Villa Maria cellar Selection Syrah has just picked up a Gold Medal at International Wine Challenge 2011. The Gimblett Gravels sub-region of Hawkes Bay displays superb growing conditions for Syrah. With free-draining low fertile soils and warm conditions, naturally devigourated vines crop low yields, resulting in deep coloured and intensely flavoured red wines. Fruit for this wine was sourced predominantly from Villa Marias Twyford and Omahu vineyards, in the heart of the Gimblett Gravels.
Deeply coloured with crimson hues in the glass. The nose is layered with sweet blueberry, red plum and peppery spice aromas, underpinned by an aromatic violet lift. The palate is medium-bodied in style with a juicy and supple texture, finishing with rich, silky tannins and generous length.
Fruit was hand-harvested, destemmed and crushed into open-top fermenters. Fermentation was encouraged to peak at temperatures of 28C - 33C with hand plunging carried out four times daily. Some co-fermentation with the white grape Viognier was utilised to enhance the wines perfume and delicacy. After 30 days on skins the resulting wines were pressed off to oak barriques. Once malolactic fermentation was completed the wines were gently racked and then returned back to barrel for a further 18 months of maturation on light lees without further disturbance. Following individual parcel selection the wine was blended into tank, lightly egg-white fined and given a minimal coarse filtration to bottle.