2015 Dreadnought Syrah

The 2015 vintage was a testing season with a cold start to Spring delaying bud burst and Southerly winds persisting throughout flowering which affected yield. The cool winds cleared but the harvest was still hampered with persistent rain events requiring an extraordinary effort in the vineyard to deliver fruit of impressive quality.

Dreadnought Syrah comes from steep hillside vineyards and in 2015 we saw the first crop off our grafted 20 Tonner and Niko Face vineyards which gave us a sneak peek at the amazing potential of these steep and challenging sites. As always the fruit was carefully hand harvested, then put across a sorting table before being destemmed into open vats for fermentation. This year we decided to do something a little bit different
and fermented the majority of Syrah from the Asylum vineyard as 100% whole clusters in open 500 litre oak puncheons. The heads were then replaced on the puncheons and the wine matured, still on stems, for a full 12 months before being liberated and pressed off to mature in old barrels along with the rest of the Dreadnought.

After 20 months in oak the Dreadnought components were tasted to create a blend that is vibrant & youthful but at the same time showing impressive fruit structure combined with the unmistakable character of whole bunch/stem fermentation; gamey wild and a touch menacing…

Dreadnought 2015 reflects the growing season with very small crops of intensely flavoured fruit in the cherry/ tayberry spectrum with liquorice characters from stem influence. The fruit and stem tannins are fine grained and ripe adding freshness and length to the wine, with the overall structure suggesting classical Northern Rhone Syrah. Stylish and finely balanced this wine is beautiful now and will benefit from ‘splashy’ decanting prior to drinking upon release.

Cactus Bay - A small single vineyard tucked into the cool volcanic hilltops of Eastern Waiheke Island. Blessed with picturesque beauty and fruit of unique character; our privateering winemakers have ‘claimed’ the vineyard in the tradition of maritime prize law and hoisted their colours over it.