Featured Reviews




Gibbston Valley 2016 ‘Gold River’, ‘GV’ and ‘Single Vineyard’ Pinot Noirs

25 October,2017
Gibbston Valley is one of the pioneering winegrowers of Central Otago, with founder Alan Brady planting vines in 1983 for the first commercial vintage in 1987. The business has grown enormously since then, becoming the largest and most popular cellar door in the region, offering a complete visitor experience. Originally a Gibbston sub-region producer, the company now has significant holdings in the Bendigo sub-region in addition to the Gibbston vineyards. The branding has recently undergone a revitalisation. The ‘Gold River’ wines offer Central Otago expression at an affordable pricing. The premium ‘GV Collection’ comprises the classic Central Otago bottlings by the company. At the top are the ‘Single Vineyard’ wines, these utilising the best fruit from the unique vineyard sites to make terroir-based wines. The flagship wine is the ‘Reserve’ Pinot Noir. Over recent years, I’ve seen the latter tier wines sitting with the best of Central Otago. Chris Keys is the chief winemaker, assisted by Sascha Herbert and Matt Swirtz. The viticulture comes under the care of Grant Rolston and Gary Ford of ‘Vinewise’. Gibbston Valley regard 2016 as a "generally warm” vintage with an "elongated ripening period” resulting in slightly larger than average yields and fulsome flavours, with lower than normal acid levels, and matching, desirable lower sugar levels. Here, I review the 2016 vintage releases of Pinot Noir, these being the ‘Gold River’ ‘GV Collection’ and single vineyard wines ‘China Terrace’, ‘School House’, ‘Glenlee’ and ‘Le Maitre’. www.gibbstonvalley.com

FEATURED WINES IN THIS REVIEW



Gibbston Valley ‘Gold River’ Central Otago Pinot Noir 2016

Pinot Noir from New Zealand – Otago

18+/20
Even, dark ruby-red colour with some depth and slight purple hues, lighter on the rim. The nose is full, dense and solidly packed with dark-red and black berried fruits along with a layering of thyme herbs and some earthy and minerally notes. Medium-full bodied, the palate has sweetly ripe dark raspberry and blackberry fruit with hints of plums and thyme herbs adding interest. The fruit is rich and luscious and forms a deeply packed heart. The tannins are supple and provide plenty of structure, and the mouthfeel is enlivened by fresh, lacy acidity. The flavours carry with good energy to a lingering finish of dark-red fruits with thyme herb elements. This is a solidly packed, ripe and luscious Pinot Noir with dark raspberry and thyme herb flavours on a well-structured, lively palate. Match with lamb, beef and vensison dishes over the next 5-6+ years. A mix of Dijon clones from three vineyards, 50% Bendigo and 50% Gibbston fruit, fermented with a low percentage of whole clusters to 13.5% alc., the wine aged 9-10 months in French oak. 18.0+/20 Oct 2017 RRP $25.30

Gibbston Valley ‘GV Collection’ Central Otago Pinot Noir 2016

Pinot Noir from New Zealand – Otago

18.5+/20
Even ruby-red colour, a little lighter on the edge. The nose is elegant with soft, fragrant aromas of dark-red cherry and berry fruit, unfolding dark-red and violet florals with subtle notes of herbs. This is refined and possesses good aromatic intensity. Medium-full bodied, the palate has vibrantly aromatic dark-red cherry fruit melded with bright floral notes and subtle herbal nuances. The palate has good depth and intensity with a fine, concentrated core. The fruit is supported by fine-grained, flowery tannin extraction with fresh, balanced acidity adding to the vitality and richness. The flavours carry to a long, lingering, aromatic, cherry-fruited finish. This is a vibrant and aromatic Pinot Noir with dark-red cherry and floral flavours on a fine-grained palate. Match with poultry and pork dishes over the next 6-7+ years. Hand-picked fruit, clones 5, 6, 115, 667 and 777, from 4 Bendigo vineyards and one Gibbston site, comprising 95% and 5% of the blend respectively, fermented with 18% whole clusters to 14.0% alc., the wine aged 10 months in 20% new French oak. 18.5+/20 Oct 2017 RRP $46.00

