Wine of the Week - Sacred Hill Deerstalkers Syrah 2015

Sacred Hill Deerstalkers Syrah
Vintage: 2015 Country: New Zealand Appellation: Hawke's Bay Grapes: Shiraz

Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir are the grape varieties that put New Zealand on the world wine map, but this New World wine country is more than that. Down in the Gimblett Gravels of Hawke's Bay in the North island, the terroir is very different from the other wine region in the country, wine producers are keen to plant other alternatives to achieve diversity of New Zealand wines.

Apart from Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, Syrah is also popular in the area. The first vintage of Sacred Hill Deerstalkers 2004, has already showcased the potential of this grape variety. This particular vineyard was a place to hunt deer, so it sat the clubroom of the Deerstalkers Association. When the wine estate purchased the land, they relocated it to wherever they wished to build, and the vineyard was named Deerstalkers.

There are several wine estates producing Gimblett Gravels Syrah, but I think the aroma of the Sacred Hill Deerstalkers Syrah is so distinctive and memorable. Thanks to the excellent weather conditions in 2005, the winemaker included 20% whole clusters in the fermentation process, which added spiciness and complexity to the fruity juice. The production of this Special Selection wine is low, only 283 dozens were produced, which made it a good choice for your Christmas gift list.

Ronny Lau

Ronny Lau is the chairman of Hong Kong Wine & Spirits Writers Association, and has been the co-chairman of Shanghai International
Wine Challenge since 2011.

He has been a wine critics since 1980, and is a wine & spirits educator for University of Hong Kong and Institute for Tourism Studies in Macau.
He is also the curator of innovative music and wine pairing CDs. In 2012, he was invited by Italian wine producer to take up the role as winemaker and released the first ever Super Tuscan made by Chinese.