‘little x’ is a brand of ‘X Wines’, the own-label venture of Tim Adams, a viticultural and winemaking consultant for Marlborough Wines Ltd which is the parent company of Toi Toi; he was formerly with Astrolabe Wines. Tim oversees the MLW vineyards in Marlborough and works with growers in Gisborne and Central Otago. Tim has been making Syrah from a tiny shared vineyard of 450 vines in the upper Brancott Valley since 2011, Tim’s lot of the production is only 35-40 cases annually, this being sold locally in Marlborough. His X Wines brand includes a 2018 Syrah and Awatere Pinot Noir which are in the works, but in the meantime has sourced and made a ‘little x’ Syrah to cover no production in 2017, and the wine to also complement the up-coming releases and give a more accessible wine to the portfolio. (Raymon Chan) -- "Our X Syrah comes from the sunny Hawkes Bay with the vineyard located on Ohiti Road in the Ohiti Valley. Ohiti Valley is a sheltered little microclimate in the bay and enjoys the best of hot Hawkes Bay summers. The vineyard rows are situated facing north/south to optimise the amount of sunshine each leaf can capture. 10 year old MS Syrah makes up the single vineyard site with sugar levels at harvest hitting 24 Brix. X marks the spot in Hawkes Bay where we grow our Syrah. Single vineyard, hand picked, basket pressed, small batch fermented. Produced with minimal inputs and handling. Bottled unfined and un-filtered. Vege, vegan and ceolic friendly. No one was upset by the production of this wine." (Winemaker notes)
What The Critics Say
91/100 Cameron Douglas MS
"Distinctive, varietal, white smoke, pepper with a mix of red and blue fruit aromas. Youthful, tense, poised and dry on the palate with flavours of tart raspberry and ripe black currant, moments of smoke and meat, flavours of vanilla, clove and violet. Firm tannins, plenty of acidity and generous weighty alcohol. A very nice wine. Drink now and through 2023."
93/100 Wine Orbit, Sam Kim (2014 vintage)
"A stylish rendition; the delightfully perfumed bouquet shows Black Doris plum, blueberry compote, raspberry and vanilla characters with nuances of warm spice and game. The palate offers excellent concentration backed by fine texture and flowing mouthfeel, elegantly framed by fine polished tannins. Still youthful and pristine, while displaying seductive complexity. At its best: now to 2024"
90/100 Cameron Douglas MS (2014 vintage
Youthful, fruity and varietal bouquet of Syrah with aromas then flavours of sweet red berries, raspberry and black currant. Some sweet olive and pepper moments. Dry on the palate with dusty chalky tannin texture, medium+ acidity and flavours of red berry fruits. Some floral highlights lead to a moderately lengthy finish. Balanced, persistent and well made. Drink now and through 2022. 90 Points Cameron Douglas, MS
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