You say potato... In New Zealand and France, we call the syrah grape 'syrah'. In Australia they call the exact same grape 'shiraz'. Why? No one has any idea, mate...
Redmetal Vineyards Syrah 2015 $22
As far as red wine gurus go in this country, Grant Edmonds has to be one of the most revered. He leads a double life as the chief winemaker for Sileni Estates while also nurturing his own fruit into the bottle. This is a pure, perfumed, peppery example grown in the famous, iron-rich gravels of Hawke's Bay's Bridge Pa district, and it's really starting to hit its straps. Velvety-smooth on the finish, it's darn delicious.
Sip with: crumbly aged cheddar and onion jam.
Baron de BadassiEre Syrah Pays D'OC 2014 $26
Badassiere by name and badass by nature, this spicy, roundhouse kick of a syrah is produced in the Languedoc region in the south of France and is named after Baron Charles Emmanuel, the illegitimate son of King Louis XV. Plump, plummy characters are buttoned up with pepper, dusty notes and a lick of leather.
Sip with: pulled duck with plum sriracha sauce.
Langmeil Valley Floor Barossa Shiraz 2013 $37
On the property at Langmeil grow some of the world's oldest shiraz vines, yet the winemaking team are always on the scout for great fruit from independent growers around the Barossa to inject diversity into their wines. This wine is crafted from a smorgasbord of stunning shiraz sites and simply erupts with blackcurrant, boysenberry and Christmas pudding spices and cocoa. Fresh, lifted and luscious.
Sip with: classic beef and black bean stir-fry.
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Yvonne Lorkin is co-founder and chief tasting officer of winefriend.co.nz and a Wine Writers of NZ member.