Gibbston Valley 2013 and 2012 Pinot Blanc, Gris and Noirs
The Gibbston Valley winery can be considered the most influential in Central Otago. Established by pioneer Alan Brady and releasing the region’s first commercial wines in 1987, the winery, cave cellar, tasting room and restaurant complex is the most visited wine destination today. The wines made over the years figure among the best in the vignoble and have inspired many others to emulate them resulting in the spectacular growth well beyond the Gibbston sub-region. There are now many outstanding producers in the region who have taken Central Otago Pinot into the realms of the cutting edge for the world, and I’m pleased to say that Gibbston Valley remains part of the innovative and leading group. www.gibbstonvalleynz.com
In September last year, I had the opportunity of visiting Gibbston Valley where I met winemakers Christopher Keys, Sascha Herbert and Matt Swirtz. There, I tasted a range of their single vineyard Pinot Noirs from 2009, 2011 and 2012, as well as barrel samples of 2013 wines (click here to see my report). Although I’d tried a number of the wines from various vintages before, the comparison of all the wines on one occasion made the expression of their unique terroirs much more understandable and obvious.
Christopher has sent to me a full selection of the best of Gibbston Valley Pinot wines from 2012 and 2013 for review. These are the white Pinot Blanc and ‘La Dulcinee’ Pinot Gris; and the Pinot Noirs, starting with ‘Gold River’, the ‘regional house’ bottling, the Bendigo single vineyard ‘School House’ and China Terrace’, the Gibbston single vineyard ‘Glenlee’ and ‘Le Maitre’, and the flagship ‘Reserve’ wines. The obvious connection and theme is that all are members of the ‘pineau’ family, genetically identical, and requiring the same viticultural work and low yields to attain quality, and their similar behaviour as wines in expression. I summarise the characteristics and styles of each of the Pinot Noir bottlings, and offer a description of the single vineyard sites:
The Gibbston Valley Pinot Noir Bottlings
Gold River: A blend of fruit from the Bendigo and Gibbston sub-regions, the wine showing a Central Otago style "for affordable and everyday consumption”.
Gibbston Valley: A blend of predominantly Bendigo fruit with Gibbston fruit in support, the wine showing the ‘Gibbston Valley’ house style.
School House: A Bendigo single vineyard wine. Vines at 400 m.a.s.l., on fine loess and sand over gravel and schist. This shows elegance, perfume and minerality.
China Terrace: A Bendigo single vineyard wine. Vines at 300-350 m.a.s.l., on loess and sand over glacial outwash and schist. This shows red fruits, opulence and savouriness.
Glenlee: A single vineyard Gibbston district wine. The ‘Glenlee’ vineyard, established by Gary Andrus, is close-planted, 6,000 vines her hectare. Vines from the highest corner on the eastern perimeter, on gravel outwash and river gravel soils. The wine shows Gibbston clarity.
Le Maitre: A single vineyard Gibbston wine, named as a tribute to Alan Brady. From mature mixed clone vines in the ‘Home Block’, planted from 1983, showing older vine character and Gibbston transparency and elegance. The soils are a mix of loess, schist and gravel.
Reserve: Limited production, the very best wine.
The Tasting and Conclusions
The aim of the tasting was to compare the same wines over the 2013 and 2012 vintages, the former yet to be released, and the latter the currently available wines, though some are sold out. Chris Keys describes the years: "2012 was not a vintage for fruit bombs…(with a) demure inner tension… and a thread of mineral tannin”. The 2013s are "more forthright, more comprehensively structured” The other purpose was to investigate the consistency of expression from each of the single vineyards, and the different other labels.
The Pinot Blanc and Pinot Gris wines were clearly expressive of variety and vintage, as well as handling. The Pinot Blanc variety is more direct and straightforward in flavour, whereas the Pinot Gris wines show a softer richness with more aromatics, along with a rounder texture. The 2013s are fresh and pure, and still youthfully undeveloped, with an elegance and lighter weight than the 2012s, which show a riper outlook. The 2012s are now exhibiting some bottle development. The Pinot Blanc has been made dry, but the oaking very subtle, whereas the sweetness of the residual sugar was obvious.
