Aromas of dark plum, black cherry, cinnamon and white pepper. On the palate, the fruit is already expressive, but there is definitely cellaring potential. The cherries follow through, along with blackberry, blueberry, anise, pipe tobacco and baking chocolate. The balancing acidity is supported by some noticeable, but supple tannins. Try this with venison stew or grilled lamb chops.
Syrah is grown throughout the world, producing beautifully diverse and interesting wines. Syrah was found to be the offspring of two obscure grapes from southeastern France, Dureza and Mondeuse Blanche. The style and flavour profile of Syrah is greatly influenced by the climate in which the grapes are grown. Moderate climates, such as the northern Rhône Valley and parts of the Walla Walla AVA in Washington State, tend to produce medium- to full-bodied wines with medium to high levels of tannins and notes of blackberry, mint and black pepper. In hot climates, Syrah is more consistently full-bodied with softer tannin, jammier fruit and spice notes of licorice, anise and earthy leather. In cooler climates like Martinborough,, care must be given to allow plenty of daytime sun to allow ripening before the cool evenings arrive.
An hour’s drive from New Zealand’s capital city of Wellington, at the southeastern tip of the North Island, lies Wairarapa, synonymous for many people with its famous sub- region, Martinborough. Home to 4% of New Zealand’s vines but 11% of its winemakers, Wairarapa’s estates tend to be small-scale and quality-obsessed. Low yields are the norm and exciting wines are the result – it is undoubtedly the North Island’s most exciting area for Pinot Noir, and a friendly rivalry exists between Martinborough and Central Otago in the south. The mountain range to the west creates a natural rainshadow making Wairarapa the driest region on the North Island. The wind is wicked and the climate harsh, resulting in small berries, thick skins and naturally low yields. The wines are vivid and pure, sometimes hedonistic. Thankfully, balance and subtlety is maintained due to the region possessing New Zealand’s largest diurnal temperature variation.
The East Taratahi, or “Marion’s Vineyard”, sits on alluvial soil over top of ancient river gravel. These well-drained soils, as well as the climate, planting density and crop care, give extremely reduced yields of top quality grapes. Planted predominantly with Dijon clones of Pinot Noir, there are small plantings in advantageous sites of Syrah, Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Gris.
Hand-harvested and de-stemmed. The grapes are macerated for 3 weeks on the skins and fermented in stainless steel. After malaolactic conversion is complete, the wine softens and mellows from 33 months of aging in French oak barriques (65% new) .
Kai Schubert and Marion Deimling, both Geisenheim University Viticulture & Oenology graduates from Germany, established Schubert Wines in 1998. Having worked with winemakers like Erni Loosen of Dr. Loosen Estate, Bernkastel in Germany as well as in various vineyards across the world, their dream had always been to set off around the world in search of the ideal place to plant and produce their true passion – Pinot Noir. They travelled through Oregon, California, Australia and parts of Europe, but it wasn’t until arriving in Martinborough in the Wairarapa province of New Zealand that Kai and Marion felt they had found what they were looking for. In the spring of 1998, they acquired a small established vineyard in Martinborough and 40 hectares of bare land just north of Martinborough, at Dakins Road, followed by plantings from scratch in 1999 and 2000. Schubert’s philosophy is to craft wines of uncompromising quality that would stand out alongside the finest in the world. 14 hectares of wines are closely planted in the traditional, European style and the unique climate produces low yields. As a result they have been quick to capture the attention of connoisseurs and critics alike for their alluring, internationally award-winning wines of outstanding character, complexity, balance and grace. 90% of the production is exported to 36 countries.