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Featured Reviews




Johner Estate 2017 Rose, Whites and Nobles, and 2015 and 2014 Reds

07 December,2017

Established in 2001, Johner Estate is the Wairarapa winegrowing venture of Karl Heinz Johner whose family has a sister winery in the Kaiserstuhl region of Germany. The 15 ha Gladstone vineyard has 7.2 ha devoted to Pinot Noir, but Karl and his winemaker Raphael Burki since 2006, make a mind-boggling array of wines, often incorporating contracted fruit, which demonstrates their skills and confidence. Their aim is to produce food-friendly styles, which may be less fruit-forward than most other wines from the region, but the stylishness and textures compensate. Here, I review a selection of 2017 rosé, white and sweet noble wines along with reds from the 2015 and 2014 vintages. www.johner-estate.com

FEATURED WINES IN THIS REVIEW



Johner Estate Wairarapa Pinot Noir Rosé 2017

Rose from New Zealand – Wairarapa & Wellington

18-/20

Bright, light pink colour with some depth, a little lighter on the rim. The nose is firm and taut with good depth of watermelon, quince and cranberry fruit aromas along with light floral fragrances, unfolding mouthwatering mineral notes. Dry to taste and medium-full bodied, the palate has bright and lively, refreshing flavours of watermelon, quince and cranberries with red floral elements. The fruit forms a fine, rounded core. The palate is thirst-quenchingly dry with lacy acidity and a fine-textured, smooth-flowing line that carries with some alcohol drive to a sweet and lifted floral finish. This is a refreshing, dry rosé with watermelon, quince and cranberry fruit flavours on a smooth-flowing palate. Serve as an aperitif, with canapés and antipasto over the next 2 years. 100% Pinot Noir, destemmed and crushed, and given 12 hours skin contact, and cool-fermented in stainless-steel to 13.5% alc. and 5 g/L RS. 18.0-/20 Dec 2017 RRP $20.00

Johner Estate Wairarapa Sauvignon Blanc 2017

Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand – Wairarapa & Wellington

17.5-/20

Bright, very pale straw-yellow colour, very light edged. The nose is very elegant in proportion with fresh aromas of passionfruit with soft notes of fresh herbs, snow peas and cut grass. Dry to taste, the palate has a vibrant and zesty heart of passionfruit, cut grass and fresh herb flavours. The mouthfeel is refreshing and bright with fresh acidity and a core that flows along a fine-textured line. This has good linearity, and the wine carries to a lingering finish of passionfruit, herbs and grass. This is a lively and bright passionfruit, herb and cut-grass flavoured Sauvignon Blanc with fine textures and good linearity. Match with Pacific Rim fare over the next 2 years. Fruit cool-fermented in stainless-steel to 13.5% alc. and 4 g/L RS. 17.5-/20 Dec 2017 RRP $20.00

Johner Estate Wairarapa Pinot Gris 2017

Pinot Gris from New Zealand – Wairarapa & Wellington

17.5+/20

Bright, pale straw colour, near colourless on the edge. The nose is elegant in presentation with a fine and intense core of white stonefruits and florals entwined with subtle notes of nuts and flinty mineral nuances. Dry to taste and medium-bodied, the palate has an elegantly concentrated core of aromatic stonefruit and floral flavours along with spicy and nutty oak. The flavours are gently concentrated, lending a subtle unctuousness, and the wine flows with good drive along a soft-textured line with soft acid freshness, carrying to a light, lingering nutty finish. This is an elegantly concentrated dry Pinot Gris with stonefruit and floral flavours and subtle nutty oakl on a soft-textured palate. Match with Mediterranean fare and most white meat dishes over the next 3+ years. Wairarapa fruit barrel-fermented in seasoned oak to 13.5% alc. and 4 g/L RS, the wine aged 5 months in oak with batonnage. 17.5+/20 Dec 2017 RRP $24.00