The overriding impression from the Pinot Noir wines is their high quality. Across the range from the ‘Gold River’ to the ‘Reserve’ wine, all showed very good expression and offered exactly what the consumer could expect for the price. These are an outstanding range of wines which stand alongside the best in Central Otago.
Another very strong finding was the consistency of style of each of the labels across vintage and relative to the other wines, showing the maintenance of a house style, or the continued expression of site and terroir.
The four single vineyard wines stood separate from the other three in that they displayed characters that emanated from the site and region. The Bendigo wines were darker fruited and more structured than the Gibbston wines which were cooler in expression with red fruits, lighter body and higher acidities. Within each sub-region, the vineyard similarities came through. The ‘School House’ wines incorporated a high whole cluster character, more savoury fruit aromas and flavours, and powdery tannins. The ‘China Terrace’ wines were more aromatic and blacker in fruit, with sweetness. The ‘Glenlee’ was also made with significant whole bunches, lending more savoury complexities and a fuller mouthfeel, than the ‘Le Maitre’ which was cooler and less expansive, but more detailed in fruit nuances. The old vine influence didn’t make itself manifest to me, or I was unfamiliar with it.
Interestingly, the ‘Reserve’ wine was more in line with the ‘Gold River’ and regular ‘Gibbston Valley’ labels, being house styles. These were all more fruit expressive and based on a completeness and balance, clearly the ‘Reserve’ taking the wine to the best of these parameters. It is a wine that is of very high quality, richness, and longevity, but not one of terroir. The question could be made: Is this the ultimate expression of Pinot Noir for Gibbston Valley? Their decision to make it and price it accordingly says "yes’. But is it what the enthusiasts of Pinot Noir want to see as the ultimate? Do they want terroir, with its imbalances and unevenness?
And on vintage, my findings are that the 2012 wines are more complete. They are richer, more structured, more weighty, and strong in their personalities. I see the terroir of the single vineyard wines clearly, in a generous style. I feel that Christopher Keys and his team had an outstanding vintage, and the ‘School House’ Bendigo Pinot Noir is a truly great wine, but the ‘China Terrace’ and ‘Reserve’ bottlings are practically as good. The 2013 wines are obviously more fruity and primary. They are also lighter, and expressions of a cooler vintage with less ripe tannins and more marked acidity. The Gibbston wines from a cooler district reinforce the nature of the vintage. They are more clear-cut in their fruitiness, and it could be said in their terroir expression because of better transparency. Does this make them better than the 2012s? I say no.
FEATURED WINES IN THIS REVIEW
Gibbston Valley Central Otago Pinot Blanc 2013Pinot Blanc from New Zealand - OtagoReview Date : 06-Aug-2014Brilliant straw-yellow colour with slight green hues, lighter on rim. The nose is fresh with clear and clean, mouthwatering aromas of white and yellow stonefruits, along with chalky, minerally notes from lees work, the aromatics showing good presence in the glass, revealing lifted florals. Dry to taste and medium-bodied, this is elegantly presented with a fine textural line carrying white and yellow stonefruit flavours. Florals and minerals add detail, and the wine flows with soft acidity lending gentle tension, leading to a dry, thirst-quenching finish. This is a fresh, elegant, pure Pinot Blanc with lifted fruit and a dry, mouthwatering finish. Serve as an aperitif and with antipasto over the next 3-4 years. Fruit from the ‘Bendigo West’ vineyard, indigenous yeast barrel-fermented to 13.8% alc. and 1.7 g/L RS, the wine aged a year in seasoned oak. 17.5/20 Aug 2014 RRP $32.00
