Featured Reviews

Fifth Bridge Central Otago 2018 Rosé, and 2017 Pinot Gris, Riesling, Pinot Noir and LH Riesling

15 November,2018

The ‘Fifth Bridge’ label is ostensibly the second tier to the Dicey family’s ‘Ceres’ brand. Whereas the Ceres wines come exclusively from family owned vineyards in the Bannockburn area, the Fifth Bridge wines can be made from the wider Cromwell Basin area, from vineyards managed by James Dice’s viticultural business. While brother Matt Dicey makes many of the wines, Fifth Bridge can include wines made by other winemakers. The wines are designed to be more fruit-focussed and approachable, but still show regionality. Fifth Bridge is owned by James Dicey and his wife Odelle. The name is from the fifth bridge which connects Bannockburn and Cromwell. Here, I review the 2018 Rosé, and 2017 Pinot Gris, Riesling, Pinot Noir and Late Harvest Riesling. I have reviewed the 2017 Pinot Gris and Riesling before, and my notes are consistent (which is very pleasing)! www.cereswines.co.nz


Fifth Bridge Central Otago Rosé 2018

Rose from New Zealand – Otago


Bright eye-of-the-partridge colour with some peach-pink hues, lighter on the rim. The nose is softly full and gently concentrated with aromas of strawberries, quince and watermelon, unfolding subtle red floral and savoury stonefruit notes and a suggestion of confectionary. Off-dry to taste and medium-bodied, the palate has flavours of strawberries and quince with a little watermelon, forming a softly packed heart. The mouthfeel is rounded with light background acid freshness, the flavours up-front, but receding as the wine carries to a light, savoury floral and quince nuanced finish. This is a softly packed and rounded off-dry rosé with strawberry and quince flavours with some freshness and a light finish. Serve with antipasto and tapas over the next 2 years. 100% Pinot Noir from the Cromwell Basin, pressed direct for rosé and given 12 hours skin contact, cool-fermented in stainless-steel to 12.5% alc. and 12 g/L RS. 16.5/20 Nov 2018 RRP $19.95

Fifth Bridge Central Otago Pinot Gris 2017

Pinot Gris from New Zealand – Otago


Bright, light straw-yellow colour with a little pale gold, lighter on the rim. The nose is fresh and tightly bound, and quite elegant in proportion with finely concentrated aromas of white and yellow stonefruits entwined with subtle nutty notes and minerals, revealing a little floral lift. Medium-dry to taste and medium-bodied, the palate is fresh, bright and lively with a taut core of white and yellow stonefruits along with florals and hints of honey and minerals. The fruit flows along a light textured line with balanced acidity, carrying to a light, clean floral nuanced finish. This is a taut, medium-dry Pinot Gris with stonefruit, floral, honey and mineral flavours on a light-textured palate. Match with Asian and Middle Eastern cuisine over the next 3 years. 100% Pinot Gris from the Cromwell Basin, cool-fermented in tank to 13.5% alc. and 10.3 g/L RS. 17.0/20 Nov 2018 RRP $21.95

Bright straw-yellow colour with pale golden hues, lighter on the rim. The nose is fresh with full aromas of white and yellow stonefruits along with notes of pears and exotic florals, unfolding nuances of lifted fermentation esters and chalky mineral elements. Medium-dry to taste and medium-full bodied, the palate has a moderately deep and rounded heart with flavours of yellow stonefruits, pears and honeysuckle, and floral elements. The fruit is up-front and the palate has good presence, with fine textures and balanced, refreshing acidity. The wine carries positively to a light finish. This is an up-front medium-dry Pinot Gris with stonefruit, pear, floral and honied flavours with good palate presence. Match with Middle Eastern fare over the next 2-3 years. Pisa fruit fermented in stainless-steel to 13.5% alc. and 9.81 g/L RS. 17.0+/20 Mar 2018 RRP $21.95

