Pinot Gris, Please

Wine by Michael Cooper 

Our love affair with pinot gris shows no signs of abating. Yielding perfumed, sturdy, rich wines in Alsace, France, and leaner, crisper pinot grigio in Italy, the grape produces a similar diversity of styles in New Zealand.

Why is it so popular? The flavours of pinot gris are less pungent than varieties such as sauvignon blanc (which drinkers either adore or avoid), and with its typical sliver of sweetness, moderate acidity and smoothness, it scores high on the drinkability charts.

Hawkshead Central Otago Pinot Gris 2020

This impressive wine was handpicked and mostly handled in tanks (10% of the blend was fermented in seasoned oak barrels).

Ripely scented, it is weighty, with rich stonefruit flavours, gentle spicy notes, a distinct touch of complexity and a dry, harmonious finish. Already delicious.

(Recently featured in the NZ Listener Wine Feature - on sale 29th March)

Try today at : Umu Restaurant, Wellington 

Below are Hawkshead Wines recent reviews that are also published in Michael Cooper’s Buyers Guide 2020/21 Edition. (A must have for any wine enthusiast) 

Hawkshead First Vines 2018 

Excellent quality, verging on outstanding.

The 2018 vintage was barrel-aged for eight months. Light ruby,  it is invitingly floral, with moderately rich, ripe, berryish, spicy flavours, hints of herbs and nuts, good complexity and supple tannins.   An elegant, age-worthy wine, it's already drinking well nearly a year in French oak casks (33 per cent new). Full and fairly youthful in colour, it has a fragrant, slightly herbal bouquet. Mouthfilling, vibrantly fruity and supple, with very good complexity, it's a finely poised wine with fresh acidity and a lingering finish.

Try today at : Botswana Butchery, Queenstown

Hawkshead Bannockburn Pinot Noir 2011

Excellent quality, verging on outstanding.

The 2011 vintage (4.5*) was made for this Gibbston-based producer by Steve Davies, using grapes from his Bannockburn vineyard. Hand-picked, it was fermented with indigenous yeasts, matured for 15 months in French oak barriques and bottled unfined and unfiltered. Highly scented, it is savoury and complex, in a less powerful style than most Bannockburn reds, but full of interest. Ruby-hued, with an array of cherry, plum, spice and nut flavours, a hint of dried herbs, and good tannin backbone, it has strong drink-young appeal.

Hawkshead Riesling 2020 

Excellent quality, verging on outstanding.

‘Bliss in a bottle’, the 2020 vintage (4.5*) was grown at Lowburn, in the Cromwell Basin. Bright, light yellow/green, it is a powerful, full-bodied style of Riesling, hand-picked, fermented with indigenous yeasts in stainless steel tanks (97 per cent) and seasoned French oak barriques (3 per cent), and lees-aged for three months. Highly drinkable in its youth, it is scented and mouthfilling, with rich, peachy, slightly spicy flavours, moderate acidity and a dryish (7 grams/litre of residual sugar), very harmonious finish. Drink now or cellar.

Try today at: Kinross

Hawkshead Pinot Blanc 2020 

Excellent quality

Offering easy drinking in its infancy, the 2020 vintage (4*) was hand-picked at Gibbston (60 per cent) and in the Cromwell Basin (40 per cent). It was mostly handled in tanks, but part of the blend (17.5 per cent) was fermented in old French oak barriques. Bright, light lemon/green, with fresh pear and spice aromas, it is mouthfilling, with vibrant, citrusy flavours, showing a distinct touch of complexity, a sliver of sweetness and moderate acidity. Best drinking 2022+.

Try today at : The Winery, Arrowtown

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