Gibbston Valley ‘La Dulcinee’ Bendigo Central Otago Pinot Gris 2013Pinot Gris from New Zealand - OtagoReview Date : 06-Aug-2014Clone 2-15, from the ‘La Dulcinee’ vineyard, Bendigo, at 350-370 m.a.s.l., hand-picked, WBP and fermented, 55% in stainless barrel and 45% in old oak to 14.0% alc. and 6.7 g/L RS, the wine aged 10 months on lees. Bright, full, pale straw-yellow colour with slight green hues, lighter edged. This has a very fresh and tightly bound nose of white florals, white stonefruits and pear fruit along with mouthwatering minerally elements, the aromatics building in depth with aeration. Off-dry to taste, soft and gently rich flavours of white stonefruits and pears form a harmonious flowing core. The mouthfeel exudes balance, with fresh, lacy acidity, very fine textures and a little alcohol drive. Still taut, the palate has good linearity, leading to a fine-textured, dry finish. This is a soft, dryish Pinot Gris with fresh stonefruit and pear flavours, and good balance. Serve with Asian fare over the next 4 years. 18.0/20 Aug 2014 RRP $39.00
Gibbston Valley ‘Gold River’ Central Otago Pinot Noir 2013Pinot Noir from New Zealand - OtagoReview Date : 06-Aug-2014Hand-picked fruit, 85% from Bendigo and 15% Gibbston, fermented to 13.0% alc., the wine aged 6 months in seasoned oak. Very dark, deep, black-hues, purple-red colour, lighter on rim, youthful in appearance. This has an up-front, full and deep nose of ripe blackberry and boysenberry fruits, nuances of jam, tar and violet florals, intermixed with whole berry confectionary elements and cooler tamarillo notes. Medium-bodied, up-front juicy, plush and sweet flavours of black plums and jam are intermixed with subtle herbal and tamarillo elements. The fruit is enlivened by lively, brisk, elevated acidity and carried by firm and grainy tannins, the flavours flowing with zestiness and cut to a light, dry and textured finish. This is a brisk, bright and juicy Pinot Noir with sweet jam and tamarillo flavours and a dry finish. Serve with pasta, pizza and Mediterranean fare over the next 4+ years. 17.5-/20 Aug 2014 RRP $30.00
Gibbston Valley Central Otago Pinot Noir 2013Pinot Noir from New Zealand - OtagoReview Date : 06-Aug-2014Very full, near impenetrable, purple-hued black-red, a little lighter on edge. The nose is full and up-front with gentle aromas of ripe black cherries and black plums, along with light whole berry fermentation confectionary elements, jam and dark herbs. Some minerally interest and cooler tamarillo nuances emerge in the glass. Medium-full bodied, tightly concentrated and elegantly presented flavours of sweet and succulently juicy black fruits ae the feature. The palate is stylishly restrained with the fruit following a very fine-grained tannin line. Brisk, racy acidity enlivens the fruit lift and enhances the richness, the palate opening up and the bold flavours carry through to a long, sweet finish with violet florals. Shy on nose, this concentrated, sweet and juicy black-fruit Pinot Noir blossoms with richness and liveliness. Serve with duck, pork, beef and lamb over the next 5-6+ years. Fruit from 4 sites, 99% Bendigo fruit, fermented to 13.8% alc., the wine aged in 20% new oak. 18.5-/20 Aug 2014 RRP $45.00
Gibbston Valley ‘School House’ Bendigo Central Otago Pinot Noir 2013Pinot Noir from New Zealand - OtagoReview Date : 06-Aug-2014Very full, near saturated black-red colour with youthful purple hues. This has a very tightly concentrated nose of ripe, black cherry and black berry fruits, along with black minerals and lifted violet perfumes, unfolding nuances of tar and ripe jam nuances, then whole cluster savoury stalk and dried herb complexities. Medium-full bodied, fulsome, fine-grained and powdery tannins form a strong robust structure, encasing an amalgam of savoury dark red berry fruit, whole cluster dried herb and stalk flavours. This has great density, depth and mouthfeel with background acidity enhancing the fruit sweetness and vitality. The palate has real drive and power. The firm tannin grip and extraction carries through to a very long, dry, textured finish. This is a rich, fulsome and highly extracted, fine-featured Pinot Noir with complex savoury flavours. Match with slow-cooked game meats over the next 8-10 years. Clones 667, 114, 6, 777 and 115 from the ‘School House’ vineyard, fermented with 28% whole cluster to 13.7% alc., the wine aged in 33% new oak. 19.0-/20 Aug 2014 RRP $58.00
