Chateau La Grande Maye, Cotes de Castillon
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StyleRipe & Juicy
Reydan and Roger Weiss first fell in love with the beauty of Te Awanga when visiting from Germany in 2001. Together they envisaged owning a state-of-the-art winery, merging the traditional values of winemaking with an innovative approach and contemporary style to produce exceptional wines to savour and enjoy. With the majestic elephant as the company's namesake, Elephant Hill has over 61 hectares of vineyards in Te Awanga, Gimblett Gravels and Bridge Pa. Under the supervision of winemaker Steve Skinner they produce award-winning wines; classical, aromatic whites and world-class reds.
The Elephant Hill vineyards enjoy the spoils of a temperate, dry climate and an extended growing season. Gimblett Gravels and Bridge Pa vineyards have a slightly warmer climate than the coastal sites, perfect for the ripening of Syrah grapes. Cooled by afternoon Pacific Ocean sea breezes, the single vineyard on the Te Awanga coast grows grapes with lively acidity, excellent maturation and ripeness. This moderated climate results in intense flavour development ensuring distinct wines are produced representing the terroir of Te Awanga.
"The 2013 Syrah is made from grapes hand-picked off our Gimblett and Te Awanga Vineyards. The vine clones are Mass Selection, Chave and 470. Syrah is one of our flagship varieties and with the exceptional 2013 vintage in Hawke's Bay this wine measures up to be the very best that we have made. The bunches were gently de-stemmed and fermented in traditional open-top oak cuves. After pressing the wine was put to French oak barriques (30% new) and allowed to age for 12 months before bottling."
It has aromas of blackberry, dark chocolate and anise with ripe, juicy black fruits and typical spice and pepper on the palate.
Elephant Hill Syrah, Hawke’s Bay, New Zealand 2013 (from £18.90, Field & Fawcett; Hedonism Wines) Tasting through a range of oak-influenced Kiwi sauvignons at a recent event in London, it was clear that not every producer has mastered an art that is associated with the barrel-fermented sauvignon-semillon blends of the Graves district of Bordeaux. Some were a little too heavy on the toast, flattening the variety’s natural exuberance. It takes a skilled winemaker, such as ex-Cloudy Bay man Kevin Judd, to use a little oak for a wine as balanced, nuanced and nervy as his Greywacke Wild Sauvignon 2014 (£22, Majestic). Not that the Kiwis are pinning all their hopes on this one variety. Among the many others that shine in the country is syrah – exemplified nicely by Elephant Hill’s deep but succulent and sinewy, peppery, Rhône-alike.
David Williams theguardian