Wines of Giesen, Marlborough

These tasting notes accompany our feature on Marlborough as part of our New Zealand 2020 series


(2020) Traditional Marlborough style, made predominantly with Wairau fruit including fruit from the Dillons Point vineyard with heavy soils that give tropical fruit. A touch of gooseberry and more herbaceous character, but majors on the peach and nectarine fruit, a nice balance of sweetness and fresh limey acidity, a successful commercial style for the biggest selling NZ wine in Australia.
(2020) Clear, clean, elderflower and a touch of grapefruit, a tiny proportion barrel-fermented. A textural uplift, super sweet fruit and the long, extended lemon and lime zestiness.
(2020) Hand harvested, fruit chosen for extra ripeness, barrel fermented and aged in 1000-litre foudre. From two vineyards, one near Cloudy Bay, one dry-grown. A nice touch of flint and smokiness to the pastry and sweet fruit. Plenty of sweet fruit, edging into tropical, but fresh cut pear and apple to the acid. Excellent. No UK retail stockists listed at time of review.
(2020) A blend of Marlborough and Waipara fruit. Elegant, floral and delicate, with peachy, blossom and lime. The palate has a delightful clarity and peach fruit lightness and sweetness, no terpene character, but a little phenolic grip in the finish sits beautifully against a fair amount of residual sugar. No UK retail stockist listed at time of review.
(2020) Only 9.5% alcohol. Certainly lighter in aromatics, some herbal notes and a touch of passion fruit. It does feel a touch dilute compared to the more powerful Sauvignons here, but there’s no denying it has flavour and good balance. Essentially dry, and finishes with tangy lemon rind bite. No UK retail stockists listed at time of review
(2020) Fermented in oak foudre, part natural yeast from a 'pied de cuve', from this special vineayrd on clay soils that has been run organically for a long time. Buttery and nutty nose, with opulent fruit, a touch of flint, and a great seam of creamy but preicise acidity leading to a great tangy, zesty, linear finish. Price and stockist quoted at time of review is for a previous vintage.
(2020) With 287g/l of residual sugar this has an opulent toffee, honeycomb and apricot aroma with loads of glycerine. The palate is beautifully honed, a little bit of toast, fabulous opulence in the mouth and fat, with pink grapefruit and orange and lime zestiness. Terrific acid balance and a fabulous sweet and ripe tropical fruit. Price for a half bottle, and stockist quoted at time of review is for the previous vintage.

Red Wines

(2020) Quite a deep, saturated colour, the fruit from the Southern Valleys, sheltered from the southerlies. Deep cherry and red plum, a bit of cherry skin and some polished chestnutty notes. Lots of sweet, fleshy fruit, a rasp of sour cherry acidity and taut tannins. A little bit of a sour finish, but that gives a savoury character. No UK retail stockists listed at time of review.
(2020) From a vineyard that has been organically grown from day one, planted by Giesen in the Southern Valleys. Mostly wild ferment, with plunge downs, but otherwise hands-off winemakeing. A slightly resinous quality here, then the fruit becomes very sweet on the palate, sweet and spicy, and grippy in the finish. Tangy, a lot of nice juiciness to the finish. Price and stockist at time of review is for the previous vintage.

Back to Giesen profile in our feature on Marlborough

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