Gibbston Valley ‘China Terrace’ Bendigo Central Otago Pinot Noir 2013Pinot Noir from New Zealand - OtagoReview Date : 06-Aug-2014Clones 667, 5, 777 from the ‘China Terrace’ vineyard, fermented with 5% whole cluster to 13.5% alc., the wine aged in 30% new oak. Very full, near impenetrable black-red colour with purple hues. The nose is full and voluminous with stylishly presented aromas of ripe black fruits, with dark plum and liquorice notes, earth and spice nuances, lifted by floral detail. As the nose grows in breadth, mineral elements emerge, adding to the detail and depth. Medium-full bodied, sweet, plush and luscious flavours of sweet black berry fruits, raspberries and plums are finely balanced by very refined tannins and precise acidity, providing poise, finesse and vitality. There is excellent concentration and an underlying power which carries the palate to a very long, sweet, lingering finish. This is a beautifully balanced, sweet, black-fruited Pinot Noir with fine poise, tannin structure and vitality. Serve with poultry, pork, beef and Mediterranean fare over the next 7-9 years. 19.0+/20 Aug 2014 RRP $58.00
Gibbston Valley ‘Glenlee’ Gibbston Central Otago Pinot Noir 2013Pinot Noir from New Zealand - OtagoReview Date : 06-Aug-2014Dark, deep, black-hued purple-red colour, lighter on rim. The nose is full and broad with blossoming aromas of savoury red fruits intermingling with dried herbs, brown spices, earth and whole cluster stalky notes. This shows complex, game-like fragrances, and mushroomy elements adding considerable interest. This is Gibbston regionality. Medium-full bodied, rich, savoury and complex flavours of dried herbs, and stalky whole bunch notes unfold in layers, forming an amalgam with earth, mushrooms and game. Fine-grained tannins support the fruit, and lacy acidity provides vibrancy, energy and briskness to the mouthfeel. The palate flows with good drive, leading to a very long, plush and juicy finish. This is an elegant, complex-flavoured, juicy Pinot Noir with fine tannins and bright acidity. Match with roast pork, lamb and Middle Eastern fare over the next 6-8 years. Clones 115, 777, 5 and 667 from the ‘Glenlee’ vineyard, fermented with 33% whole bunch to 13.2% alc., the wine aged in 30% new oak. 18.5+/20 Aug 20104 RRP $68.00
Gibbston Valley ‘Le Maitre’ Gibbston Central Otago Pinot Noir 2013Pinot Noir from New Zealand - OtagoReview Date : 06-Aug-2014A mixed clone selection from the ‘Home Block’, from vines planted from 1983, fully destemmed and fermented to 13.2% alc., the wine aged in 33% new oak. Dark, deep purple-hued ruby-red colour lighter on edge. This has a very full, solid and rounded nose with a dense core of ripe, savoury plums, along with fragrant red florals, herbs and spices, revealing plum, liquorice and chocolate nuances and oak vanilla and toast. Medium-full bodied, the mouthfeel is soft and plush, the flavours elegant and restrained, somewhat light and near-ethereal. Savoury red berry fruits, cedar and spices, and complexing earth and game feature on palate and are underlined by elevated acidity, providing a brisk freshness. The tannins are fine-grained and supple, and the textures are quite integral. Gentle red berry fruits and savoury complexities carry through to a long finish. This is a plush, supple and elegant, red-fruited Pinot Noir with savoury detail, and underlying freshness. Serve with risotto, pasta and Mediterranean fare over the next 5-6 years. 18.0+/20 Aug 2014 RRP $80.00
