2018 Pakiaka Syrah
Good news bad news. This easy drinking red comes from one of our favourite Syrah vineyards in the country (good news). Formally (bad news) known as ‘Little Wing’ the vineyard was brought back from neglect beginning 2008 by young couple Gillian & Gareth MacLachlan. Based in a natural amphitheatre, this micro-site on Waiheke Island is planted mainly to Syrah. Organic farming is tricky on Waiheke, the inconsistent weather and occasional rainfall during the harvest months make organic practices significantly harder to implement, while other growers can spray to mitigate risk of rot, Gillian & Gareth would work this entirely by hand to ensure fruit quality remains premium. Sadly the vineyard has since been sold, and conventional farming reintroduced (yep, I know). Pakiaka (root in Māori) is a slightly different take on Waiheke Syrah, the fruit is picked earlier than most Syrah vineyards on the island, and for that reason I’d describe this as more elegance than boldness. At 3 years old and ready to go, a great wine for a weeknight, drink with anything wintery (preferably out of a slow cooker).