Featured Reviews

Gladstone Vineyard and 12,000 Miles 2018 Releases and 2016 ‘Sophie’s Choice’

18 December,2018

After having put Gladstone Vineyard on the market for sale, it was announced earlier this year that ‘Odyssey Capital Group’ an Asian alternative asset company in partnership with ‘The Flying Winemaker’ Eddie McDougall had acquired the business from Christine and David Kernohan. Essentially it’s business as usual with Christine, winemaker Craig Fryett and other key staff staying on. It is pleasing to see a settled outcome in such circumstances, as no doubt, there is much more certainty in the future, and this will show in the more positive nature of the wines being made. Here, I review a selection of 12,000 Miles, the popular-drinking tier, and premium Gladstone Vineyard 2018 releases, plus the 2016 sophisticated oak-influenced ‘Sophie’s Choice’ Sauvignon Blanc.  The wines show the inclusion of some adventurous winemaking techniques. www.gladstonevineyard.co.nz


12,000 Miles Gladstone Pinot Gris 2018

Pinot Gris from New Zealand – Wairarapa & Wellington


Bright straw-yellow colour with light lemon-green hues, a little paler on the edge. The nose is gently full and packed with aromas of white and yellow stonefruits with nuances of white and yellow florals, hints of honeysuckle and stonefruit kernels. Dry to taste and medium-bodied, the palate has a rounded, deep core of sweet yellow stonefruits with lifted florals and notes of honeysuckle. The fruit forms a concentrated line with light, phenolic grainy textures lending balance to the fruitness. The acidity is integrated and the wine flows positively to a moderately lingering finish. This is a full, rounded, up-front dry Pinot gris with lush stonefruit flavours forming a rounded core with good vinosity and balanced phenolic textures. Match with Asian fare over the next 3 years. Fruit, 74% from ‘Manuka Flats’, 16.5% ‘Blairpatrick’ and 9% from the ‘Home’ blocks, fermented in stainless-steel to 12.5% alc. and 3.2 g/L RS, the wine aged 2 months on lees. 17.5/20 Dec 2018 RRP $21.00

Gladstone Vineyard Gladstone Rosé 2018

Rose from New Zealand – Wairarapa & Wellington


Bright, light salmon-pink colour with some depth, lighter on the edge. This has a very fine, tightly bond and elegant nose with delicate aromas of strawberries and red cherries, with subtle notes of red florals and mouthwatering mineral nuances. Fragrant confectionary notes emerge with aeration. Dry to taste and medium-bodied, the palate is slender in presentation with a fine core showing some depth and power. This has elegantly concentrated flavours of red cherries with lifted red florals along with a little confectionary. The flavours are aromatic and nuanced, and the wine flows with good acidity and energy along a light, thirst-quenching textured line leading to an elegant, lingering finish. This is a delicately fruited dry rosé with cherry and floral notes, with honied and confectionary elements and light, thirst-quenching textures. Serve with antipasto and tapas over the next 2 years. A blend of 40.4% Cabernet Franc, 32.3% Merlot and 27.3% Pinot Noir, given 2 hours skin contact and cool-fermented in tank, the Pinot Noir portion indigenous yeast fermented in barrel, to 13.0% alc. and 2.5 g/L RS. 17.5/20 Dec 2018 RRP $27.00

Gladstone Vineyard Gladstone Pinot Gris 2018

Pinot Gris from New Zealand – Wairarapa & Wellington


Full, light golden-yellow colour with some depth, a little lighter edged. This has a firm, rich nose with layered aromas of ripe yellow stonefruits with a dense amalgam of pear fruit, white and yellow florals and gentle honeysuckle elements with nuances of fresh herbs. Dry to taste and medium-full bodied, the palate is softly rich and gently mouthfilling with rounded flavours of yellow stonefruits along with pear and honeysuckle elements, unfolding delicate herbal nuances. The mouthfeel is softly rounded, but well-packed with a line of phenolic textures and extraction, along with integrated acidity lending richness. The structure and grip carries the wine to a long, lingering finish. This is a rounded, dry Pinot Gris with some phenolic textures and soft acidity on a palate with stonefruit and honied notes. Match with Middle Eastern cuisine over the next 3+ years. Fruit from the ‘Home’ block, 30% cool-fermented in stainless-steel, with 10% fermented on skins for 3 weeks, the remaining 60% fermented in seasoned oak, to 13.5% alc. and <1g/L RS, the wine given extended lees contact. 18.0/20 Dec 2018 RRP $27.00

Gladstone Vineyard Gladstone Viognier 2018

Viognier from New Zealand – Wairarapa & Wellington


Brilliant, pale straw-yellow colour with slight green hues, near colourless on the edge. This is very fresh and tight with intense and penetrating, but elegant aromas of white florals along with citrus zest, white stonefruits, unfolding lifted pear notes along with honeysuckle nuances. This has clarity and purity of expression. Dry to taste and medium-full bodied, the palate is taut and concentrated with penetrating flavours of white florals, pear elements, citrus blossom and apricot hints. The palate is refreshing and bright with lacy acidity enlivening the mouthfeel, and the wine flows along a light-textured phenolic line leading to a lingering dry finish of floral zest and apricots. This is a taut and concentrated dry Viognier with intense flavours of stonefuits, pears and honey. Match with Thai, Vietnamese and Japanese fare over the next 3+ years. Fruit from the Dakins Road and ‘Cliffs’ blocks, hand-picked and fermented in tank with 30% in seasoned oak to 14.0% alc. and 1.9 g/L RS. 18.5/20 Dec 2018 RRP $27.00

Gladstone Vineyard ‘Reserve – Sophie’s Choice’ Gladstone Barrel-Fermented Sauvignon Blanc 2016

Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand – Wairarapa & Wellington


Bright, light golden-hued straw-yellow colour with lemon-green hues, pale edged. The nose is softly full with an array of yellow stonefruit aromas with nutty oak, fresh herbs and waxy, lanolin suggestions along with oxidative complexities. This has good depth and intensity, unfolding spicy oak elements. Dry to taste and medium-bodied, the palate has an elegantly concentrated core of yellow stomefruits entwined with soft, nutty, oxidative notes along with waxy and lanolin flavours. The palate has a light, phenolic-textured grip and light, lacy acidity providing freshness and liveliness. The phenolics carry the wine to a long, textured finish with some drying grip. This is an elegant, oak-influenced Sauvignon Blanc with stonefruit, waxy lanolin and oxidative complexities on a phenolic-textured palate with some dry grip. Match with Mediterranean dishes over the next 3 years. Fruit from the ‘Home’ block, vines over 30 y.o., hand-picked and fermented in a new 500 L puncheon to 12.5% alc. and 1.62 g/L RS, the wine aged 8 months in barrel, then aged a further 4 months in tank, with approx. 15% MLF. 17.5-/20 Dec 2018 RRP $35.00

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