If there’s one thing our country does well it is to make critically acclaimed white wines. New Zealand’s legacy has another entrant with this 2020 Pinot Gris – it’s deliciously crisp flavours of ripe pear and vibrant citrus exciting the palate while the sumptuous weight and texture lead to a long, lingering and ultimately refreshing finish.
Off-dry in style it may well fool your palate into senses of sweet delight. Yet for all of its impressive fruit sweetness this well-reviewed Central Otago Pinot Gris still only contains only two grams of residual sugar. Clean, fresh, mineral-driven and, most importantly, absolutely memorable, this is a wine with the Gibbston Valley x-factor.
Sam Kim, Wine Orbit
94/100pts, Outstanding quality showing varietal purity and exemplifying regional type
A wonderful expression of the variety; the inviting bouquet shows ripe apricot, poached pear, fig and subtle spice notes, leading to a gorgeously rounded palate offering terrific concentration and persistency. It's fleshy and delicious. At its best: now to 2026.
Candice Chow, Raymond Chan Wine Review
19/20 pts (93 pts) Gold Medal, Perfect to Outstanding - Rated Top 20 Pinot Gris 2021
Hawkshead Pinot Gris 2020, Central Otago. Brilliant, bright straw-yellow with some depth and slight lime hue, even colour throughout. The nose is soft and pretty, slowly growing in volume, nuances of green apple, pear entwine honeysuckle and subtle warming spices. Medium-bodied, dry to taste, the palate is unctuous and bright, flavours of green apple, pear accompanied by sun-dried apricot. Pretty fragrances of honeysuckle interweave delicate spices, leaves a tingle sensation on the palate. The fruit ripeness is just right with brilliant concentration underlined lacy acidity, provide freshness, carry mineral crunch through the palate, lifted spices linger on a long and elegant closing. This is an elegant, dry Pinot Gris with superb balance, showing aromas of apricots and tree fruit, subtle honeysuckle and warming spices on an unctuous mouthfeel. Match with pulled pork and siu mai over the next 3-5 years. Fruit from 36% Gibbston and 64% Lowburn. Handpicked, whole bunch pressed, fermented 90% in stainless steel and 10% in older barrels to 13.5% alc, 2 g/l RS. Aged on lees for 4 months. Oct 2020.
Michael Cooper, New Zealand Wines
Michael Cooper’s Buyers Guide 2021 Edition
Outstanding, Gold Medal Standard
The impressive 2020 vintage (5*) was hand-picked at Gibbston (36 per cent) and Lowburn (64 per cent), and mostly handled in tanks; 10 per cent of the blend was fermented in seasoned oak barrels. Matured on its yeast lees for four months, it's a ripely scented, weighty wine with fresh, concentrated stonefruit flavours, gently spicy notes, a distinct touch of complexity and a dry (2 grams/litre of residual sugar), very harmonious finish. Rich and finely textured, it's already delicious, but likely to be at its best from 2022 onwards.
Mark Henderson, Otago Daily Times
Excellent to Outstanding
Dusty minerality, pear, apricot, fruit pastilles, real interest here. Classic stonefruit characters, cashew nut, a honeyed note yet not sweet with a spicy finish. Great fruit intensity and richness; a line of acid running through this to keep it fresh. Lovely balance and sheer drinkability, fruit sweet, yet dry. Delicious.
Bob Campbell MW, The Real Review
Silver Medal, Top Ranked - 16 out of 81 (Pinot Gris of NZ)
Download Technical Notes PDF
Sub-Region: 36% Gibbston 64% Lowburn
Colour: Pale lemon
Flavour Profile: Our 2020 Pinot Gris is pleasingly refreshing. It is a genuinely classic Central Otago wine. The wine displays pear, citrus fruit, and hints of rosehip and sweet spice in front of a mineral backbone. The dry style Pinot Gris displays an impressive fruit sweetness; it will fool your palate. It has only 2 grams of residual sugar per litre. Our Pinot Gris shows drive and persistence; you're sure to enjoy the long lingering, refreshing finish.
Winemaking Comments: The Pinot Gris was hand harvested and selected during the last days of April. The wine was whole bunch pressed and fermented in both older oak barrels (10%) and stainless steel tanks. Indigenous yeast fermented the wine over six weeks, then the wine rested on its lees for four months to build up texture before being racked and filtered for clarification before bottling. The wine drinks beautifully now but will continue to age for 5-8 years.
Wine Analysis: pH 3.35, TA 6.8g/L, Alc 13.5%, Res Sugar 2 g/L
Bottling Date: 20th August 2020
Wine Maker: Dean Shaw