Gibbston Valley ‘Reserve’ Central Otago Pinot Noir 2013Pinot Noir from New Zealand - OtagoReview Date : 06-Aug-2014Full, deep, black-red colour with youthful purple hues, lighter on rim. The nose is full and bold with ripe black berryfruit and plum aromas, lifted with sweet oak, unfolding layers of spices, liquorice, chocolate and ink. Medium-full bodied, plump and densely packed flavours of black berries, plums and liquorice are enriched by sweet oak, forming a concentrated, rounded palate core. The mouthfeel features full fruit depth and balanced tannin extraction in harmonious support, providing a palate with real presence. There is freshness and vibrancy from lacy acid enhancing the fruit richness, and the wine flows smoothly with a completeness to a very long and sustained finish. This is a full, softly dense and rich Pinot Noir with layers of sweet and plump fruit in real harmony with the extraction. The wine is smooth and exudes luxury and finesse. Serve with lamb, bee, venison and game meats over the next 8-10 years. Clone 6 fruit fermented with 6.5% whole clusters to 13.8% alc., the wine aged in 30% new oak. 19.5-/20 Aug 2014 RRP $120.00
Gibbston Valley Central Otago Pinot Blanc 2012Pinot Blanc from New Zealand - OtagoReview Date : 06-Aug-2014GM2 clone fruit from the ‘Red Shed’ vineyard, Bendigo, hand-picked, WBP, and indigenous yeast fermented in seasoned oak to 14.0% alc. and dryness, the wine aged a year in barrel. Bright, very pale straw-yellow colour with slight green hues, pale edged. The bouquet is full, even and gently broad, showing aromas of yellow-stonefruits, flinty lees and nutty notes of oak and oxidative complexities. There is depth and a steely cut to the expression. Dry to taste, sweet and luscious fruit flavours of white and yellow stonefruits show good depth and weight. Subtle nuances of flinty minerals and nutty detail unfold and flow softly, the acidity in the background. The mouthfeel has a balancing thread of phenolics that lead to a dry, fine-textured finish. This is a soft, full, sweet-fruited Pinot Blanc with good weight and nutty, oxidative complexities. Serve with seafood and poultry over the next 3+ years. 17.5+/20 Aug 2014 RRP $32.00
Gibbston Valley ‘La Dulcinee’ Bendigo Central Otago Pinot Gris 2012Pinot Gris from New Zealand - OtagoReview Date : 06-Aug-2014Bright pale straw-yellow colour, lighter edged. The bouquet is full with a complex amalgam of fresh white florals and stonefruits entwined with subtle flinty lees and minerally notes, the aromas showing good depth and presence. Off-dry to taste, soft and rich, gently mouthfilling flavours of stonefruits and pears are the feature on palate. This has lusciousness, with honied notes enriching the mouthfeel, and the wine flows smoothly and harmoniously. Very fine textures from the fruit extract carry the palate to a soft, long and sweetly nuanced finish. This is a gently luscious and harmoniously integrated off-dry Pinot Gris. Match with mildly spicy Asian and Middle Eastern fare, with paté or semi-hard cheeses over the next 3-4 years. Clone 2-15, from the ‘La Dulcinee’ vineyard, Bendigo, at 350-370 m.a.s.l., hand-picked, WBP and fermented in stainless barrel to 14.0% alc. and 8.9 g/L RS, the wine aged 9 months on lees. 18.5/20 Aug 2014 RRP $39.00
Gibbston Valley ‘Gold River’ Central Otago Pinot Noir 2012Pinot Noir from New Zealand - OtagoReview Date : 06-Aug-2014Moderately deep, dark ruby-red colour with a good heart, lighter on rim with purple suggestions. The nose is fresh and up-front with aromas of black and red cherry fruit along with some thyme herb and liquorice notes, and some whole berry fermentation confectionary and jam elements. Dryish to taste and medium-full bodied, up-front bright dark red berry and cherry fruits and herbal elements show with juiciness, alongside brisk and racy acidity. The flavours are sweet, jammy and laced with savouriness. Soft, grainy tannins balance the fruit sweetness, showing suppleness, building to form a firm line, which leads to a long, dry finish. This is a juicy, jammy Pinot Noir with suppleness and racy acidity. Match with antipasto, tapas, pasta and risotto over the next 3+ years. Clones 5, 6, 114, 115, 667 and 777, predominantly from Bendigo with a portion from Gibbston, destemmed and fermented to 13.5% alc., the wine aged 6 months in French oak. 17.5/20 Aug 2014 RRP $30.00
