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Obsidian Newsletter


Syrah

Obsidian Reserve Syrah 2012

★ ★ ★ ★ ★ (5 Stars)

“The 2012 was sold in the previous vintages as Obsidian, without the Reserve on the label. Matured in French oak caks (33 per cent new), it is full-coloured, mouthfilling and supple, with strong blackcurrant, spice and nut flavours, showing good vigour and harmony. Best drinking mid 2014+”

Michael Cooper, Michael Cooper's 2014 Buyer's Guide to NZ Wine

Obsidian Syrah 2012 (Non Reserve)

★ ★ ★ ★ 1/2 (4 1/2 Stars)

A stylish wine, the elegantly perfumed bouquet shows dark plum, game, floral and subtle spice aromas, followed by a fleshy palate that's fruit rich and velvety. The wine shows wonderful fruit power with subtle savoury complexity. At its best: now to 2018.

Sam Kim, Wine Orbit Nov. 2013

★ ★ ★ ★ (4 Stars)

“The 2012 vintage, matured in French oak casks (20 per cent new), has a floral distinctly peppery bouquet. A wine of substance, it has deep, vibrant plum and black-pepper flavours, good tannin backbone, fresh acidity and a long distinctly spicy finish. Drink now or cellar.”

Michael Cooper, Michael Cooper's 2014 Buyer's Guide to NZ Wine

★ ★ ★ ★ (4 Stars)

Floral, distinctly peppery bouquet.  A wine of substance, with deep, vibrant plum and black pepper flavours, good tannin support, fresh acidity and a long, distinctly spicy finish.  Drink now or cellar.

Michael Cooper, Winestate Magazine 2013

★ ★ ★ ★ (4 Stars)

Full, deep, black-hued ruby-red colour with some purple hues. This has a full and well-packed, rich bouquet of savoury, spicy, dark berry fruits softly entwined with earth and lifted with peppery notes. Medium-full bodied, the fruit is a little shy initially, but the rich flavours of dark red fruits, earth, spices and pepper are harmoniously interwoven, forming a dense and substantial core with presence. The palate builds in breadth and shows discreet richness with detail and savoury interest. The tannins are supple and balanced with gentle acidity, and the flavours flow smoothly, carrying through to a dense, but soft textured, lingering finish. This is a richly packed, harmonious Syrah with earthy and spicy flavours. Serve with Asian duck and Middle Eastern lamb dishes over the next 5+ years. Fruit from the ‘Obsidian’ vineyard, destemmed and fermented to 14.0% alc., the wine aged 10 months in 20% new French oak. 258 cases made.

Raymond Chan, Raymond Chan Wine Reviews, July 2013

Weeping Sands Syrah 2011

★ ★ ★ ★ (4 Stars)

“A delightful young Syrah showing pristine aromas of red cherry, dark plum, floral and subtle spice. The palate is vibrant and juicy with smooth texture and a refreshing finish. Not too heavy, this appealing Syrah is beautifully poised and should develop lovely savoury notes.”

Sam Kim, Wine Orbit, Issue 19, 2012

★ ★ ★ ★ (4 Stars)

“Dark, deep,purple-hued black-red colour, a little lighter on rim. The nose is densely concentrated with black berry and plum fruits along with black pepper and earth unfolding along with spice notes and savoury game. Medium-full bodied, sweet and lush black fruits show with savoury plum, spice and pepper flavours that fill the mouth. Supple tannins mark the extract and structure, and good acidity provides plenty of energy. The wine reveals aniseed and liquorice elements on a moderately sustained finish. This is a full-bodied, lush and supple Syrah with black fruits and a savouriness. Serve with casseroles and slow cooked meat dishes over the next 4-6 years.”

Raymond Chan, Raymond Chan Wine Reviews, Sept 2012

Obsidian Syrah 2010

★ ★ ★ ★ ★ (5 Stars)/97/100 Points

An array of dark-fruit flavours with floral/violet, black pepper, leather, mocha, licorice and many other savoury nuances. A core of sweet fruit is balanced by ripe tannins that promise good cellaring potential but doesn’t stop the wine being drinkable now. Cellar – 10 years.

