On Monday I posted a blog on Australia’s new found love for Shiraz Viognier, never ones to be out done by their neighbours the Kiwis have also caught the Shiraz Viognier. The Kiwis being slightly more traditionalists insist on calling Shiraz Syrah allot of the time. Bilancia is a fantastic producer from Hawkes Bay on the Northern Island in New Zealand, they specialise in Syrah, Viognier and Pinot Gris, and of course Syrah-Viognier Blends.

Bilancia Syrah-Viognier 2004

The 2004 vintage of Bilancia Syrah is a blend of approximately 98% Syrah some of it from their top vineyard La Collina (Italian for Hill) and 2% Viognier this is all sourced from La Collina.

All the components were hand harvested and crushed to open top fermenters for hand plunging during fermentation. The Viognier component, from the La Collina vineyard, was harvested and co-fermented with a portion of the La Collina Syrah. The pressed wine was run to French oak, 40% new, for malolactic fermentation and the wine was aged in these barrels for 16 months.

The aroma is of ripe red fruits with characteristic black pepper whilst the palate shows floral, plum and raspberry characters with well integrated oak. The wine has great mouth feel and balance. It is extremely approachable now but will certainly benefit from further aging.