Fifth Bridge Central Otago Riesling 2017

Riesling from New Zealand – Otago


Bright, even, light straw-yellow colour, pale on the rim. The nose is elegantly presented with fine and penetrating aromas of lime fruit along with an amalgam of white and yellow florals, a little honeysuckle and emerging toasty interest. This is softly refreshing with notes of thirst-quenching chalky minerals, unfolding some musky hints. Medium in sweetness and light-bodied, the mouthfeel is brisk and lively with a tight core of lime fruit, honeysuckle and florals with a little toastiness, minerals and musk. The palate has a light-textured phenolic line, and the wine flows with good energy leading to a light finish. This is a taut and brisk medium Riesling with lime and floral flavours with honey and musk detail on a light textured palate line. Serve with Thai, Vietnamese and Japanese cuisine over the next 3+ years. Fruit from the Cromwell Basin, cool-fermented in tank to dryness, then blended back with some Late Harvest Riesling wine. This is 10.5% alc., 25 g/L RS, with a TA of 7.78 g/L and pH 3.1. 17.0+/20 Nov 2018 RRP $21.95

Bright pale straw-yellow colour with slight green hues, paler edged. The nose is elegantly presented with a softly concentrated core of white florals and subtle citrus fruit notes, and a layer of honeysuckle and musk. The aromatics are quit accessible. Medium in sweetness, the palate has a taut and tightly bound core and line, with finely concentrated flavours of lime fruit, honey and lifted florals, along with a musky overlay. The fruit is underlined by light phenolic textures with crisp acidity lending vitality to the palate. The structure carries the musky flavours to a tight, lingering finish. This is a tightly bound medium Riesling with a core of citrus, floral, honey and musk flavours on a slightly grippy, textured palate. Match with Thai, Vietnamese and Japanese cuisine over the next 3 years. Pisa fruit cool-fermented in stainless-steel to 10.6% alc. and 25.2 g/L RS. 16.5+/20 Mar 2018 RRP $21.95

Fifth Bridge Central Otago Pinot Noir 2017

Pinot Noir from New Zealand – Otago


Dark, deep ruby-red colour with slight purple hues, a little lighter on the edge. The nose is elegant in proportion with a firm and deep core with an amalgam of dark-red and black cherry and berry fruit melded with dark thyme herbs, unfolding violet florals along with subtle notes of earth. Medium-full bodied, the palate has intense and tightly bound flavours of bitter cherries and dark-red and black berry fruit entwined with dark herb and earthy notes and a little nutty oak. The fruit is firmly bound at the heart and is underlined by light, grainy tannin structure with balanced acidity. The wine carries smoothly to an elegant, firm finish of dark fruits and herbs. This is a moderately firm and deep Pinot Noir with bitter cherry and dark-red berry fruits entwined with dark herbs on a grainy, structured palate. Match with casseroles and slow-cooked game meat dishes over the next 4-5 years. Fruit from the Cromwell Basin, destemmed and fermented with a small portion of whole clusters to 14.0% alc., the wine aged 10 months in French oak. 17.5/20 Nov 2018 RRP $29.95

Fifth Bridge Central Otago Late Harvest Riesling 2017

Sweet Wine from New Zealand – Otago


Bright, light golden-yellow colour with some depth, a little lighter edged. Softly full and a little shy in expression, the nose is gently packed with aromas of ripe citrus and tropical fruit along with honey, nectar and marmalade, with a layering of musky botrytis. A thread of refreshing minerality shows in the aromatics. Very sweet to taste and light-bodied, the palate has a rich and luscious core of ripe tropical fruit and citrus fruit with notes of honey and nectar with musky botrytis. The flavours have an ethereal quality and open in volume, gently filling the palate. The mouthfeel is refreshing with lively acidity balancing the sweetness, and the wine carries easily to a musky, honied finish. This is a rich and luscious up-front, honied Late Harvest Riesling with ripe tropical and citrus fruit with musky botrytis on a palate with good freshness and balance. Match with fruit and baked desserts over the next 4 years. Late harvested fruit, the grapes with shrivel to raisins, cool-fermented to 11.0% alc. and 116 g/L RS, TA 8.88 g/L and pH 3.26. (375 ml) 18.0-/20 Nov 2018 RRP $29.95

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