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2015 Kusuda Syrah

  • Producer
  • Vintage
  • Grape Variety
  • Region
    New Zealand
  • Sub Region
  • Types
  • Size

Tokyo-born Hiroyuki (known as Hiro) Kusuda trained as a lawyer and worked for Fujitsu, then the Consulate General of Japan in Sydney before giving it all up to pursue his other love, wine and winemaking. He went to Germany, learned the language, enrolled at Geisenheim and then emigrated to New Zealand to pursue both the Riesling and Pinot grapes – to which a third challenge, Syrah, has now been added. The choice of New Zealand in general and Martinborough in particular apparently came about through tasting the 1992 Ata Rangi Pinot Noir.

Hiro is a driven individual, totally focussed on seeking purity of fruit character in his wines. A key feature to achieve quality is the extremely meticulous if not fanatical sorting of the fruit, at harvest and especially on the berries before vinification. The Claremont Motel in Martinborough has Kusuda as their most important client during vintage as hordes of pickers pay their own way from Japan to say they’ve been able to work with one of Japan’s most highly regarded winemakers and contribute to the quality! Some stay for two days, others for a month or more. It takes 2-3 days for 10-15 people to sort through one tonne of Pinot Noir, depending on the health of the fruit. From around 10-15 tonnes of fruit, the annual output is less than 1,000 cases. 70% of the tiny Kusuda production goes to Japan, where it has a cult following. The remainder is sold evenly in NZ, Australia and the UK.

Tasting Notes

94 Points Robert Parker Wine Advocate
Violets and cracked pepper scream from the glass upon nosing Kusuda’s 2015 Syrah. Like all of his wines, it’s a remarkable amalgam of intensity and weightlessness on the palate, blending in hints of mulberries and blackberries while still remaining essentially savory in style. The tannins are silky from start to finish, imparting a remarkable texture to the wine and lingering elegantly on the finish. These are remarkable, individual wines that reflect the handwork that Kusuda and his wife put into farming the vineyards.

The Envied Cellar
The Envied Cellar
The Envied Cellar