Gibbston Valley Central Otago Pinot Noir 2012Pinot Noir from New Zealand - OtagoReview Date : 06-Aug-2014Hand-picked fruit, clones 5, 6, 114, 115, 667 and 777, 85% from Bendigo, 15% from Gibbston, fermented with a portion of whole bunches to 13.5% alc., the wine spending around 4 weeks on skins and aged 10-11 months in 20% new French oak. Dark, deep ruby-red colour with youthful purple hues, a little lighter on rim. This has a tight and firmly held nose of black cherry fruit with black minerals and dark herbs at the core. With aeration, raspberry liqueur, spices and floral perfumes emerge, opening in volume. Medium-full bodied, rich, sweet and lusciously fruity flavours of ripe black berry and cherry fruits are entwined with subtle herb, liquorice and raspberry liqueur notes. The fruit is underlined by firm tannins with good linear drive. Black and red florals unfold and lift the long, lingering, dry-textured finish. This is a classical black cherry fruited Central Otago Pinot Noir with fine, firm tannins. Match with poultry, pork and lamb dishes over the next 5-6 years. 18.5/20 Aug 2014 RRP $45.00
Gibbston Valley ‘School House’ Bendigo Central Otago Pinot Noir 2012Pinot Noir from New Zealand - OtagoReview Date : 06-Aug-2014Full, dark, deep ruby-red colour with purple hues, hints of garnet on edge. This has a full and voluminous bouquet with savoury red berry fruits entwined with dried herb and whole bunch stalkiness that unfolds in layers of complexity to reveal fragrant brown spices, earth and game notes that build in depth and intensity. Medium-full bodied, densely packed and well-concentrated flavours of red fruits, savoury whole bunch dried herbs and stalk flavours are melded with savoury plums, liquorice and game. The fruit is enveloped by considerable structure based on fine, powdery tannins. Soft acidity lends some freshness and tension, with the structure and grip carrying the palate to a long, complex and interwoven flavoured finish with succulent fruit, and fine tannin balance. This is a very rich, concentrated and layered Pinot Noir with savoury red fruits and whole bunch complexities with considerable refined structure. It is a complete expression. Match with coq au vin and slow cooked game meats over the next 7-9+ years. Clones 777 and 114 from the ‘School House’ vineyard at 400 m.a.s.l., fermented with 15-25% whole bunches to 14.0% alc., the wine spending 20-30 days on skins and aged 10 months in 40% new oak. 20.0/20 Aug 2014 RRP $58.00
Gibbston Valley ‘China Terrace’ Bendigo Central Otago Pinot Noir 2012Pinot Noir from New Zealand - OtagoReview Date : 06-Aug-2014667 clone fruit from the ‘China Terrace’ vineyard at 300-350 m.a.s.l., fermented with a small proportion of whole clusters to 14.0% alc., the wine spending over 30 days on skins and aged 10 months in 60% new oak. Dark ruby-red colour with good depth, lighter on edge with a little garnet. The bouquet is full, solid and densely packed with aromas of ripe dark red berry fruit and plums, opening to show liquorice, aromatic spices and perfumed dark red and black floral notes. Medium-full bodied, densely packed, but plush and sweet black and dark red fruit flavours are the feature, with subtle whole bunch savoury stalky complexities and spice nuances adding subtle detail. The mouthfeel is succulent, with fine-grained tannins underlying the fruit, and discreet acidity enhances the energy and flow. The wine carries through to a very long and sustained finish with sweet and rich fruit notes. This is a full, rich and plush, succulent black-fruited Pinot Noir with refined structure. Match with roasted duck, pork, lamb or beef dishes over the next 6-8+ years. 19.5/20 Aug 2014 RRP $58.00
