2020 Vanguardist Hawkes Bay Syrah

Hawkes Bay, NZ

Graceful Syrah made in the heart of the Barossa? It's possible when the grapes come from Hawkes Bay, NZ, the home turf of Vanguardist winemaker Michael Corbett.



About The Wine

Michael Corbett, the man behind Vanguardist, is of Kiwi extraction, and has done many vintages in his home region of Hawkes Bay. So why not take advantage of his local contacts and make some wonderful cool climate Syrah?

The fruit is sourced from an organic-in-conversion vineyard in the Bridge Pa Triangle, and was fermented, with a heap of whole bunch, in NZ before being shipped to SA for maturation in oak foudre.

It's a gentle, delicate Syrah with lots of herbal perfume and wild berry notes, but it doesn't lack concentration or length.

A wonderful cross-Tasman counterpoint to Michael's brilliant Australian wines.

About Vanguardist

Vanguardist is an up and coming producer from McLaren Vale started by three friends after many long nights in Hawkes Bay talking about their shared love of wine.

Their mission is to bring premium, authentic, small-batch wines to a market they see as crowded by "overly commercialised wines produced by corporates who take up all the elbow room."

They source very high-quality fruit from great vineyards across South Australia, looking to build wines with texture and vibrancy.

With experienced winemaker Michael Corbett at the helm, the future looks bright for this plucky challenger brand.

Winemaker Michael Corbett
Winemaker Michael Corbett
Photo Credit: Brad Fleet
Additional Info

From The Producer

The 2020 Syrah is sourced from Ash Ridge in the Bridge Pa triangle, Hawkes Bay. Organic certified/in conversion, selection Massale and Chave clones. Both spontaneous ferments, one at 30% whole bunch and the other at 60%. Around 5 weeks on skins with very gentle pigeage prior to pressing. The raw wine was shipped to the Vanguardist winery in Seppeltsfield mid-winter 2020 and spent a further 12 months of elevage in a 22HL Slavonian oak foudre.

Why Hawkes Bay Syrah? Michael grew up here and completed no less than 10 New Zealand vintages. He also obtained a BWSc at the local Eastern Institute of Technology. He has friends and family based here and it felt like a great opportunity to reconnect with where it all started.

Blend : Syrah (100%)
ABV : 12.5%
Closure : Cork
Drink Until : 2028
Bottle Size : 750ml

Winemaker Michael Corbett
Winemaker Michael Corbett
Photo Credit: Daniel Purvis
Expert Reviews

Critic Reviews

The Wine Front

"Hawkes Bay is winemaker Michael Corbett’s home turf, and this Shiraz is sourced from Ash Ridge in the Bridge Pa Triangle. The vineyard sits near the Bullnose vineyard, which is quite a different thing to your Gimblett Gravels style.Hazelnut and pepper, blueberry and blackberry, with a sort of thyme and lavender perfume. It’s light to medium in body, crisp yet meaty, something of a cranberry crunch to it, fine peppery tannin, sappy acidity, a garrigue mouth-perfume, lacy and bright, pippy boysenberry/mulberry flavours and a crisp and spicy finish of good length. Plenty of energy and meaty/spicy charm." - Gary Walsh (The Wine Front)


"Has a very attractively spicy sheen with plenty of pepper. Blueberry and dark stony elements, as well as graphite, black-cherry and blackberry aromas. Star anise. too. The palate is mid-weight and has a finely dusted tannin texture with cool berry flavors and a sanguine, spicy twist on the finish. Neatly fitted tannins, very tidy. Drink over the next five years." - Nick Stock (JamesSuckling.com)


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