Pete and Jill Chapman are particularly passionate about this variety, and it is easy to see why given the results. It is relatively new to the Waipara region, but it has shown itself to have immense potential. Fermentation is in small vats with indigenous yeast, and plunged by hand. The wine is then matured in French oak barrels for 10-18 months. Grown on ancient Glasnevin Gravels on the Waipara River Terraces, which gives very low yields, but huge Syrah expression. A fabulously striking New Zealand Syrah that is bursting with dark autumnal fruits, cracked pepper and aromatic spice. Briar and balsam bring further complexity to the bouquet. The palate is wonderfully well poised offering a richness of multi-layered ripe dark fruit framed by a mantle of sculpted tannins. Good freshness adds lift to the long finish. A must try wine.
***** 5 Stars, 93+/100 Sam Kim, Wine Orbit (2015 vintage)
***** 5 Stars Raymond Chan, 'Dark, deep, black-hued purple-red colour, near impenetrable. The nose is softly full and voluminous with a concentrated core of ripe blackberry and black plum fruit harmoniously melded with subtle notes of liquorice, tar, minerals and Asian spices, unfolding a hint of black pepper and toasty oak. Medium-full bodied, the palate is softly rich with a concentrated heart of ripe blackberries, black plums and liquorice entwined with spices and tar, unveiling violet floral and pepper elements. The fruit is supported by supple, fine-textured, ripe tannin extraction lending a smooth mouthfeel. The wine follows a very fine, structural line with soft, integrated acidity lending vibrancy, leading to a sustained, softly concentrated finish of blackberries, plums, spices and toast. This is a beautifully harmonious and supple Syrah with blackberry, plum and subtle spice detail. Match with Middle Eastern fare and roasted lamb and venison over the next 6 years. 100% Syrah, MS and ‘Stonecroft’ clones, vines planted in 2004, from two blocks, 20% from the 45° north-facing ‘Bank Block’, hand-picked, destemmed, given a cold soak and indigenous yeast fermented to 14.5% alc., the wine spending up to 3 weeks on skins post ferment, and aged 12 months in 25% new French oak. 280 cases made.' Jul 2016 (2015 vintage)
**Vineyard of the Year** New Zealand Organic Wine Awards 2018
Spontaneously purchased in 1999, after exploring the Marlborough wine region, Terrace Edge Wines in the Waipara Valley is the very essence of a family owned and operated business. The North Canterbury property was originally a sheep farm, and the Chapman family began their land conversion by planting 2000 olive trees on the lower terrace. The planting of twelve hectares of vines followed. With no previous experience, the development of the business was taken on with a real trial and error approach. The development of Terrace Edge has not been unlike producing a truly great wine, it requires a real hands-on approach. The whole family is involved in the various aspects of the business.
The warm days, cool nights and dry autumns of the Waipara Valley are ideal for producing outstanding wines, which reflect the varied aspects of their growing conditions. The Terrace Edge vineyard is planted in accordance with the variation in soil across the estate. Each plot has been specifically selected and matched with specific vine varieties in order to express their most desirable qualities in the finished wines once in bottle. The entire Chapman family strongly endorse the philosophy that only a healthy soil will nourish the vineyard and produce beautiful fruit which, in turn, can be crafted into high quality, distinctive organic wine. The vineyard is certified organic by BioGro, following a conversion that began in 2011. Official recognition of their organic status was achieved in March 2014. Vines planted include Pinot Noir, Syrah, Riesling, Pinot Gris, Sauvignon Blanc with small recent plantings of Albarino and a variety often encountered in Austria, St. Laurent. All wines are crafted under the ever-watchful eye of winemaker Gavin Tait.