winner

£11.66 Bibendum

Vidal, Reserve Series, Gimblett Gravels, Syrah 2012, Hawkes Bay , New Zealand

Commended medal winner

Tamaya, Winemaker's Gran Reserva, Syrah 2011, Limarí Valley, Chile

Commended medal winner

Luis Felipe Edwards, LFE900, Single Vineyard Blend 2012, Colchagua Valley, Chile

Commended medal winner

Quintay, Q, Grand Reserve, Syrah 2012, Casablanca Valley, Chile

Commended medal winner

£7.66 Kingsland

Boekenhoutskloof, The Wolftrap Red 2014, Swartland, South Africa

Commended medal winner

Ventisquero, Kalfu, Sumpai, Syrah 2013, Leyda Valley, Chile

Commended medal winner

£12.50

Maycas del Limarí, Sumaq, Reserva, Syrah 2012, Limarí Valley , Chile

Commended medal winner

£8.28 Bibendum

Kleine Zalze, Cleefs Classic Collection, Shiraz/Viognier 2013, Western Cape , South Africa

Commended medal winner

 

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