Featured Reviews




Georges Road 2016 Rosé and Pinot Gris, 2014 Rose and Pinot Noir, and Syrah 2015 and 2016

22 June,2017
It has been a little while since I caught up with the Georges Road Waipara wines of Kirk Bray. Being a sole-charge operator Kirk is a busy man running all aspects of his wine venture. He tells me he is still doing a little consulting for a small number of clients. In the meantime, he has built an on-site winery and a tasting room serving as a cellar door, which is fir Kirk, a dream come true. His 8 ha vineyard, rectangular in shape, provides him with his Pinot Gris and Syrah, as well as his Riesling, the latter taking up 4 ha. The Pinot Noir comes from the ‘Williams’ vineyard next to Black Estate. Kirk has decided to halve the amount of Riesling, taking out 2ha, with the view to replanting Gewurztraminer and Chardonnay. The broadening of the portfolio will add interest and strength to his range. Here, I review his current releases, the 2016 Rosé and Pinot Gris, the 2014 Riesling, the 2014 Riesling for another look, plus the 2015 and 2016 Syrahs, the 2015 sold out now due to the small crop. www.georgesroadwines.co.nz

FEATURED WINES IN THIS REVIEW



Georges Road ‘Les Terrasses’ Waipara Rosé 2016

Rose from New Zealand – Canterbury & Waipara

18.5/20
Bright, peach-salmon pink colour with some depth, lighter on the edge. The nose is fresh and bright with aromatic fruit notes of strawberries and redcurrants along with pomegranate and an amalgam of red florals and fresh herbs. Dry to taste and light-medium bodied, the palate has fresh, firm, lusciously mouthwatering flavours of strawberries, redcurrants and pomegranates, along with lifted red florals. The mouthfeel is bright and lively with crisp acidity, and the wine flows along a fine-textured phenolic line leading to a thirst-quenching finish of soft red fruits and florals. This is a fresh, brisk, mouthwatering dry rosé with flavours of strawberries, redcurrants and pomegranate with lifted florals on a fine-featured, lively palate. Serve as an aperitif, with canapes and antipasto over the next 2 years. Hand-picked MS clone Syrah fruit, destemmed and crushed, and indigenous yeast fermented in tank to 12.3% alc. and 2.5 g/L RS, the wine aged on lees. 200 dozen made. 18.5/20 Jun 2017 RRP $21.00

Georges Road ‘Selection’ Waipara Pinot Gris 2016

Pinot Gris from New Zealand – Canterbury & Waipara

18+/20
Bright, even straw-yellow colour with slight lemon-gold hues, a little lighter on the edge. The nose is elegantly presented with pure white and yellow stonefruit aromas along with white florals and a subtle amalgam of nutty lees and oak hints, unfolding a little honeysuckle. This is delicate, but grows in depth and intensity with aeration. Dryish to taste and medium-full bodied, the palate has a rich, rounded core of ripe white and yellow stonefruits with savoury florals and subtle nutty notes. The fruit is lusciously ripe and the palate possesses good weight and presence with some alcolic power. The wine flows positively along a smooth phenolic line with integrated acidity, leading to a long, soft, stonefruited finish with nuances of honeysuckle and spice. This is a fulsome dryish Pinot Gris with plenty of presence and power with restrained stoneftuit flavours and complexing nunces on a smooth, rounded palate. Match with poultry, pork and veal dishes over the next 4 years. Hand-picked fruit, clones 2/15, Ovaille and Barrie, indigenous yeast fermented in seasoned French oak to 13.5% alc. and 6.0 g/L RS, the wine aged 6 months on lees with batonnage. 450 dozen made. 18.0+/20 Jun 2017 RRP $25.00

Georges Road ‘Block Three’ Waipara Riesling 2014

Riesling from New Zealand – Canterbury & Waipara

17.5+/20
Bright straw-yellow colour with yellow-green hues, lighter on the rim. This has a full and voluminous nose of savoury lime fruit entwined with notes of minerals, toast and some secondary development aromas. This has good depth and penetration. Medium-dry to taste and light-medium bodied, the palate possesses an elegant and tightly concentrated core of lime fruit with savoury florals, toast and mineral elements. The flavours have depth and drive, and flows along a very fine-textured line with good tension and energy, leasing to a long and sustained finish of lime, and toastu notes. Full on bouquet, this has an elegantly concentrated palate of lime fruit with savoury toast and mineral secondary detail on a fine, driven palate. Serve as an aperitif and with Asian and Middle Eastern fare over the next 3-4 years. Hand-picked fruit, WBP and indigenous yeasts in tank to 12.1% alc. and 9.8 g/L RS, TA 7.9 g/L and pH 3.0, the wine aged on lees with some batonnage. 250 dozen made. 17.5+/20 Jun 2017 RRP $23.00

