June 7, 2024

Craggy Range Gimblett Gravels Syrah

Who makes it?

Craggy Range have been steadily putting little known New Zealand wine region, Gimblett Gravels, on the world stage over the past decade or more. This Craggy Range Syrah is an excellent example of why winelovers are sitting up and taking notice. I poured it at one of my recent tasting masterclasses and it very quickly produced smiles all around.

The Peabody family planted Craggy Range in the 1990s after any extensive search around the world for a site. The vineyards were planted against a scenic back drop of a small unknown sub-region of Hawkes Bay. So committed to keeping this winery in the family, Terry Peabody established a 1000 year trust which means the winery cannot be sold and must remain in the hands of the family.

Craggy Range has some outstanding wines, and if you enjoyed this one, then also look for Craggy Range Le Sol. Le Sol is their other 100% Syrah which is made for cellaring, but is always enjoyable young as well.

If you are interested in more about Gimblett Gravels and Craggy Range, please click here to read ‘Craggy Range & the rock star vintage’

How do they make it?

The juice producing this wine comes from vines with a story to tell. The vines are a heritage clone that arrived in New Zealand over 150 years ago. The grapes are mostly hand harvested with a portion being whole bunch pressed. After fermentation, the juice matures in French oak for up to 14 months. Only 25% of these barrels are new, the rest are old or ‘seasoned’ by use in previous vintages.

What does it taste like?

There is a light thyme herbal lilt to this Syrah. Along with plenty of cherry fruit. Of course, then there is the peppery twist that Syrah delivers. This Craggy Range Syrah is fresh and vibrant but remains elegant. It is more medium bodied with shapely tannins. The finish is very more-ish. 

What to drink it with?

A fresh, vibrant and ready to go Syrah such as this is a great match with any red meat. From lamb, to burgers, to Italian beef stew or even bangers and mash. If you are keen on a vegetarian option, a grilled haloumi and seasoned Mediterranean roasted vegetables will be great.


A chunk of matured hard cheese such as Cheddar or even some Comte or Manchego and you are set.

Quickie review « A deeply nuanced Syrah that is a delicious and elegant introduction to the Gimblett Gravels region »

Country of Origin: Gimblett Gravels, New Zealand
Tasting Date: May 2022 & January 2024
Price:  UK £29 | AU$50  | NZD$45
Drink: 3 – 7 + years
Needs food: no
Source: purchase

If you want to know more about Craggy Range wines, why not check out:
Craggy Range and the rock star vintage
Craggy Range vertical tasting of Aroma Te Muna Road Pinot Noir

Visit craggyrange.com for more.


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