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: Gibbston Valley

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Gibbston Valley

www.gibbstonvalleynz.com

Gibbston, RD 1, Queenstown

Cellar Door: Daily (10-5), opens till 6 in Jan-March, Cave wine tour costs $10

Ph: (+64) 3442 6910

Gibbston Valley lies to the east of Queenstown on the dry rocky soils of the Kawarau Gorge (a former gold rush area).

Gibbston Valley founder, Alan Brady, was one of the founders of the region. Locals through he was crazy when he started monitoring weather conditions to plant grapes amongst the snow capped mountains.

The vines were established in the early 1980s with the first commercial release in 1987.

The main focus is the region's famous variety, Pinot Noir but there are other thriving grape varieties such as Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, Riesling and more unusually, Pinot Blanc. There is also the Blanc de Noir Rose

The winery has a wine bar, gift bar and restaurant and runs hourly tours of its deep wine cellar cave (between 10-4 daily). The wine cave is the largest in New Zealand.

Tasting Notes

There are three types of Tasting notes:

(W) Notes from the winery (blurbs from bottle)

(GXY) Notes from a GenXY wine reviewer

(G) Notes from GenXY's Tasting events (collective opinions)

Gibbston Valley China Terrace Pinot Noir 2015

Purchased: Not ($A65)

Drink: 2022

(GXY) Tasting: Oct 2016, no fining or filtration, 35% whole cluster, deeply coloured and perfumed black cherry, dark plum and raspberry with anise and thyme notes, expansive, poised and medium  bodied with mineral and savoury notes, grainy tannins, firm acid backbone (****1/2)

Glbbston Valley Valley GV Collection Pinot Noir 2015

Purchased: Not ($A28)

Drink:2020

(GXY) Tasting: Oct 2016, aromatic and sweetly fruited black cherry and dark plum with anise and thyme notes, plump and minerals with grainy tannins and spicy vanilla oak, good length (****)

Gibbston Valley Rose 2016

Purchased: Not ($A26)

Drink: 2017

(GXY) Tasting: Oct 2016, from Pinot Noir, verging on off-dry, creamy strawberry and watermelon with dusting of garden herbs, crisp and minerals finish (***1/2)

Gibbston Valley China Terrace Pinot Noir 2011

Purchased: Prince Wine Store, South Melb ($A57/$NZ55)

Drink: 2018

(GXY) Tasting: Aug 2013, 667 clone from a Bendigo vineyard, some whole bunch inclusion, no fining or filtration, quite perfumed with a very good supple core of blueberry and red cherries with violet florals, dried herb and asian spice notes, fleshy palate that is long, structured and evenly ripened, powdery savoury tannins with the nervy citric acidity adding tension, the reduction in the level of new oak has improved the wine, best China Terrace I have had (*****)

Gibbston Valley Reserve Pinot Noir 2009

Purchased: Not ($NZ100)

Drink: 2019

(GXY) Tasting: Aug 2013, from a high altitude Bendigo vineyard, 6, 114 and 115 clones, 5-10% whole clusters in ferment, ripe, deep set and sumptuous red cherry and dark plums with rose petal and anise notes, supple and very long with emerging schisty mineality, linear savoury tannins, balanced toasty cinnamon/clove oak (****1/2)

Gibbston Valley School House Pinot Noir 2010

Purchased: Not ($A57/$NZ55)

Drink: 2018

(GXY) Tasting: Aug 2013, Pure Gold at Air New Zealand Wine Show 2011, from a high altitude glacial fan vineyard, 777 and 115 clones, 15-20% whole clusterinclusion, firmer and more concentrated than the China Terrace, sweet cherry liqueur and cranberry spectrum with rose petal and violet florals and a touch of anise, medium bodied palate has a schisty mineral expression with a vibrant herbally acidity counterpoint, toasty and spicy cedar/cinnamon oak is a touch overt for me (****1/2)

Gibbston Valley Gold River Pinot Noir 2011

Purchased: Not ($A32/$NZ30)

Drink: 2015

(GXY) Tasting: Aug 2013, smooth vibrant and pure sour red cherry and dark plum with thyme and violet notes, fleshy, foresty and medium bodied with a light sappiness to the acidity and creamy vanilla oaking, silky fine tannins, not hugely complex but a well balanced entry wine with good drive (****)

Gibbston Valley China Terrace Pinot Noir 2009

Purchased: Not ($A65/$NZ55)

Drink: 2015

(GXY) Tasting: Feb 2012, Gold Medal at Air NZ Wine Awards 2010, from a medium altitude (300m) glacial schist vineyard, some whole bunch inclusion, 55% new French oak, supple and perfumed blueberry and redcurrant with violet, citrus peel and pepper notes, fleshy mid-palate has attractive concentration without going over the top, nervy and herbally finish with fine savoury tannins and the cedar/cinnamon oak popping up (****)

Gibbston Valley School House Pinot Noir 2009

Purchased: Not ($A65/$NZ55)

Drink: 2016

(GXY) Tasting: Feb 2012, Gold Medal at Air NZ Wine Awards 2010, from a high altitude (400m) glacial fan vineyard, some whole bunch inclusion, 55% new French oak, firmer and more concentrated than the China Terrace with the fruit in a cherry cola/blackcurrant/cranberry spectrum with rose petal florals, the long and medium bodied palate has a minerally/powdery texture with fresh stemmy acidity and cedar/cinnamon oak, tannins finish a little bit open and loose knit (***1/2)

Gibbston Valley Central Otago Pinot Gris 2010

Purchased: Not ($A28/$NZ28)

Drink: 2015

(GXY) Tasting: Feb 2012, aromatic brightly flavoured passionfruit, apple and lemon with some mid-palate barrel ferment creaminess, tangy citrus rind backbone with some fine briny phenolics on the finish (***1/2)

Gibbston Valley Blanc de Pinot Noir 2009

Purchased: Not ($A29)

Drink: 2011

(GXY) Tasting: Feb 2011, fancy name for a Pinot Rose, off dry strawberry and red cherry with a light smattering of dried herbs and savoury minerality, balanced acid crispness, like most examples of this style lacks much complexity (***)

Gibbston Valley Gold River Central Otago Pinot Noir 2008

Purchased: Not ($A32)

Drink: 2010

(GXY) Tasting: Feb 2009, this is their entry-level Pinot Noir, sourced from the Bendigo and Gibbston, clean cherry and dark plum with thyme notes, earthy and medium-full bodied with some sappy acids and creamy vanilla oaking, silky tannins, not very complex but a well balanced wine to be drunk sooner rather than later (***1/2)

Gibbston Valley Central Otago Pinot Gris 2008

Purchased: Not ($A35/ $NZ28)

Drink: 2010

(GXY) Tasting: Feb 2009, mainly sourced from a high altitude vineyard near Bendigo, 15% barrel ferment with 3 months of lees contact and stirring, tangy melon and canned pear, the flavoursome palate is creamy rather than oily, there is a lemon sherbert zest that lifts the mouthfeel, the alcohol has been pulled back from recent vintages but still gives it a warming finish (***1/2)

Gibbston Valley Central Otago Pinot Noir 2004

Purchased: Not ($A48)

Drink: 2012

(GXY) Tasting: Feb 2007, black cherry and dark plum, medium bodied palate shows some underlying sour cherry, cinnamon, fennel and briary features with integrated dark chocolate on smooth finish, good length (***1/2)