Trinity Hill's story began in 1987 when John Hancock met Robert and Robyn Wilson in their London restaurant Bleeding Heart. Over a bottle of John's award-winning Chardonnay (he was a founding winemaker for one of New Zealand’s early wine successes, Morton Estate), the concept of a Hawkes Bay winery was born. They were convinced they could produce world-class red and white wines in this region of New Zealand, and in 1993 Trinity Hill became one of the region's early pioneers, planting grape vines on a barren plot on the former bed of the Ngaruroro River in the Gimblett Gravels. The first Gimblett Road wines, barrel-aged, were released in 1998 (vintage 1997); Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot and Syrah, to critical acclaim and a number of gold medals and trophies. More land, wines and grape varieties have followed. First produced in 2002, Homage is Trinity Hill’s Flagship wine. A wonderfully round rich Syrah inspired by the famed Cote Rotie of the Northern Rhone, it has consistently gained more “Parker points” than any other New Zealand Syrah, achieving 92 to 95 in its seven vintages. Homage pays tribute to one of the Rhone Valley’s most iconic figures, the late Gerard Jaboulet. A long-time friend of Robert and Robyn Wilson – his wine dinners at the Bleeding Heart were legendary. Gerard took John Hancock under his wing in 1996 and allowed him to work beside him at the Jaboulet family wine cellars in Tain L’Hermitage throughout that harvest. As a mark of gratitude for hard work, Gerard gave Trinity Hill cuttings of Syrah from his famed La Chapelle vineyard, in Hermitage, and Viognier from Les Jumelles in Cote Rotie, and from these the Homage was born.
What The Critics Say
98/100 Bob Campbell MW
"Tasted with a vertical of five vintages of Homage. Rich and intense syrah with violet, black pepper, dark berry, plum and oak flavours. Dense, sweet fruit nicely balances a solid backbone of ripe, round tannins. A youthful, intense and potentially complex red that promises to age well. 600 cases made 12/9/2017." Drink 2017 to 2025
99/100 Wine Orbit, Sam Kim
"Another compelling rendition of the variety from Trinity Hill, the impressively complex bouquet shows dark plum, spiced cherry, black olive, violet and game characters with beautifully infused cedary oak nuances. The palate is powerful and concentrated, while remaining perfectly proportioned and structured, and delivers exceptional fruit purity combined with seductive spicy/savoury undertones, brilliantly structured by fine, chalky tannins. The wine is gratifying and engaging at the same time, and destined to evolve magnificently. At its best: 2020 to 2030. $130.00. www.trinityhill.com. Sept 2017." Drink 2020 - 2030
19.5/20 Raymond Chan
"Full, dark, deep ruby-red colour with purple-black hues, near impenetrable. The nose has incredibly intense and penetrating aromas of ripe blackberry fruit with subtle dark raspberry and blue fruit notes, lifted by an array of red, violet and black florals, melded with fine spice elements and a suggestion of black pepper. The aromatic components are seamlessly interwoven and harmonious in presentation. Medium-full bodied, the palate is richly sweet and succulent with ripe, vibrant and lively fruit flavours of blackberries entwined with dark-red and blue fruit notes, along with dark-red, violet and black florals, melded with notes of liquorice, spice and black pepper forming a complex amalgam. The fruit is fine and beautifully concentrated with intensity and depth, the lusciousness balanced by considerable extraction, the tannins very fine-grained and flowery in texture. The acidity is ripe, and softly integrated, and the wine carries with great linearity and drive to a long and sustained finish of black fruits, florals and spices. Match with slow-cooked game meat and Middle Eastern fare over the next 10 years. Hand-picked fruit from sites in the Gimblett Gravels at a crop level of approx. 35 hL//ha, the different lots fermented with an approx. average of 25% whole bunches (some batches up to 100% whole bunch) to 13.1% alc., the wine spending on average 25 days on skins, and aged 15 months in approx. 60% new French oak, predominantly in barriques as well as large format 5000 L oak ovals. Sep 2017 RRP $130.00."
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