New Zealand producer Giesen has just been named “New Zealand Winery of the Year” and awarded four Gold Medals at the fifth Melbourne International Wine Competition (MIWC). This particular wine show has come under some fire in some circles as the judges are exclusively involved in the retail trade (as buyers) rather than the panels having any judges who are wine makers as their sole job (certainly there are some on the panel that dabble in this side of the dark vinous arts). Whatever you think of this show, nay even any wine show, Giesen are renowned for producing above average wines for their price.
Giesen, Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough, 2017
Fruit sourced from vineyards throughout the Wairau and Awatere Valleys. Expressive passion fruit flesh and light yellow tropical fruit make for a rich aroma profile with varietal grassy, leafy fresh asparagus and fresh roasted nutty notes. Creamy, fleshy passion fruit palate with orange citrus zing and a good length. Some oxalis/wood sorrel sour-sweet to finish out the flavour. Shows balanced acidity.
Giesen, Pinot Gris, New Zealand, 2017
Back labeling has this right on the borderline of dry and medium dry according to the IRF sweetness scale. Fruit sourced from Marlborough, Waipara, and Hawke’s Bay.
Mid to deep gold colour. Brown pear flesh, rosewater, white stonefruit, dry pasta and a richness of orange cream. Medium bodied palate with just a hint of texture. The flavour profile akin to the nose with pears and stonefruit leading the way. Soft and creamy, yet still manages to hold a tight line of intense acidity to balance the hint of residual honeycomb sweetness.
Giesen, Riesling, New Zealand, 2016
Nudging well into the medium sweet range according to the back label IRF sweetness scale. Fruit is sourced from Marlborough and Waipara. Bright and rich nose with plenty of apple skin, floral blossom, fennel frond, lime pickle and minerally slate. Intense palate with sweet lime jam/mandarin citrus, pink lady apple crispness and scything acidity. A hint of malt delivers a savoury shadow to the obvious sweetness whilst time on light lees gives texture and body. A very good off-dry example.