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Hawke’s Bay Syrah takes on Aussie reds
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Hawke’s Bay’s wine producers should be gearing up to take the Australian’s head on in the red wine stakes in light of the growing excitement for New Zealand wines.
Monty James, New Zealand Winegrowers’ recently appointed Australian marketing projects manager believes that Hawke’s Bay Syrah and other Bordeaux blends with their early drinking styles were very well suited to the developing Australian palette and were being embraced enthusiastically by wine critics and consumers alike.
Australia is currently New Zealand’s second largest export market, behind UK and ahead of USA.
“We see strong potential for Hawke’s Bay red wines as the Australian wine media and sommeliers direct consumers to more elegant, food-friendly styles,” said Mr James.
“Word is getting out about Hawke’s Bay Syrah. These wines offer depth of flavour but also exotic floral and black pepper characters. These are the styles that are generating real excitement amongst the media, top-end on-premise and fine wine stores. The comparison is more with the Rhone Valley than with Aussie and that’s a good thing — people are prepared to pay a premium for this.”
Mr James believes that Pinot Gris had potential to grow as a logical next step for those Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc drinkers looking for something new, but already predisposed to the clean fruit driven wine style possessed by both varietals.
In Hawke’s Bay as part of a familial tour recently, Mr James, an Australian, said it was important for him to see firsthand the wine region so he could better promote its wines and their stories.