A big, beautiful Gibbston Valley Pinot Noir to match the majestic landscape from which it was born, this wine delivers on its promise as a pure expression of its terroir. In doing so, our 2018 vintage brings with it memories of late summer walks across the Gibbston hillside and all the beauty and tranquillity such journeys discovered.
With ripe red wild berries and plums, some touches of rose-hip and the earthiness of charred rosemary, this is as close to small-batch Pinot perfection as you’ll find. Like a good New Zealand wine should, the warming tension, depth and verve of this Pinot Noir ensure it will cellar well. However for the impatient, the curious or the celebratory there’s more than enough to enjoy here and now too.
Sam Kim, Wine Orbit
96/100pts, Outstanding quality showing varietal purity and exemplifying regional type
Combining sweet fruit intensity with seductive savoury nuances, the wine shows dark cherry, ripe strawberry, cake spice, thyme, cedar and game characters on the nose. The palate delivers excellent concentration and persistency while remaining supremely elegant and sophisticated. Wonderfully composed and stylish.
Candice Chow, Raymond Chan Wine Reviews
19/20pts, Gold Medal, Perfect to Outstanding
Deep, ruby-red with a black hue, youthful, lighter on edge. The nose is gently full with aromas of red cherries, raspberries, violet, along with dark herbs, wet leaves and a hint of gamey note. Medium-full bodied, dry, nuances of violet slightly dried, dark herbs, wet leaves melded with black cherries, black raspberries, unfolding liquorice roots and subtle spices as it aerated. The fruit is dense with richness, enlivened by the dark herbs and wet leaves complexing characters. Velvety, fine-grained tannin extraction very elegant in weight and framed an excellent structure for this opulent Pinot Noir with elegance and complexity. Match with game and wild boar over the next 6-8 years. 100% fruit from Gibbston. Fermented to 13.5% alc, 55% whole-bunches. Aged in French oak barrels for 8 months, 27.5% new. 188 cases produced. 19/20 pts Aug 2020
Michael Cooper, New Zealand Wines
Michael Cooper’s Buyers Guide 2020 Edition
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.
Mark Henderson, Otago Daily Times
Bonfire smoke, fragrance, flirting with a wild/funky note before shifting to savoury and herb characters. This youthful expression is tight at first but opens up to cherry fruit, char, savoury and herb notes, aeration bringing a schisty/saline vein. The structure is evident, a coolness too, with fragrance hanging on the finish.
Download Technical Notes PDF
Colour: A richly coloured, ruby Pinot Noir
Flavour Profile: These particular older vines have graced us with a sophisticated wine, which we believe is a pure expression of Gibbston. The nose displays uplifting aromatics of bright red fruits, violet, earthiness and wild herb. The mineral-driven palate accentuates the sweet, vibrant red cherry, subtle spice and elegant floral notes. 2018 shows excellent concentration with uplifting acidity and ripe, seamless tannins. A perfect premium wine with finesse, drive and poise. It will cellar exceptionally well, although it is immensely enjoyable now.
Winemaking Comments: At Hawkshead, we like to think of ‘growing’ our wines rather than just making it. We crop lightly to ensure well-ripened, and even fruit; the 2018 vintage was no exception. Our grapes were hand-harvested and selected in late April at an average of 23.9 Brix. The grapes spent, on average 28 days on skins, plunged once per day. Pressed at dryness and settled for two days before being racked to barrel. Malolactic 100% went through early and elerage in the barrel was eight months (37.5%new) The wine was then lightly filtered for clarification. The wine could show a slight natural deposit.
Wine Analysis: pH 3.23, TA 8.6g/L, Alc 13.5%, Brix 23.9
Clones: 114 (62%) Abel (38%)
Bottling Date: 6th March 2019
Wine Maker: Dean Shaw