Two exemplary new world cool-climate Syrahs

The good news is that these two wines are great examples of cool climate Syrah. The bad news is that… wait they’re isn’t any bad news! They’re also really well-priced wines.

Falernia 2010
Falernia Valle De Elqui Syrah 2010 14% ABV

This is the first Chilean Syrah I’ve tasted that decidedly moves into the cool-climate spectrum. It has lovely pepper and olive aromas, with just a bit of meaty aroma in the background. Very little oak, nice acidity on the palate and a bright finish.

Falernia is the project of Aldo Olivier who emigrated from Italy to Chile. The estate is in the northern-most wine region of Chile. Because the region is so far removed from the rest of Chile’s wine areas there’s an absence of phylloxera in the the vines, are all own-rooted.

maimai 2012
Maimai Hawke’s Bay 14% ABV

The Maimai Syrah is one that I’ve had previous vintages of and they were always good wines but this one is a cut above last year’s version.

Fresh blueberry nose, black olives, celery, bitter chocolate, tobacco, bright on the mid-palate, strong acidity and a bit of a tannic bite on the finish. This is a wine that begs for food and maybe a couple of years in the bottle. It makes you salivate for more.

Hawke’s Bay is a great place for Syrah. It’s also a great place for Pinot and Sauvignon Blanc which probably explains why we don’t see a ton of Syrah from there but this area has the goods and I’m always on the lookout for New Zealand Syrah that are easy on the pocket book.

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