French Peak 2013 Pinot Gris
French Peak is the new wine label from an old Akaroa vineyard on Banks Peninsula near Christchurch. Coming from Sydney, retired U.K. surgeon Tim Herbert and his Austrian photographer wife Heidi purchased the former French Farm vineyard 6 years ago and began to look after it after it was left by Tresillian following the Christchurch earthquakes. The logical progression, at least initially for Tim, was to establish their own wine label. The Herberts run a cellar door operation and accommodation at what they call ‘Valley Road Vineyard’.
The vineyard is around 3.5 ha, planted equally to Chardonnay and two Dijon clones of Pinot Noir, these vines around 25 y.o., and Pinot Gris planted in 2005. The vineyard manager is Warren Hogg and the Herberts have Matt King make the wine at his Lone Goat winery at Burnham. The 2012 vintage saw the first French Peak wines, being a Pinot Gris and a Pinot Noir. With 2013, a Provencal-styled rosé has been added to the range. Around 150 cases of each have been made, with the remainder of the fruit sold to some of the regions high profile producers. Here, I review the new 2013 Pinot Gris. www.valleyroadvineyard.com
FEATURED WINES IN THIS REVIEW
French Peak Banks Peninsula Pinot Gris 2013Pinot Gris from New Zealand - Canterbury & WaiparaReview Date : 02-Mar-2014Bright straw-yellow with light golden hues, pale on rim. The nose is light and soft with fresh aromas of yellow stonefruits with apricots, honeysuckle and yellow florals. Off-dry to taste and light-medium bodied, subtle flavours of yellow stonefruits show with pears and honied elements. The mouthfeel is crisp with lacy acidity which enlivens the fruit brightness, and the flavours follow a very light, fine-textured line. This has a positive core that carries through with some alcoholic drive to a slender finish. This is a delicate, crisp, off-dry Pinot Gris with stonefruit and honeysuckle nuances. Serve with Asian fare over the next 2+ years. Cool-fermented to 13.5% alc. and 6 g/L RS, the wine aged on lees. 15.5+/20 Mar 2014 RRP $25.00