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Featured Reviews

Johner Estate 2016 Wairarapa Riesling and 2015 Gladstone Pinot Noir

27 April,2017
Johner Estate is the Wairarapa wine growing venture of Karl Heinz Johner, which he established at the end of Dakins Road, Gladstone in 2001. The operation complements his family winery in the Kaiserstuhl region in Germany. Both estates are focussed on Pinot Noir, and in the Gladstone vineyard there are 7.2 ha of varied Burgundian clones planted, followed by Sauvignon Blanc, and a dozen other varieties to make a diverse range of wines. The wines bridge the stylistic gap between the Old World and the New World, and are designed to complement food as a priority. Karl supplements his estate fruit with contracted local fruit. Karl has Raphael Burki from Switzerland as winemaker, with Johner since 2006. Tina Theedom is the vineyard manager, and Stephen Bates and Dale Morris support their work. Sara Bradey, well-known in the Wellington wine community, is the amiable cellar door manager. Here, I review the 2016 Wairarapa Riesling and 2015 Gladstone Pinot Noir, considered star varieties in both countries.


Johner Estate Wairarapa Riesling 2016

Riesling from New Zealand – Wairarapa & Wellington

Bright, very pale straw colour with slight green hues. This has an elegantly concentrated nose with delicate aromas of lime fruit, white florals unfolding jasmine and herb nuances and minerals. The fruit is expressed with mouth-watering purity. Medium-dry to taste and light-medium bodied, the palate is vibrant and lively with zesty flavours of lime fruit, exotic white florals, notes of sherbet, herbs and minerals. The mouthfeel is bright with refreshing cidity and the wine flows with good energy along a fine-textured phenolic threaded line, leading to a dry finish of limes and savoury minerals. This is a bright and lively, medium-dry Riesling with lime, exotic florals and sherbet flavours on a fine-textured, linear palate with a savoury mineral finish. Match with Chinese cuisine over the next 4+ years. Wairarapa fruit WBP and cool-fermented in stainless-steel to 12.0% alc. and 11.5 g/L RS, the wine ages 4 months on fine lees. 18.0/20 Apr 2017 RRP $20.00

Johner Estate Gladstone Pinot Noir 2015

Pinot Noir from New Zealand – Wairarapa & Wellington

Even ruby-red colour with some depth, lighter on the rim with slight garnet hues. The nose is full, broad and voluminous with deep and complex aromas of savoury dark-red berry fruits melded with dried herbs and whole bunch stalk detail, along with nuances of undergrowth, earth and mushroom suggestions. Medium-full bodied, the palate is elegantly concentrated with rich and sweet flavours of savoury red berry fruit interwoven with layers of complex dried herbs, whole bunch stalk detail and notes of undergrowth. The flavours unfold to fill the mouth, and are supported by fine-grained tannin extraction. This has fresh, lacy acidity and some underlying alcohol drive that carries the wine to a long, lingering, savoury and complex finish. This is a sweetly rich Pinot Noir with complex flavours of savoury red fruits, dried herbs and undergrowth on a finely extracted, lively palate. Match with game meat and casseroles over the next 5-6+ years. Clones 114, 115, 667, 777, 5 and Abel from the ‘Home Block’, given a cold soak and indigenous yeast fermented with 20% whole bunches to 14.0% alc., the wine on skins for 3 weeks and aged 12 months in 30% new French oak barrels. Bottled unfined and unfiltered. 18.5-/20 Apr 2017 RRP $39.00
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