Georges Road ‘Williams Hill’ Waipara Pinot Noir 2014

Pinot Noir from New Zealand – Canterbury & Waipara

18-/20

Dark, deep ruby-red colour with black hues at the heart, showing a little garnet on the edge. The bouquet is softly full and voluminous with harmoniously melded aromas of savoury dark-red berry fruits along with dark herbs and earthy and game-like secondary development detail. The nose builds to form a solid core. Medium-full bodied, the palate is rich and juicy with sweet and luscious flavours of dark-red berry fruit along with layers of savoury dried herbs and nuances of undergrowth, earth and game, showing some bottle development. The flavours are harmoniously melded, and the fruit supported by fine-grained tannin extraction and structure. Light, lacy acidity enlivens the mouthfeel. The fruit sweetness carries to a long, lingering finish of savoury secondary interest. This is a rich and sweet-fruited Pinot Noir with savoury dark-red berry fruit and undergrowth, earth and game complexities on a fine-textured palate. Match with wild duck and pork over the next 4 years. Clones 5, 115, 667 and 777 from the ‘Williams Hill’ vineyard, hand-picked, destemmed and indigenous yeast fermented to 13.5% alc., the wine spending 32 days on skins and aged 15 months in 25% new French oak. 150 dozen made. 18.0-/20 Jun 2017 RRP $33.00

Very dark, deep, ruby-red colour with black hues and lighter purple hues on the rim. This has a full, solid and dense nose packed with aromas od savoury dark-red and black-berried fruits interwoven with savoury herbal and stalk complexities, and subtle game and earth notes. This has a herbal piquancy that lifts the nose. Medium-full bodied, the palate features brightly rich and succulent flavours of savoury dark-red and black berried fruits enlivened by fresh, lacy acidity. Nuances of dried herbs, stalky perfumes and bitter cherry elements add detail. The fruit is supported by supple tannins and the wine is carried by the extract and grip to a soft, dry finish with flavours of earth and dark raspberries. This is a rich, sweet-fruited Pinot Noir with some herbal complexities and a supple, fresh palate. Match with wild duck and pork, and with mushroom risotto over the next 4-5+ years. Hand-picked fruit, clones 5, 115, 667 and 777 from the ‘Williams Hill’ vineyard, destemmed and indigenous yeast fermented to 13.5% alc., the wine spending 32 days on skins and aged 15 months in 25% new French oak. 300 cases made. 18.0/20 Dec 2015 RRP $32.50

Georges Road ‘Block One’ Waipara Syrah 2015

Syrah from New Zealand – Canterbury & Waipara

18.5-/20
Very dark, deep, near impenetrable black-hued ruby-red colour with youthful purple hues, a little lighter on the rim. The nose is elegantly concentrated with deep and intense, penetrating aromas of ripe blackberry fruit entwined with minerally reduction notes, along with dark herbs and earthy elements, unfolding dark-red and black florals with aeration. Medium-full bodied, the palate has a well-concentrated, but elegantly proportioned flavours of ripe, succulently vibrant blackberry fruit with notes of dark herbs, liquorice, earth and minerals, revealing black pepper with some minerally reduction and toasty oak. The palate is vibrant and bright with fine-grained tannin extraction in support, and fresh, lacy acidity providing good energy. This carries to a long, lingering finish of black fruits, pepper and minerals. This is a bright, vibrant, succulently sweet, black-fruited Syrah with dark herb and minerally reduction complexities on a fresh, fine-textured palate. Match with grilled and roasted game meat dishes over the next 6-8+ years. Hand-picked fruit, MS clone destemmed without crushing and indigenous yeast fermented to 13.5% alc., the wine spending 26 days n skins and aged 10 months in 2 and 3 y.o. French oak. 400 dozen made. Sold out. 18.5-/20 Jun 2017 RRP $30.00

Georges Road ‘Block One’ Waipara Syrah 2016

Syrah from New Zealand – Canterbury & Waipara

18+/20
Even, black-hued ruby-red colour with youthful purple tints, lighter on the edge. The nose is elegantly presented with fragrant and aromatic dark-red and black berried fruits entwined with dark herbs, along with suggestions of stalks and cassis liqueur, unfolding black pepper, This has a finely concentrated core that builds in depth in the glass. Medium-full bodied, the palate has a concentrated and elegant core of blackberry fruit melded with dark herbs, currants and black pepper notes, unfolding black and dark-red florals. The palate is very fine-grained in texture with ripe and supple, but considerable tannins, along with integrated acidity. This has good energy and linearity, and the wine carries to an elegant, long lingering finish of black fruits, dark-red florals, pepper and herbs. This is an elegant, aromatic and fragrant Syrah with black berried fruits, black pepper and dark herbal notes with floral subtleties on a fine-grained, supple palate. Match with herb-narinated pork, beef and lamb dishes over the next 6-7+ years. Hand-picked MS clone fruit destemmed and indigenous yeast fermented to 13.8% alc., the wine spending 22-26 days on skins and aged 10 months in 20% new French oak. 500 dozen made. 18.0+/20 Jun 2017 RRP $30.00
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