Johner Estate ‘Reserve’ Gladstone Pinot Noir 2015

Pinot Noir from New Zealand – Wairarapa & Wellington

18.5-/20

Ruby-red colour with some depth, lighter on the edge with some garnet hues. The nose is full and voluminous with deep and subtly layered aromas of savoury red cherry and berry fruit with notes of dark and dried herbs along with spicy elements, and nutty, cedary oak. This has strong aromatic presence. Medium-full bodied, the palate has harmoniously melded flavours of savoury red berry fruit entwined with notes of cinnamon spice, dark and dried herbs, nutty and cedary oak. The flavours are gently mouthfilling and supported by very fine-grained, supple tannin structure with balanced acidity. The flavours flow smoothly to a light, lingering savoury red fruited finish with spice and cedar nuances. This is a harmoniously melded Pinot Noir with an amalgam of savoury red berry fruits, herbs and spices with cedary oak on a smooth-flowing, supple palate. Match with slow-cooked game meat dishes over the next 6 years. Estate fruit fermented with 10% whole bunches to 14.0% alc., the wine aged 12 months in 60% new French oak, and bottled without fining or filtration. 18.5-/20 Dec 2017 RRP $60.00

Johner Estate Wairarapa Cabernet/Merlot 2014

Blended Red from New Zealand – Wairarapa & Wellington

16.5+/20

Dark, deep, black-hued ruby-red colour, a little lighter on the rim. The bouquet has bright and aromatic redcurrant notes with savoury dark herbs with cassis elements and stalk-like fragrances with peppery nuances. This has a cool-spectrum edge to the expression. Medium-bodied, the palate possesses an elegant core of redcurrant and blackcurrant fruit with soft notes of fresh herbs, some pepper and cool-spectrum stalk nuances. The fruit is underlined by fine-grained tannin structure with balancing vibrant acidity. The wine has moderate depth and carries to a light finish of currants, herbs and stalks. This is an elegant Cabernet/Merlot blend with curranty flavours along with herb and stalk nuances on a fine-grained, vibrant palate. Serve with Mediterranean fare over the next 4-5 years. A blend of 47% Merlot, 36% Cabernet Franc, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon and 2% Malbec, fermented to 14.0% alc., the wine aged 12 months in 30% new French oak. 16.5+/20 Dec 2017 RRP $26.00

Johner Estate Gladstone Noble Sauvignon Blanc 2017

Sweet Wine from New Zealand – Wairarapa & Wellington

18.5/20

Brilliant, light straw-yellow colour with some depth, paler on the edge. The nose is fresh with rich and ripe aromas of lime fruit and lime marmalade, unfolding nuances of passionfruit, gooseberries and fresh herbs, and subtle honey, musk and nectar nuances. Very sweet to taste and medium-bodied, the palate has vigorous and intensely deep flavours of ripe gooseberries and tropical fruits, with lime marmalade entwined with honey and nectar, with hints of fresh herbs and musk. The palate has a soft, unctuous mouthfeel, balanced by fresh, zesty acidity. The wine has good drive, energy and line, carrying the wine to a very long and sustained finish of honey, marmalade and limes. This is a fresh and zesty, near unctuous botrytised Noble Sauvignon Blanc with lime, gooseberry, marmalade and honied flavours with plenty of drive and linearity. Serve with fruit deserts over the next 3-4+ years. Late-harvested estate fruit with 75% botrytis, cool-fermented to 12.5% alc. and 140 g/L RS. (375) 18.5/20 Dec 2017 RRP $22.00

Johner Estate Gladstone Noble Pinot Noir 2017

Sweet Wine from New Zealand – Wairarapa & Wellington

17.5+/20

Bright straw-yellow colour with a slight pink blush at the heart, lighter edged. The nose is stylishly restrained with gentle aromas of yellow stonefruits and delicate red berry and red floral notes, along with a little honey, unfolding fresh herb nuances. Very sweet to taste and medium-bodied, the palate is soft and gentle with a rounded core of honey and stonefruit flavours entwined with delicate red floral and red berry fruit suggestions. The flavours are harmoniously interwoven and flow smoothly on a gently unctuous palate with soft acidity adding to the richness. The flavours carry to a light, nuanced finish. This is a soft and delicately flavoured botrytised Noble Pinot Noir with stonefruit and red florals and an unctuous, rounded texture. Match with fruit and baked desserts over the next 3-4 years. Late-harvested estate fruit with 75% botrytis, given a short period of skin contact and cool-fermented to 12.5% alc. and 120 g/L RS. (375 ml) 17.5+/20 Dec 2017 RRP $22.00

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