Top-Notch and Beautifully-Aged New Zealand Syrah

Today’s Story: Bilancia

Bilancia is a small winery and estate established by Lorraine Leheny and Warren Gibson in 1997 in Hawke’s Bay, New Zealand. Lorraine and Warren are both winemakers by trade and studied at Roseworthy Agricultural College in South Australia, ultimately making wines in Australia, Hungary, Italy, California, France, and Portugal between the two of them. Bilancia’s focal point is a 6 hectare (15 acre) vineyard known as La Collina, and it is planted to Syrah, Viognier, Chardonnay, and a small amount of Gewürztraminer. Bilancia also sources Pinot Gris from Black Bridge Estate and other high-quality fruit from several renowned Hawke’s Bay vineyards.

Today’s Wine: 2007 La Collina Syrah

100% Syrah; 13.5% ABV

The 2007 La Collina Syrah is deep garnet in color but it’s still holding onto some deep ruby hues as well. The aromas are of medium intensity, and the nose showcases notes of blueberry, blackberry, anise, forest floor, truffle, milk chocolate, and dried green herbs. Meanwhile the flavors are also of medium intensity and the palate displays notes of blueberry, dried plum, sweet tobacco, earthy mushroom, cracked green peppercorn, chocolate, and mild spice. This dry red is medium-bodied with medium acidity, medium (-) tannins, medium alcohol, and a long finish. The tertiary characteristics are certainly pronounced in this beautifully-aged Syrah, however the fruit is still very much alive and well.

Price: $85. Given the age on this and the rarity of the wine, I think this is very fairly priced. This is drinking beautifully right now and I would argue has a few years left, but the balance, purity, and length of the wine all speak to the high quality.

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