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Wooden wine vats illustration for tasting notes for wine

Wooden wine vats Elephant Hill winery

Wine tasting notes for wine from New Zealand wine from Elephant Hills.  I recently discovered this new winery, located in Hawkes Bay on the Te Awanga coastline and have made some wine tasting notes on the Elephant Hill 2010.  The vineyard itself has a variety of soil types –(sandy to clay) and the growers at Elephant Hill have invested time in identifying the make-up of the soil so that they can exploiting the impact of the soils in the final taste of the grape and thus the wine. Just one of the elusive characteristics referred to as the ‘terroir’.Before I share the tasting notes for wine here is a little background information on the vineyard is owned by Reydan and Roger Weiss who have employed the excellent services of winemaker Steve Skinner who ensures the grapes are hand-picked before working his magic on them.  My wine tasting notes record that Elephant Hills winery use a hand-picking method to ensure the grape bunches can be gently de-stemmed without crushing the skins and is also forms part of their sustainability policy. The wine casks are French oak barriques and the wine ages for a period of 15 months before bottling.

Finally, the wine is 100% Syrah consisting of a 70:30 mixture of Mass Selection and a Chave clone from the Northern Rhone region of France. It thus has all the character of a Northern Rhone’s wine with a twist, of course!

The Tasting Notes for Wine

With the background covered onto my tasting notes for wine: Elephant Hill 2010.  The wine had a dark core with deep ruby rim; the high viscosity was running on the walls of my glass. It had a bright and youthful nose. There were dark plums, cherries, black berries, followed by crushed olives, with hints of smoke and savoury notes. Some spices from the oak treatment were also detected with a touch of minerals from those special New Zealand soils.

The palate was juicy and lifted. Again, a great concentration of ripe fruit and berries came through with plums, lingonberry (Scandinavian), cranberry, black berries, smoke and spices. The acid structure in the wine drives the flavour profile throughout and keeps the wine fresh tasting. Spices arise from oak and visceral (earthy)- savoury notes brings additional layers and complexity to the wine. Some ripe and calibrating tannin adds to the structure and style, at the same time as adding to the length!

This wine has a real classy expression with charm. So easy to approach and delivering real pleasure!

Chris March 2013

Editors note:

Photo of Elephant Hill winery building and vines for wine blog

Elephant Hill vineyard-wineryand surrounding vineyard

Our research shows that the winery is similar in climate to those of Bordeaux making it an ideal place to visit with a mild temperate climate on the dry side. The Elephant Hills vineyard has a fabulous modern architecture to it complimented with an equally modern stylish restaurant giving visitors the opportunity to dine before or after indulging in some cellar tastings.  Elephant Hills has also balanced the use of wild flora to reduce the use of pesticides and they have taken time and effort to commit to a policy of sustainability.In addition,  The Hawkesbay Wine growers of New Zealand are also keen to interact with wine drinkers and have developed a useful website devoted to the region. It has simple tips for visitors such as the Hawke’s Bay Wine Trail and very usefully a cycling map. It also provides a synopsis and list of events to help you do some forward planning. Something which is sure to be useful for locals and travellers from a different region or continent.

For those of us who can’t quite make it to New Zealand in person, well, we have the pleasure in the form of the wine which you are sure to enjoy. Remember we would be delighted to hear from you too. Let us know about your favourite wine or if you have had the pleasure in tasting a wine covered by Christopher in one of his blogs.  We are also running a competition which just requires a photograph connect to wine as we love the subject and as can be seen from the website are very visual.


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