Gourmet Traveler Wines, Nov. 2013

★ ★ ★ ★ ★ (5 Stars)/95/100 Points

“I expected a lot from this top producer and outstanding vintage. I wasn't disappointed. It's a dense and powerful Syrah that any self-respecting northern Rhone producer would be proud of. An array of dark fruit flavours with floral/violet, black pepper, leather, mocha, liquorice and many other savoury nuances. A core of sweet fruit is balanced by ripe tannins that promise good cellaring potential but doesn't stop the wine being deliciously drinkable now.”

Bob Campbell MW, www.bobswinereviews.com, May 2013

★ ★ ★ ★ ★ (5 Stars)

“The Obsidian Syrah 2010 is a complete wine, softly rich and plump with sweet, ripe black plum fruit flavours, with black pepper and spices. There is plenty of tannin in support, fine and tight, and also excellent acidity. The oaking (40% new) emerges in the glass, but melds in with the opulence. This is certainly in the riper end of the spectrum, yet has not crossed the line to Shiraz.”

Raymond Chan, Raymond Chan Wine Reviews 2012  

★ ★ ★ ★ ★ (5 Stars)

The 2010 vintage was co-fermented with Viognier 2.5 per cent) and matured in French oak barrique (40 per cent new). Still extremely youthful, it is powerful, with bold blackcurrant, plum and spice flavours, highly concentrated, finely textured and potentially very complex. Best drinking 2014+.

Michael Cooper, Michael Cooper, Michael Cooper's Buyers Guide to NZ Wines 2013

Gold Medal - Upper North Island Wine Challenge 2012

Silver Medal - International Wines and Spirits Competition 2012

“Attractive ruby colour, full of the fragrance of spiced blueberry compote. Use of good quality oak blends perfectly with the velvety textured body and fine grained tannins, all complemented by layers of warm ripe fruit. A very sexy wine with a seamless finish."

★ ★ ★ ★ ★ (5 Stars)

“Powerful, finely textured red, deeply coloured, with highly concentrated blackcurrant, plum and spice flavours, showing excellent complexity. Still unfolding and potentially very long-lived.”

Winestate Magazine, upcoming issue - July/Aug 2013

Weeping Sands Syrah 2010

TROPHY SYRAH and GOLD MEDAL 
Spiegelau International Wine Competition 2011

“It’s an absolute baby, but it is totally delicious. It is rich and full bodied. It’s powerful but it’s also very elegant. It’s got this amazing velvety texture, and it’s packed with dark spicy plum fruit and a fair bit of tannin. Fantastic to enjoy now, or put a few bottles away for time to come.”

Director and co-founder of the Spiegelau International Wine Competition, Belinda Jackson, National Radio “Afternoons” with Jim Mora, 8 July 2011

★ ★ ★ ★ 1/2 (4 1/2 Stars)

“Deep and purple-fleshed in colour, it is rich, savoury and flowing, with deep plum, black-pepper and spice flavours, showing complexity and concentration. An elegant wine, it's approachable now, but should be at its best 2012+.”

Michael Cooper, Michael Cooper's Buyer's Guide to NZ Wines 2012

★ ★ ★ ★ (4 Stars)

“Very dark, deep, impenetrable purple-hued red colour, this had a densely concentrated nose packed with black fruits, savoury game notes, tar, ink and minerals. A full-bodied wine, this shows well-ripened black berry and plum flavours with Asian spices and herb elements, a little restrained in expression. However there is density and a succulent richness and an underlying structure and grip that drives the palate. The acidity is soft, contributing to a rounded mouthfeel. A little alcohol warmth is present. A hearty, ripe and rounded red to match with beef and venison over the next 5-7 years.”

