The Empirical Syrah has a palate that shows elegant fruit. The soft tannins and oak provide structure and great length. We see it as a slightly riper version of the Hawke’s Bay take on syrah.

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Empirical is a research and development project between two of Constelation Brands great talents, winemaker Dave Edmonds and Head of Viticulture David Sheard. Bound by nothing except their own creativity, and this is taking experimentation to the extreme, Syrah from Central Otago, I know who would have thought? Global warming is a real thing. Syrah is sometimes described as double concentrated Pinot Noir, whereas the Empirical Syrah tastes like a big Pinot, perhaps not two times as big.
It has all the hallmarks of a dark, ripe Central Pinot, red and dark berries, cedar, brown spices, vanilla with a herbal vein, suggesting some stems were included in the ferment.
if I tasted this wine blind, I would guess ripe, Pinot from Central. Syrah would never enter my mind. Savoury, earthy flavours combine seamlessly with the vibrant, juicy fruit and the fine grain mouth coating tannins give structure and ageability and the acid giving length, drive and energy. Albeit a big Pinot, but Syrah, not sure? Having said that, it’s a great wine and would warrant a few years in the cellar or decant just prior to serving. Perfect for roast lamb or beef.

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New Zealand


Central Otago