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
96/100 Bob Campbell MW
"Intensely perfumed syrah with violet, floral, pepper, spice and dark plum and berry flavours, together with a seasoning of smoky oak. A youthful, elegant, firmly-structured red that's accessible now but shows impressive cellaring potential. Certainly a wine to watch 6/6/2019. Drink 2019 to 2027"
5 Stars Michael Cooper
One of the country's most distinguished - and expensive - reds. Still a baby, the 2017 vintage (5*) was estate-grown in the Gimblett Gravels and matured for 15 months in French oak ovals and barriques. It has deep, purple-flushed colour and a highly scented, peppery bouquet. Mouthfilling, vibrantly fruity and supple, with deep plum and black-pepper flavours, seasoned with nutty oak, it builds across the palate to a very long, harmonious, spicy finish.
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