Raymond Chan Wine Reviews, www.raymondchanwinereviews.co.nz, October 2011

SILVER MEDAL NZ International Wine Show 2011

SILVER MEDAL  International Wine and Spirits Competition 2011

SILVER MEDAL  Upper North Island Challenge 2011

Obsidian Syrah 2009

★ ★ ★ ★ ★ (5 Stars)

“The 2009 vintage is a beauty. Co-fermented with Viognier (2.5 %), it was matured for 10 months in French oak barriques (40 % new). Floral, rich and supple, it is very elegant, with deep plum, spice and nut flavours, gentle tannins and a finely poised, silky-smooth finish. It’s already delicious, but has obvious cellaring potential.”

Michael Cooper, Michael Cooper’s Buyers Guide to NZ Wines 2012  

18.5+/20 points

“Ruby, carmine and velvet; much the same depth as the 2008. The bouquet, however is at this stage altogether less integrated and harmonious, the cassis, black pepper and oak unknit, the floral components yet to emerge, and there is perhaps the slightest suggestion of sur-maturité. On the palate, that idea grows, the entire riper end of the ripening spectrum from deepest cassis, blueberry, bottled Black Doris plum, and even a hint of boysenberry being tastable. This wine has only just been bottled and was offered as a preview for interest. I'm sure once it has settled down it will speak much more elegantly at release mid-2011. Cellar 5 – 15 years, maybe more.”

Geoff Kelly, The World of Fine Wine, Issue 34, 2011

★ ★ ★ ★ (4 Stars)

“This is a meat lover's Syrah - once you get past the seductive aromatics, your taste buds are given a workout with a plateful of savoury, smoky, meaty flavours. The texture is delightfully fleshy and the finish is long. A complete syrah experience.”

Cuisine Magazine, Issue 147, July 2011

“Very deep purple. Vibrant exotic plum and black pepper. Plenty of new oak but balanced by luscious, plump fruit. Glossy and ripe. Too young, but should be a cracker in time”

Jane Skilton, www.independentwinemonthly.com, 15 August 2010

18+/20 points 

“Deep purple ruby-red in colour, this had a beautifully fragrant, floral lifted nose, Viognier-influenced, quite exotic and with elegant dark fruit expression. Medium-full in body, the florals and dark fruits combined well, with spices and pepper showing. Very fine-grained, but with considerable extraction for excellent structure, a touch of alcohol warmth noticeable. The suppleness will allow approachability for drinking over 6-9 years. 120 cases made.”

Raymond Chan, www.raymondchanwinereviews.co.nz

Weeping Sands Syrah 2009

★ ★ ★ ★ ½ (4 ½ Stars)

“It's ripe and pristine on the nose displaying red/dark plum, floral and white pepper characters. The palate is juicy and rounded with silky texture and lovely fruit intensity to the finish. A gorgeous wine to drink now, or keep it and watch it develop appealing savoury flavours.”

Sam Kim, Wine Orbit Issue 11, 2010 & www.nz.lifestyle.yahoo.com, May 19, 2011

★ ★ ★ ★ (4 Stars)

Cuisine Magazine, Issue 147, July 2011

18.5/20 points

“At 14% alc., co-fermented with 2.5% Viognier, 9 months in oak, some new French barrels. Brilliant purple red in colour, this had a very fragrant nose of florals, white pepper and spices, very finely expressed. On palate a supple and elegant wine with juicy lusciousness of fruit, fine-grained extraction, soft acid and textures. The velvety mouthfeel was Pinot Noir-esque!”

Raymond Chan, Regional Wines, Wellington, 27 July 2010

SILVER MEDAL 
NZ Royal Easter Show 2011

Obsidian Syrah 2008

★ ★ ★ ★ ★ (5 Stars)

“Dense, serious red, powerful, tightly structured and built to last. Deep and youthful in colour, it is fragrant, with highly concentrated plum, cassis, black pepper and nutty oak flavours and a rich, smooth finish. Best cellared to 2012+.”

