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Winner Details

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

Outside Australia and South Africa, Syrah (and it is nearly always Syrah, not Shiraz) seems to be firmly in the ‘experimental’ – or at least ‘minority’ stage. There were flashes of good stuff from Washington State, though not many entries, while Chile’s performance suggested that the country’s growers and winemakers still have a way to go before they really nail this grape.

Once again, Leyda was the region with the right stuff – though maybe this variety’s strength west of the Andes lies in blending with Cabernet Sauvignon.

The star country here was New Zealand, with the best medals and the best feedback. We could have done with a more comprehensive entry, though since most of the country’s Syrahs come from the 800ha of the Gimblett Gravels, perhaps we’re being over-optimistic.

From The Tasting Teams

‘These were really polished in that New Zealand style, with a little more savoury, spice character, and less of that jammy style you’d imagine from more classical Australian equivalents. They’d be worth the hand-sell.’ Laura Rhys MS, team leader

‘No good fruit and no good winemaking; these [Chileans] were simply not worth the money. Overall, the quality wasn’t there and these were not up to par.’ Carolina W Siebel, Comptoir Cafe and Wine

‘I really liked [the Charles Smith]. I thought it was quite elegant and delicate, with a really pretty character. It would age well and was good value for money.’ Jade Koch, consultant

‘The New Zealand Syrahs were great, and very different to Australia. There was a bit more freshness and austerity. They’re not cheap, but really good.’ Guillaume Mahaut, ETM Group

‘I could definitely see [the New Zealand Syrahs] in a Michelin-starred restaurant, and they’d work well for pairings. They’re more on the earthy, herbaceous side compared to Australia.’ Arturo Scamardella, The Ritz London

Award winners

Found 7 wines

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

Trinity Hill, Gimblett Gravels, Syrah 2018, Hawke's Bay, New Zealand

Gold medal winner

'An elegant crowd-pleaser, with notes of roses and cherries, some ripe tannins and high acidity.'
Lucie Hammerschmiedova, Portland Restaurant.

'A savoury wine with black fruit and some black pepper spice, along with lots of meaty, gamey notes too. Its elegant structure makes for a good food-matching wine - this would be lovely with roast lamb.'
Laura Rhys MS, team leader.

£17.57 Liberty Wines

Craggy Range, Gimblett Gravels, Syrah 2016, Hawke's Bay, New Zealand

Silver medal winner

'A really bold style of SGM, with intense spice notes on the finish.'
Laura Rhys MS, team leader.

'Opening with plum and blueberry fruit, as well as some cinnamon and white and black pepper, this is starting to show notes of development, with good concentration of flavour to pair with a T-bone steak.'
Arturo Scamardella, The Ritz London.

£22.81 Bibendum

Luis Felipe Edwards, Marea, Syrah 2017, Leyda Valley, Chile

Silver medal winner

'This has some juicy fruit alongside fresh violet notes, together with a savouriness and minerality.'
Lucie Hammerschmiedova, Portland Restaurant.

'Some initial oak notes of mocha and sweet vanilla are joined by velvety purple fruits, as well as some bacon notes.'
James Fryer, team leader.

£13.50 Matthew Clark

Chono, Single Vineyard, Syrah 2016, Casablanca Valley, Chile

Bronze medal winner

'Aromas of cranberries, chocolate and popcorn here, leading to notes of smoky bacon accompanied by red berries, cranberries and raspberries, with more chocolate, as well as some chalky tannins.'
Carolina W Seibel, Comptoir Cafe and Wine.

'Good typicity and value.'
Raphael Thierry, consultant.

£9.95 Ellis of Richmond

Charles Smith, Boom Boom, Syrah 2017, Washington State, USA

Bronze medal winner

'There's ripe fruit character here, with clean, refreshing acidity and a rich, earthy nose with gamey notes.'
Sam Winterbottom, The Albert Square Chop House.

'Very pretty bramble fruits and vanilla notes on this lifted, delicate, light wine. Fragrant and pretty, and a great food wine that would pair well with lamb cutlets and mint.'
Jade Koch, team leader.

£15.10 Bibendum

Via Wines, Oveja Negra, Single Vineyard, Syrah 2015, Maule Valley, Chile

Commended medal winner

Echeverría, Gran Reserva, Syrah 2015, Maipo Valley, Chile

Commended medal winner