Esk Valley Syrah is from Hawkes Bay on New Zealand's North Island, one of the country's best and most interesting terroirs.
Immediately on opening, there is dark fruit, spice and liquorice on the nose - the palate adds to this lots of black-fruit acidity, pencil shavings, gentle oak and good savoury underpinning.
Long on the palate, the texture is mouthfilling, soft and supple with a persistent finish; with a couple of years' bottle age it feels well-integrated.
It's a classic, Rhone-esque Syrah, somewhat textbook even; technically well-made with pure fruit expression.
It's a lovely, really enjoyable wine and worth its price-tag of nigh-on £14.
If I can find any fault at all - and it's hard to - it's perhaps that it's just a little too well-groomed and well-behaved; for this money I'd like to see a bit more Old-World style insouciance, quirkiness or downright idiosyncrasy.
And that's it - apart from that it's bang on.
Match with a roast beef dinner.
As a footnote, with air (around 24 hours during a 30°C+ in Cambridge, to be specific) the primary fruit starts to fade leaving more of the aged spice and oaky vanilla characteristics with good acidity and it becomes a whole lot more interesting ... for wine geeks, at least.
£13.99 from Cambridge Wine Merchants, Wright Wine, Askew Wines, Jascots and Laytons; provided for review.
Esk Valley - http://www.eskvalley.co.nz/
Cambridge Wine Merchants - http://www.cambridgewine.com/
Jascots - http://www.jascots.co.uk/
Laytons - http://www.laytons.co.uk/