Featured Reviews

Brennan 2017 Riesling and ‘Trio’, 2015 ‘B2’ Pinot Noir and 2014 Pinot Noir

12 July,2018

The Brennan family have a long association with the Gibbston region of Central Otago and began their wine journey as contract growers from their Gibbston vineyard to Peregrine in 1994. Sean Brennan established the family’s own label with the 2006 vintage. There are a number of eclectic wines from the 13 ha vineyard which gives Brennan a point of difference, made possible by small batch vinification. The Brennans tend to the viticulture and Sean has Lou Coutts assisting him in the winemaking role. In 2017 the Brennans began bottling and labelling some of their wines on-site. Here, I review the 2017 Riesling and ‘Trio’ a blend of Gewurztraminer, Riesling and Muscat, the second label 2015 ‘B2’ Pinot Noir, and 2014 Brennan Pinot Noir. www.brennanwines.com


Brennan Gibbston Central Otago Riesling 2017

Riesling from New Zealand – Otago


Bright, light straw-yellow colour with slight green hues, pale edged. The nose is elegant in expression with fresh, light aromas of white florals entwined with subtle notes of lime fruit and mouthwatering wet-stone minerals. This is youthfully taut and under the SO2 the fruit has purity. Off-dry to taste and light-medium bodied, the palate is elegant in proportion with a sleek line of lime fruit, white florals and minerals. The flavours form a taut and fine core with good linearity, and the wine carries along a fine line of fruit extract textures with refreshing acidity providing energy. The flavours carry to a long, slender, but sustained finish. This is an elegant and taut dryish Riesling with florals, citrus and minerals on a sleek line with brisk acidity. Serve as an aperitif and with seafood over the next 4-5+ years. Riesling fruit tank-fermented to 12.0% alc. and 5 g/L RS, TA 11 g/L and pH 3.1. 18.0/20 Jul 2018 RRP $33.00

Brennan ‘Trio’ Gibbston Central Otago Gewurztraminer/Riesling/Muscat 2017

Blended White from New Zealand – Otago


Brilliant, even, light straw-yellow colour with green hues. The nose is finely proportioned with good depth and intensity of rose-petal and exotic florals with hints of citrus fruits and a suggestion of musk. This is refreshing and steely, quite youthful in expression. Medium-dry to taste and medium-bodied, the palate has lively and bright flavours rose-petals and exotic florals, hints of Turkish Delight and spices, along with citrus fruit and musk hints. The fruit is mouthfilling with a good heart. The mouthfeel is rounded with a little unctuousness, balanced by fresh, lacy acidity. The wine carries to a long, fragrant finish. This is a bright and lively aromatic blended white with rose-petal, exotic florals and a rounded palate and fresh, balancing acidity. Match with Thai, Vietnamese and Japanese cuisine over the next 3-4 years. A blend of 45% each Gewurztraminer and Riesling with 10% Muscat, cool-fermented in tank to 12.5% alc. and 8 g/L RS. 18.0-/20 Jul 2018 RRP $29.00

Brennan ‘B2’ Central Otago Pinot Noir 2015

Pinot Noir from New Zealand – Otago


Dark, deep, ruby-red colour with light purple hues, a little paler on the rim. The nose is firmly concentrated with a deep and well-packed core of black cherry fruit with dark raspberry notes, entwined with dark herbs and some whole bunch stalk elements. The nose has a soft density and solidness to the presentation. Medium-full bodied, the palate has rich and juicy flavours of dark-red and black cherries interwoven with fresh and dark herbs, and subtle whole bunch suggestions. The flavours form a concentrated, but rounded core that offers accessibility. The fruit is underlined by light, grainy tannin structure with fresh acidity lending tension and energy. The wine carries to a soft, full, moderately long finish. This is a rounded, rich Pinot Noir with accessible flavours of dark-red and black cherries with herb notes and fresh acidity. Match with poultry, pork, beef and lamb over the next 4+ years. Gibbston estate fruit, clones 10/5, 5, 115, 667, 777 and Abel, fermented partially by indigenous yeasts with 20% whole clusters to 13.5% alc., the wine aged 10.5 months in 27% new oak. 17.5/20 Jul 2018 RRP $35.00

Brennan Gibbston Central Otago Pinot Noir 2014

Pinot Noir from New Zealand – Otago


Dark ruby-red colour with some depth, lighter on the edge. The bouquet is elegantly presented with voluminous, ethereal aromas of dark-red and black cherry fruit along with a thread of dark and fresh herbs, with whole bunch stalk perfumes, unfolding dark-red florals. This has a tight core and the classical cool edginess of Gibbston. Medium-full bodied, the palate is finely proportioned with sleek, but intense flavours of dark-red and black cherry fruit intermixed with notes of dark herbs and dark-red florals. The flavours unfold to fill the palate with ethereal fragrance, all supported by fine-grained, flowery tannin extraction with balanced acidity. The palate has good linearity and drive, carrying to a very long, taut finish. This is a finely presented Pinot Noir with black cherry fruit integrated with dark herbs and florals and ethereal perfumes on a fine-textured palate. Match with poultry and pork dishes over the next 6-8 years. Fruit from the estate Gibbston vineyard, clones 10/5, 5, 115, 667, 777, Abel and 6, fermented partially by indigenous yeasts to 13.5% alc., the wine aged 11 months in 45% new oak. 18.5/20 Jul 2018 RRP $65.00

Even ruby-red colour, a little lighter on the edge. This has a full, broad and well-packed nose with deep and complex aromas of vibrant, dark-red and black-berried fruits along with subtle notes of dark herbs, spice, earthy detail and some lifted oak, unfolding suggestions of violet and black-red florals. Medium-full bodied, the palate possesses sweetly rich and bright fruit flavours of dark red berry fruit with savoury cherry elements, along with nuances of fresh, dark herbs, revealing a little earth, spice and red florals. The fruit is enlivened by fresh, lacy acidity and supported by fine-grained, supple tannin extraction, and the wine flows with energy and tension, carrying to a long, elegant finish. This is an elegant, sweet and vibrant fruited Pinot Noir with freshness, detail and supple structure. Match with duck and pork dishes over the next 5-6 years. Clones 5, 667, 777, 115, 10/5 and 6 from Brennan vineyards, fermented with 15% indigenous yeasts and 15-20% whole bunches to 13.5% alc., the wine on skins 30 days and aged 11 months in 45% new oak. 702 dozen made. 18.5-/20 Jan 2017 RRP $55.00
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