(2012) Iona Estate in Elgin has built a formidable reputation for its cool climate white wines. But here winemaker Andrew Gunn has sprung a bit of surprise with a full-on, powerful red that is aged in French oak barrels (25% new) and is a pan-French blend of 80% Syrah, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon and bits and pieces of Merlot, Petit Verdot, Mourvèdre and the white grape Viognier. The wine pours a really intense, glass-staining purple colour and has a soaring nose, very expressive of kirsch and violet, with peppery and clove notes too. On the palate this is beautifully pure and supple, the 14% alcohol sitting comfortably within dense, fleshy fruit, very ripe and polished tannins and a framework of both chocolaty richness and pert acidity. It's a smooth devil of a wine this, but a very nice one for beef or game.