Michael Cooper Recent Releases, Winestate Magazine, July/Aug 2010 & Michael Cooper’s Wine Buyers Guide 2011

18.5+/20 points

“Ruby, carmine and velvet; fractionally the deepest wine in the tasting, slightly fresher than Homage. The bouquet on this wine is pinpoint Syrah taken to the optimal stage of ripeness, where soft wallflower floral note are clearly retained and classical cassis berry is just grading into dark bottled Black Doris plum. This level of physiological maturity, with subtle cracked peppercorn, in simple terms matches a wine from a great year on the hill of Hermitage. The palate is textbook Syrah, showing a similar quality of French oak to the Homage but not quite so much of it, so the berry definition of cassis and a hint of blueberry is clear, and the firmness on the palate is slightly less. This is therefore slightly more fleshy than the Trinity Hill. This is great Syrah, too, and for Waiheke Island the absolute benchmark wine so far, because this is completely free of Brett - a joy! Cellar 5-15 years.”

Geoff Kelly, The World of Fine Wine, Issue 34, 2011

★ ★ ★ ★ ★ (5 Stars, 94/100)

“A powerful and beautifully crafted Syrah from one of the warmest and driest vintages on record, and it shows. The wine is packed with ripe blackberry, plum and blueberry flavours with subtle spice background notes. The palate is concentrated and velvety with lovely density and a sturdy finish, provided by fine, firm tannins. A delectable and impressive Syrah made by one of NZ’s top performers.”

Sam Kim, Wine Orbit, Issue 11, 2010

★ ★ ★ ★ ★ (5 Stars, 93/100 Points)

“Dense, dark and peppery Syrah with impressive sweet dark berry flavours. Long and rich, a very classy Waiheke Syrah indeed.”

Bob Campbell MW, www.bobswinereviews.com, Sept. 2010

★ ★ ★ ★ (4 Stars)

“This small Waiheke producer's 2008 Syrah is a cracker. Opulent blackberry and plum, a touch of pepper and lots of glossy, ripe fruits.”

Jane Skilton MW, Sunday Star Times, August 2010

Weeping Sands Syrah 2008

★ ★ ★ ★ 1/2 (4 1⁄2 Stars)

“From Obsidian, this single-vineyard red has excellent density and complexity. Boldly coloured, it is sturdy and concentrated, with loads of plummy, peppery flavour, finely integrated oak, supple tannins and a long, spicy finish. Best 2011+.

Michael Cooper, Winestate Magazine, Nov/Dec 2009

★ ★ ★ ★ (4 Stars)

"Supple syrah with attractive berry floral and lifted spice flavours. This may be Obsidian’s second label but there’s nothing second-class about the deliciously drinkable red.”

Bob Campbell MW, www.bobswinereviews.com, July 2009

★ ★ ★ ★ (4 Stars)

“Ruby, carmine and velvet. Bouquet is crisply varietal syrah, clearly wallflower and dark rose floral, beautiful cassis and darkest plum, and explicit white going to black pepper. A new oak component adds aromatics and vanillin, at this stage still a little too prominently. Palate is firmer than the bouquet promises, the richness nearly as good as the class-leading examples, the total style absolutely northern Rhone. It is more clear-cut syrah than most Crozes-Hermitage, but a little too firm for Hermitage. Modern St Joseph is a better comparison. This 2008 extends the promise indicated by last year's wine......”

Geoff Kelly, www.geoffkellywinereviews.co.nz, July 2009

★ ★ ★ ★ (4 Stars)

“You’ll be weeping with happiness over this offering from Obsidian Vineyard’s second-tier label. Deep in colour, its heady floral perfumes, fabulous dark-fruit flavours and sheer purity show off beautifully what Waiheke can do with Syrah. Try it with venison sausages.”

Cuisine Magazine, July 2010

“This has an attractive nose with general spice and herbs overlaying red and black fruits. Supple and ripe on the palate with well-judges oak, this is an enjoyable wine and bolsters the view that Syrah is a variety also well suited to Waiheke island.”

Jane Skilton, Wine NZ Magazine, Spring/Summer 2009

Cellaring Guide

Some guidance as to the “anticipated maturity” of our wines.
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