Hawkshead 2017 Pinot Gris. 2015 Riesling and Bannockburn Pinot Noir, and 2014 ‘First Vines’ Pinot Noir
Smoking Loon, La Crema, McManis and The Crusher Releases
Two Sisters Central Otago Pinot Gris 2016
Clearview Estate 2016 ‘Old Olive Block’, Enigma’ and ‘The Basket Press’
Ceres 2017 ‘Swansong’ Pinot Gris and 2016 ‘Composition’ Pinot Noir
Vicarage Lane Canterbury Pinot Noir 2016
Paddy Borthwick 2017 Riesling and Chardonnay, and 2016 Left Hand and Right Hand Pinot Noirs
Trinity Hill Hawke’s Bay Chardonnay 2016
Villa Maria ‘Ngakirikiri’ Cabernet Sauvignon 2014
Paxton ‘NOW’ Shiraz 2017 and Hogshead Cabernet Sauvignon 2015
Kuru Kuru and Tarras Vineyards Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2017
Red Queen Marlborough Pinot Nor Rosé 2017
Waipara Valley Wines Blanc de Blanc, 2016 Sauvignon, and 2016 Pinot Noir
Elephant Hill 2016 Sauvignon Blanc and Reserve Chardonnay
Aix Rosé, A Torres Selection and Lustau Vermut from EuroVintage
Mills Reef 2017 ‘Reserve’ Pinot Gris and Chardonnay
Nevis Bluff ‘Duke of Cromwell’ Pinot Blanc 2017, and 2017 Rosé, 2014 Pinot Gris and 2013 Pinot Noir
Smith and Sheth ‘CRU’ Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay and Syrah Releases
Palliser Estate Martinborough Pinot Gris 2017
Karikari Estates 2014 ‘Calypso’ and 2015 Chardonnays, 2016 Viognier and 2015 Syrah and Pinotage
Auntsfield 2016 ‘Single Vineyard’ Chardonnay and Pinot Noir
The Crossings ‘Wild’ Awatere Sauvignon Blanc 2016
Pisa Range Estate‘ Black Poplar’ Central Otago Pinot Noir 2015
Z Wine ‘Rustica’ ‘Reserve’ Barossa Valley Shiraz 2015
Grava Wines 2016 Martinborough Sauvignon, Rosé, Riesling and Pinot Noir
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General Blog

Georges Road in Wellington


It’s always good to see Kirk Bray of Georges Road in Wellington. His wines from the Waipara Valley are well-received in the city. I like the wines and Kirk’s laconic humour, and the combination of the two make for a fun time.

Since Kirk commissioned his on-site winery in time for the 2015 vintage, winemaking has suddenly become a lot easier and much less of a logistical issue. He has halved the amount of Riesling in the ground to 2 ha, and is still considering what to plant in its place. His customers say Chardonnay, and his heart says Gewurztraminer, as he loves it despite the difficulties in growing it, getting a decent crop, and selling it! However, increasing Syrah might be a good call, due to the demand for the variety when made in Waipara. I’ve suggested if he is looking at an emerging variety, then Albarino may be the one, as his neighbours over the road at Terrace Edge have done.

The 2017 growing season was indeed a difficult one, with the rains in the latter part of that period. His early season whites look "awesome”, but the Riesling also held its integrity to result in a very good wine. In the winery, there is a ‘Reserve’ style Syrah in the works. From the excellent 2016 vintage, Kirk held back 10 barrels from 30 to give the wine extended oaking and time to grow more complex. It will be one to look forward to.

His first 2017 release is the ‘Terasses” Rosé. Made from a parcel of Syrah grown and picked for the style, rather than saignee, he’s pretty pleased with it. The earlier picking of the grapes meant it came in, in the condition he wanted, rather than be dictated by the impending rain. I was impressed with the 2016 (click here to see my review), and the 2017 is a great follow-on. Pale in colour, the aromatics show strawberry, quince and cranberry, with some refreshing and positive herb notes. On the palate bone dry (2.0 g/L RS), with a taut and concentrated linear drive. There’s delicate fruitiness, with thirst-quenching acidity, along with fine, dry phenolics. Kirk isn’t aiming for the Provencal style, but just making a wine he likes to drink. However, it would look good in a line-up of southern French rosé wines. It sells at RRP $22.00.

Kirk will be sending his new release wines for full review soon. Look out for them.

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