Featured Reviews

Ostler 2017 ‘Lakeside Vines’ Pinot Gris and Gewurztraminer

10 August,2018

The Waitaki Valley in North Otago is proving to be a challenging region to grow wine, the main problem being reaching a size to make economy of scale pay. Most of the operations are small and often family-owned. The climate tends towards the continental, and many consider the district edgy in terms of success in commercial terms and ripeness. The pay-off is the distinctively mineral and excitingly vibrant wines that come from the limestone-influenced soils. That is why Ostler Vineyards of Jim and Anne Jerram with Jeff Sinnott, Valli Vineyards and Grant Taylor, and Dr John Forrest have serious stakes in the ground, along with smart growers such as Murray Turner.

Ostler Vineyards has grown recently and now tends 16 ha of vines over four vineyards. These are the home ‘Clos Ostler’, ‘Shine’ and ‘Lemon Springs’ (a.k.a. ‘Lakeside Vines’) around Lake Waitaki, plus ‘Doctors Creek’ in the Waitaki Valley. All four sites are within 25 km of each other, but most importantly provide variations in terroir, and thus the ability to for winemaker Jeff Sinnott blend wines of greater complexity. There is also the option of ‘single vineyard’ bottlings. Recent vintages have been tight in yield, and Jim Jerram is happy to report that 2018 has given healthy yields and healthy fruit. No matter what the vintage, I’ve seen the minerality in the wines, and they are exciting. Here, I review the new release 2017 ‘Lakeside Vines Pinot Gris and Gewurztraminer, both under the ‘Grower Selection’ tier. www.ostlerwine.co.nz


Ostler ‘Lakeside Vines’ Waitaki Valley North Otago Pinot Gris 2017

Pinot Gris from New Zealand – Otago


Brilliant pale straw-yellow colour with slight green hues, lighter on the rim. The nose is elegantly proportioned with deep and firm aromas of white stonefruits harmoniously melded with white florals and stonefruit kernels, and a layering of nutty and minerally complexities. The aromatics grow in richness and breadth with aeration. Medium in sweetness and full-bodied, the palate stylishly rich and succulent flavours of white and yellow stonefruits along with notes of exotic florals and some honeysuckle, with integrated, complexing, nutty oak and minerally lees elements. The fruit is enlivened and lifted by fresh acidity, and the palate flows along a fine, phenolic-textured line driven by some alcoholic power. This gas very good vitality and energy, and carries to a lively finish of stonefuits, honey and minerals. This is a rich, medium-sweet Pinot Gris with flavours of stonefruit, florals and honeysuckle complexed by nutty and mineral notes on a vibrant, powerfully driven palate. Serve with Thai, Vietnamese and Japanese fare over the next 3-4 years. Fruit from Paul Sinnott’s ‘Lemon Springs’ vineyard, fermented in tank with the hard pressings comprising 20% fermented in seasoned oak to 14.5% alc. and 14 g/L RS, the barrel portion given some lees work. 18.5+/20 Aug 2018 RRP $29.90

Ostler Waitaki Valley North Otago Gewurztraminer 2017

Gewurztraminer from New Zealand – Otago


Bright straw-yellow colour with pale golden hues and some depth, lighter on the rim. The nose is fine in presentation with very good intensity ay rose-petal florals and Turkish Delight aromas along with nuances of musk and spice, with complexing nutty and minerally detail, unfolding a suggestion of hair-oil. The aromatics possesses an edge of freshness. Medium-dryish and medium-bodied, the palate has up-front flavours of rose-petal florals and Turkish Delight with hints of spice and musk, harmoniously integrated with a layer of nuts and minerals. The fruit richness lends a subtle unctuousness which is balanced by crisp and fresh acidity. The wine flows along a fine line leading to a slender, but sustained, aromatic finish. This is a stylishly up-front medium-dry Gewurztraminer with rose-petal florals, musk and spice, with complexing nutty and minerally notes on a gently rich palate with balancing acid freshness. Serve with Asian and Middle Eastern cuisine over the next 3 years. Fruit from the ‘Shine’ vineyard, fermented in tank with a small portion, the pressings, fermented in seasoned oak to 14.0% alc. and 9 g/L RS. 18.0+/20 Aug 2018 RRP $29.90

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