Gibbston Valley ‘Glenlee’ Gibbston Central Otago Pinot Noir 2012Pinot Noir from New Zealand - OtagoReview Date : 06-Aug-2014Moderately deep ruby-red colour, with lighter garnet on edge. The nose is even and broad with voluminous aromas of red berry fruits, beautifully integrated and harmonious in expression. A tight and deep core becomes revealed, unfolding layers of brown spices and dried herbal whole bunch complexities, savoury red berry fruit and florals, with earth and game elements. Medium-full bodied, the palate is elegant in proportion, but well-concentrated with sweetly succulent dark red berryfruit flavours intermixed with an array of savoury herb, game, spice and earthy notes. The fruit richness is enhanced by precise and racy acidity, and supported by fine-grained tannins that form a fine, linear core that leads to a very long, complex nuanced, fine-textured finish. This is an elegant, but well-concentrated, succulently sweet Pinot Noir with complex savoury Gibbston regionality and whole bunch flavours. Match with casseroles and slow-cooked wild pork over the next 6-8 years. Clones 777 and 115 from the ‘Glenlee’ vineyard, given a cold soak and fermented with 25% whole bunches to 13.0% alc., the wine spending 20 days on skins and aged 10 months in 40% new oak. 19.0+/20 Aug 2014 RRP $68.00
Gibbston Valley ‘Le Maitre’ Gibbston Central Otago Pinot Noir 2012Pinot Noir from New Zealand - OtagoReview Date : 06-Aug-2014Mixed clones from the ‘Home Block’ from vines planted from 1983, destemmed, given a cold soak and indigenous yeast fermented to 13.0% alc., the wine spending 30 days on skins, and aged 10 months in 40% new oak. Even ruby-red colour with some garnet and bricking on edge. The bouquet is elegant and fragrant with aromas of fresh red fruits and complexing secondary spice, dried herb and earth notes that build in depth to show god depth and density. There is an appealing piquancy and poise to the aromatics that result in completeness. Medium-full bodied, rich, succulently juicy flavours of red fruits are lifted by red florals and fresh herbal notes. The mouthfeel is fresh and lively, and follows a very fine-grained and refined tannin line with excellent drive and energy. The wine carries to a rich fruited, aromatic finish with fine textures and excellent length. This is an elegant, succulently sweet and aromatic Pinot Noir with piquant floral, fruit and herbal flavours. Serve with Mediterranean-inspired fare over the next 6-7 years. 18.5+/20 Aug 2014 RRP $80.00
Gibbston Valley ‘Reserve’ Central Otago Pinot Noir 2012Pinot Noir from New Zealand - OtagoReview Date : 06-Aug-2014Full, even, dark ruby-red colour with youthful purple hues. The nose is powerful and intense with rich, ripe sweet, black and dark red berryfruits and plums, the aromatics quite primary and youthful, unfolding dark spiced plums and sweet lifted oak. The nose grows in volume and depth, building in concentration and breadth to become quite complete. Medium-full bodied, rich, plush and ripe flavours unfold in layers of sweetness showing an array of red and black berries and plums. Savoury spices and sweet oak add to the luscious detail and opulent interest, the flavours balanced and harmoniously integrated with ripe tannin structure. The extraction is significant, but melded with the fruit, and a fine-grained, textural backbone carries the wine to a very long, sustained lush finish. This is a rich and opulently fruited Pinot Noir with fine, harmonious structure. Serve with Middle Eastern lamb and game meat dishes over the next 7-9+ years. Hand-picked fruit, clones 6, 114 and 115, femented with 11% whole bunch to 14.0% alc., the wine aged 14 months in 45% new oak with a further 6 months in seasoned barrel. 19.5-/20 Aug 2014 RRP $120.00