Little Wing Syrah 2017
- New Zealand, 750ml
An initial delicate fragrance opens up to reveal layers of game, black olive, pepper, bramble and blackberries. Oak presence is integrated and understated, giving a firm texture to the palate without overpowering the purity of the fruit.
- Winery: Little Wing
- Varietal: Syrah
- Region: Waiheke Island, New Zealand
- Vintage: 2017
- Alcohol: 12.5%
- Volume: 750ml
- Closure: Cork
- Food match: Lamb roast, beef, game meat, pork & pepperoni; tuna & salmon; pizza; BBQ & heavy red sauces; bleu-veined cheeses
An elegant Syrah that speaks to Gillian and Gareth MacLachlan’s experience with the variety in the Rhône Valley in France, matched with the natural power of their coastal Waiheke Island site. Hand-harvested, natural fermentation, manually basket pressed and matured for 16 months (12 months in 35% new oak and 4 months in tank). Bottled unfined and unfiltered.
Little Wing is Gillian MacLachlan and her husband, Gareth MacLachlan. After graduating with Viticulture and Enology degrees in California and New Zealand, respectively, they met while interning on the Sonoma Coast and spent the next few years working in wine regions in France, Germany, Australia, NZ and California. They were always in love with Syrah, but became passionate about it, along with Marsanne, after working in the Northern Rhone in 2010.
In 2014 the opportunity came along to purchase a nearly abandoned oceanfront vineyard on scenic Waiheke Island. They got to work resurrecting the property, reviving what was salvageable and re-planting new areas. This gave them the chance to focus on their passion of Syrah and Marsanne and thoughtfully plant the vineyard in a way that could achieve the type of wine that they wanted to make. This meant things like high density planting (5,500 - 6,666 vines/ha), variety and rootstock selection based on the slope and aspect, and multiple clones to aid in complexity.
The vineyard is a natural bowl shape with very steep slopes of heavy clay and a multitude of different aspects and sun exposures. It is also heavily influenced by the ocean. In order to respect this unique site, the vines are all hand-worked and managed organically (though they’re not certified at this stage).
They also make the wine with as little intervention and interference as possible - no yeast, sugar, acid, enzymes or other fining agents are used. They are bottled with minimal sulphur and utilise filtration onlywhen necessary. They love to use whole bunch fermentation in their Syrah and also this year used some skin- fermented Marsanne in the blend. Gillian and Gareth’s ultimate goal is to let the grapes, vintage and siteexpress themselves in the finished wine.
- 4 Stars - Raymond Chan (2016 vintage)
- 4 Stars - Yvonne Lorkin (2016 vintage)
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