Deerstalkers Syrah 2012 a Gimblett Gravels stunner

By Wright Communications

The Gimblett Gravels Annual Vintage Selection is reserved for the 12 most highly rated Gimblett Gravels wines of the vintage, which saw Deerstalkers 2012 as the joint top scoring Syrah with 96/100 from the international independent selector in a blind tasting of nominated wines.

The success of the 2012 vintage builds on the pedigree of Sacred Hill's Deerstalkers' Syrah having also featured in the Gimblett Gravels Annual Vintage Selection for 2008 and 2009. The wine was not made in 2011.

Sacred Hill Senior Winemaker Tony Bish is delighted with the rating. He says meticulous vineyard management and the unique Gimblett Gravels terroir were key to producing a genuine top flight wine in a challenging Hawke's Bay vintage.

"All credit to our vineyard team who still managed to deliver outstanding fruit to the winery. Our winemaking team then stepped in, using their collective skills to create this super premium wine."

Deerstalkers Hawke's Bay Syrah is one of three Special Selection red wines, along with Helmsman and Brokenstone, sourced from Sacred Hill's Deerstalkers Vineyard in the revered Gimblett Gravels sub-region and only produced in the very best vintages.

The ripe fruit was fermented with natural yeasts to give complexity and additional interest aromatically. Post ferment maceration built seamless structure with 16 months elevage in French oak barriques adding a rich integration of spice.

"The Gimblett Gravels sub-region, which has the Deerstalkers' Vineyard at its heart, has built a record of consistently producing great red wines with longevity, complexity and that will only improve as the vines age," Mr Bish says.

He describes Deerstalkers Syrah 2012 as a seamless wine that will improve over five to ten years of careful cellaring.

Sacred Hill Deerstalkers Syrah 2012 - Winemaker's Note. This intensely coloured wine has a lifted aroma with blueberry, black pepper and five spice complexities. The palate is rich and seamless with luscious depth and layered complexity. The finish is long and gently structured with gravelly minerality, balanced acidity and lingering fingers of flavour.

Food Match: Roasted beef sirloin with a port and beef stock reduction. Mix together 2 tablespoons seed mustard, 2 cloves garlic, a teaspoon of truffle oil and salt and pepper. Dress sirloin with mix and roast at 180 degrees until medium rare. Remove from roasting dish, cover and let the meat settle. Deglaze the roasting dish with port and beef stock, reduce by half and add a knob of butter at the end. Slice beef and spoon over reduction.

RRP: $59.95 (available from good wine merchants throughout New Zealand)

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