Craggy Range Gimblett Gravels Vineyard Syrah 2004
Firstlight Venison Carpaccio, Walnut, Chioggia, and Juniper
This pairing showcases two of New Zealand’s prized regional products at their lightest and most ethereally delicious: the venison of Firstlight Farm and the Syrah of Craggy Range. From their Gimblett Gravels vineyard, with 120 hectares of land acquired from a mining enterprise, Craggy Range produces a Syrah,called “Block 14”, that typifies the nuance of the varietal while also faithfully expressing the vintage. For instance, this particular Syrah has less pepper than normal and is slightly softer, the result of a cooler summer in Hawke’s Bay. The soft heat of the wine, with its delicate dark fruit, is well matched by the thin, cured slices of pepper-crusted venison, accompanied by walnuts, beets, juniper, watercress, and pomegranate. The earthy, peppery, nutty, sweet, and tart flavors of the accompaniments gently resonate with the Syrah, reinforcing the robustness of venison without interrupting its lightness as a carpaccio.