92 pts Vinous/Stephen Tanzer May 2016
(13% alcohol; made from Trinity Hill's oldest vines, best clones and lowest-yielding parcels, roughly 85% within Gimblett Gravels; the selection of material is made "at pruning time," according to Gibson, and the fruit "is not necessarily picked riper than the rest"; vinified with 50% whole clusters): Deep ruby-red. Very ripe aromas of blackberry and licorice; smells plush in the context of this set of wines but still scented and vibrant. Large-scaled, impressively dense and deep, with black fruit, licorice and spice flavors lifted by violet and mint elements; hints at superripe kirsch without coming across as porty. Conveys an impression of strong dry extract (actually around 31 grams per liter, according to Gibson). Really spreads out to saturate the entire palate without leaving any impression of weightiness. Very structured in a savory way. One of the elite Syrahs of New Zealand, this bottling was inaugurated in 2002 and is made in only the best years; it was not offered in 2012 or 2011.
95 pts Wine Enthusiast Top 100 Cellar Selection 2016 - #74
This full-bodied, richly tannic wine delivers. It starts off with savory notes of cracked pepper, black olives, violets and cedar, then eases into concentrated flavors of blueberries and roasted meat before ending with a flourish of firm, dusty tannins. Give it a few years to soften. Drink 2020–2030.
97 pts James Suckling Oct 2016
A super-polished wine that has a broad array of fruits: raspberry, blackberry and cassis, with white pepper, graphite and a clear whole-bunch lift. The palate has a powerful, focused core of concentrated dark plum and cassis, boldly spicy, then dark chocolate to close. Best from 2019.