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
97/100 Bob Campbell MW
"Rich, Christmas cake aroma with dried fruits, plum, spice and sappy characters on the palate. An intense and powerful syrah that clearly needs plenty of bottle age before it eases into second gear. Slightly closed and hard to read at this stage. A pre-release sample that will be reviewed again when it is on the market. 29/7/2018" Drink 2018 to 2026
20/20 Raymond Chan
"Dark, deep, black-hued ruby-red colour, a little lighter on the rim. The nose is softly full and voluminous with a very deep and finely with concentrated core with an array of aromatics, showing beautifully ripened blackberry fruit entwined with dark raspberries, harmoniously layered with an array of dark-red and violet florals, together with exotic Asian spice elements, nuances of dark herbs, and a suggestion of black pepper. This has an amazing range of fragrances and aromatics that are expressed without showiness, but plenty of style and harmony. Medium-bodied, the palate is mouthfilling with refined, plush and sweetly rich, ripe and succulent fruit flavours of blackberries and dark raspberries, hints of plums and liquorice , unfolding layers of dark-red and violet florals with exotic spices. This is multi-dimensional and multi-faceted in expression. The fruit is supported by the very finest powdery tannins, but with considerable extract, structure and presence, but is is no way overbearing. The acidity is harmoniously integrated, and the wine carries to a sustained finish of richness. Match with the best lamb, beef and venison dishes over the next 10-15 years. 100% Syrah, predominantly MS clone from 20 y.o. vines in the Gimblett Gravels with the inclusion of a small amount of new clone material from hillside plantings behind the winery on Roys Hill (officially not part of the Gimblett Gravels). Fruit all hand-picked, foot-stomped and fermented with 30% whole bunches on average (some lots 100%), adding Viognier skins to 13.0% alc., the wine spending on average 30 days on skins, and aged 15 months in predominantly new French oak barriques and a portion in 5,000 L oak ovals. 20.0/20 Oct 2018 RRP $140.00." Drink 2018 - 2033
5 Stars Michael Cooper
"One of the country's most distinguished ? and expensive ? reds. Harvested by hand from 20-year-old vines in the Gimblett Gravels, the elegant 2016 vintage (5*) has a very floral, spicy fragrance. Deep and youthful in colour, it is highly concentrated, with vibrant plum and black-pepper flavours, showing lovely smoothness and harmony. Best drinking 2021+." Drink 2018 - 2028
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