Gibbston Valley ‘China Terrace’ Bendigo Central Otago Pinot Noir 2016

Pinot Noir from New Zealand – Otago

19/20
Dark ruby-red colour with hints of garnet, lighter on the edge. The nose is voluminous with an array of aromatics, showing dark-red cherry and berry fruit along with dark and dried herbs, savoury whole bunch stalk complexities and lifted dark-red florals. The nose grows in depth and density with aeration unfolding oak elements. Medium-full bodied, the palate has full and deeply concentrated flavours of sweetly ripe black and dark-red cherry and berry fruit with nuances of raspberry liqueur, and a layering of complexing dark herbs and whole bunch stalk perfumes. The fruit is encased b plenty of fine-grained tannin extraction with integrated acidity. The flavours are carried by the structure to a long, sustained, grainy-textured finish. This is a fulsome Pinot Noir with an array of dark-red cherry and berry fruit with dark herb and whole bunch complexities on a well-structured palate. Hand-picked fruit, clones 777 and 667 from the 320 m ‘China Terrace’ vineyard, Bendigo, fermented with on average, 49% whole clusters to 14.0% alc. the wine aged 11 months in 30% new French oak. 19.0/20 Oct 2017 RRP $65.00

Gibbston Valley ‘School House’ Bendigo Central Otago Pinot Noir 2016

Pinot Noir from New Zealand – Otago

19.5-/20
Full, dark, ruby-red colour with good depth and slight purple hues, youthful in appearance. This has a refined, tightly bound and concentrated core of aromatic dark-red cherry fruit lifted by dark-red and violet florals, entwined with subtle layers of dark herbs, with nuances of whole bunch stalk perfumes and spicy oak notes. The nose is beautifully refined and elegant in expression. Medium-full bodied, the palate has sweetly rich and lusciously ripe, fragrant and aromatic dark cherry and berry fruit along with violet florals. The fruit is complexed by subtle dark herb and whole bunch notes and some lifted, spicy oak. The tannin extraction is very fine, lending a velvety texture. The wine flows along a fine line to a sustained, aromatic finish. This is a beautifully aromatic Pinot Noir with red cherry and floral fruit with complex herb and whole bunch nuances, and fine, powdery tannin extraction. Serve with wild duck and pork dishes over the next 7-10+ years. Hand-picked fruit, clones 114, 115, 5, 6,667 and 777 from the 420 m ‘School House’ site, Bendigo, fermented with on average 50% whole bunches to 14.5% alc., the wine aged 11 months in 28% new French oak. 19.5-/20 Oct 2017 RRP $65.00

Gibbston Valley ‘Glenlee’ Central Otago Gibbston Pinot Noir 2016

Pinot Noir from New Zealand – Otago

19+/20
Dark ruby-red colour with some depth, lighter on the rim. The nose is firmly concentrated with a soft, but densely packed core of dark-red cherry fruit entwined with fragrant dark-red and violet florals, complexed by subtle fresh and dark herb notes and nuances of whole bunch stalk elements. This has good depth and intensity, and beautiful perfumes. Medium-full bodied, the palate is sweetly rich with dark-red cherry and berry fruit with plum notes, interwoven with violet florals. Subtle dark herb and whole bunch stalk detail, with hints of spicy oak add interest and complexity. The fruit is underlined by soft, fine-grained tannin extraction that allows the fruit to show some plumpness and opulence. The flavours are mouthfilling and carry gently to a soft, aromatic finish of dark fruits, florals and spices. This is a sweet, rich and plush Pinot Noir with dark berry fruit, subtle herb detail and spicy oak elements on a soft-textured palate with a degree of opulence. Hand-picked fruit, clones 115, 777 and 114, from the close-planted ‘Glenlee’ vineyard, Gibbston, indigenous yeast fermented with on average 20% whole clusters to 14% alc., the wine aged 11 months in 26% new French oak. 19.0+/20 Oct 2017 RRP $65.00

Gibbston Valley ‘Le Maitre’ Gibbston Central Otago Pinot Noir 2016

Pinot Noir from New Zealand – Otago

19.5/20
Full, dark ruby-red colour with black hues. The nose is full and deeply concentrated, packed with layers of complex dark red and black fruits harmoniously entwined with dark herbs and lifted violet floral nuances with subtle earthy elements. The aromatics are quite complete in expression. Medium-full bodied, the palate has powerful and intense flavours of black and dark-red cherry fruit melded with plum, dark herb and floral nuances. The fruit is rich and forms a well-concentrated driven line, with fine, grainy tannins in support, and balanced, integrated acidity. The palate possesses fruit richness and power, and the wine shows drive, energy and linearity, carrying to a densely packed, firm finish of black fruits, herbs and florals. This is a powerfully driven and intense black cherry and berry fruited Pinot Noir with fine tannin structure, and plenty of drive and length. Match with slow-cooked game meat and casseroles over the next 8-10 years. Hand-picked 10/5 clone fruit, from the original ‘Home Block’, Gibbston, vines up to 33 y.o., fully destemmed and indigenous yeast fermented to 13.5% alc., the wine aged 11 months in 30% new French oak. Certified BioGro organic. 12 barrels made. 19.5/20 Oct 2017 RRP $100.00
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