2011 Quarter Acre Hawke’s Bay Syrah

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There’s great potential in New Zealand for Syrah with cool-climate character and I’ve had some great examples. I’ve had others that have been treated with too much new oak in the cellar and the results have been less than impressive.  But the honest Syrahs that I’ve had have been transcendent and all for a really good price.

The Quarter Acre has a candied fresh red fruit and plum nose that transfers over to a smooth and full mid-palate.  There’s some savory here in the form of aromas of black olive and tobacco but this is not a northern Rhone style Syrah. What it is is a pure, fresh, new world Syrah with good acidity and honesty.  This is a delicious wine and pulls way more than its $20 weight.

Quarter Acre is the project of New Zealand winemaker Rod MacDonald.  Rod and his team aspire to capture the terroir of Hawke’s Bay with a hands-off winemaking approach and organic vineyard practices.  Rod said in an email, “The brief with the Quarter Acre Wines is that we want personality and funk if we can get it…as long as it tastes good.  We don’t need these wines to be perfect, that’s not us, we just want them to have soul.”

That’s my impression with the Quarter Acre; it’s a wine that has some funk and soul but also it’s just plain delicious to drink.


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