Top White – Pinot Gris / Aromatics


There are six Pinot Gris in this lineup; it happens that I have picked three wines from the Waitaki region, three different vintages, all different in style. Valli's first dry Pinot Gris from this region that I could recall, from vintage 2020; bone-dry, highly concentrated, showing lots of spice fragrances and crunchy minerality, excellent site expression. Boutique producer Q Wine Pinot Gris 2021 is fleshier in comparison, expressive, concentrated and oily textured. Nockie's Palette mainly sells online and good restaurants and through their cellar door in Lake Hayes. The 2019 has a very different style, produced with late-harvested grapes, barrel-fermented to dry; powerful on the palate carries zesty citrus, honey and warm spices, ethereally unctuous on the palate. Neck of The Woods Pinot Gris 2021 fruit was sourced from the Pisa sub-region in Central Otago, clean and crisp, sleek and refined. Gisborne's Spade Oak The Co-Ordinate Pinot Gris 2020 is larger in production than the South Island producers, but not short of attention, 75% fermented in neutral barrel, elegant and textural, generous fruit showing Gisborne sunshine and warmth with balanced acidity. North Canterbury organic producer Terrace Edge produce a plush, textural Pinot Gris carries baked pear, toffee apple and warm spices with a savoury finish.

The aromatics are a small range, but all of them are extremely impressive. Nelson boutique producer Blackenbrook Pinot Blanc 2021 is brilliantly concentrated, complex and unctuous, an excellent example of Pinot Blanc. Another boutique producer from Central Otago Hawkshead is dry and textural, harmoniously lingering. Alexandra producer Three Miners Chinaman Stone Gewurztraminer is rich and powerful with a complex range of flavours, yet dry and delicate. Spade Oak The Co-Ordinate Makauri Gewurztraminer 2020 from Gisborne is voluminous and well-balanced, showing pretty fragrances of lily, rose, and tropical fruit with length and depth.

Read my reviews below or join me to taste them in Queenstown's newest establishment 11th Ave by Frank's on 18th Jan or in Auckland on the 20th Jan at Cahn's Wines & Spirits. Ticket links :

Queenstown 18 Jan: https://www.eventbrite.co.nz/e/237150442357

Auckland 20 Jan: https://www.eventbrite.co.nz/e/236587308007

*Use the code "TOPWHITE" on the below websites to apply a discount to buy direct.

Nockie's Palette  - 10% off

Spade Oak - 10% off

Q Wine - Join Q wine club to apply 30% off


  • Valli Waitaki Vineyard Pinot Gris 2020, North Otago
  • Q Wine Pinot Gris 2021, Waitaki Valley
  • Nockie’s Palette Pinot Gris 2019, Waitaki Valley
  • Neck Of The Woods Pinot Gris 2021, Central Otago
  • Spade Oak The Co-Ordinates Ormond Pinot Gris 2020, Gisborne
  • Terrace Edge Pinot Gris 2021, North Canterbury
  • Blackenbrook Pinot Blanc 2021, Nelson
  • Hawkshead Pinot Blanc 2021, Central Otago
  • Three Miners Chinaman Stone Gewurztraminer 2021, Central Otago
  • Spade Oak The Co-Ordinates Makauri Gewurztraminer 2020, Gisborne

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