The bright, spicy, elegant red wine variety, syrah, came under intense scrutiny at a wine-tasting workshop at the Romeo Bragato conference in Blenheim yesterday.
The workshop was led by Sacred Hill Winery winemakers Warren Gibson and Tony Bish, who specialise in syrah, also known as shiraz. Mr Bish said syrah was growing in popularity.
"We can't supply enough to meet demand and, with the global financial crisis, development has discontinued in the past few years," he said. "But there is a very exciting future for New Zealand syrah. We've heard of more plantings in Marlborough and Central Otago, so it's spreading."
The tasting concentrated on the different clones and styles of syrah, and about 50 delegates, including Peter Rogge from Constellation and Simon Clark from Clark Estate, worked their way through two flights of six wines.
The first flight examined wine made with fruit from six different clones grown in the same vineyard and picked on the same day. All the wines were made by Mr Gibson in the same style.
The second flight examined six wines made from the same clones, but in different styles in different years, including two French wines and four Hawke's Bay wines.
Mr Bish said the tasting was to give people an idea of the differences between the clones, including the vine and fruit characteristics, and the varied flavours.
- © Fairfax NZ News