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Feb 2

Lake Hayes Pinot Gris Pinot Gris 2017

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Lake Hayes Pinot Gris

Notes by Tom

Central Otago continues to mature as a wine region and is now starting to produce some quality wines outside of it flagship variety Pinot Noir. This Pinot Gris from Amisfeld shows us one example. Whilst the 2017 vintage was a challenge for red wine across the country the initial white wines are looking great and this wine promotes those classic kiwi Pinot Gris characters of pear, sweet spice & hints of floral.

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Producer Description View Amisfeld's website h


Amisfeld is home to one of New Zealand's Iconic Cellar Door resturants, situated on the shores of Laye Hayes in Queenstown's Wakatipu Basin. Producing wine since 1999, the winery has been making exceptional examples of Pinot Noir as well as other white varieties that are now starting to feature more predominantly on wine lists around the country. To further their sustainable focus and drive for quality the vineyards are all under organic conversion, helping to focus on the quality of fruit being produced in the vineyard.

Wine Description

Pinot Gris

Traditionally grown in both France (Alsace) and Italy (Veneto), this variety has now found its way right across the globe like many other quality French varieties. The variety is know for its fresh stone fruit appeal, crisp acidity and often a musty note derived from the skins of the grape. Usually the Alsatian Pinot Gris style is lighter and fresher than the Italian Pinot Grigio (Italian name) which can be more alcoholic and mustier in character. New World versions of the wine take both names, usually depending on the style they are trying to emulate.

Region Description

Central Otago

The one region in New Zealand that can come close to describing its climate as ‘continental’. With the highest elevation, and the most Southerly region in the country (in the world no less), the region has the most extreme weather environment. Very cold winters followed by hot summers help to produce a climate not dissimilar to that of Burgundy in France. And as such, Pinot Noir has become the pre-eminent grape variety in the region. The variety is producing wines of great fruit concentration and increasing depth of flavour and complexity. The region is also large and varied, moving from the Giibbston Valley & Wakatipu Basin, to Bannockburn, Wanaka and Alexandra. With the climatic extremes the winemakers work particularly hard in the spring to avoid frost damage which can decimate the size of the vintage.

New Zealand

New Zealand wines have become all the rage over the past two decades led primarily by the Sauvignon Blanc craze. Gone are the days of Muller Thurgau dominating as New Zealand’s most popular variety. In it’s place there are now over 20,000 hectares of Sauvignon Blanc planted in New Zealand. Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Bordeaux and Rhone Blends are of high quality also but pale in volume comparison to that of Sauvignon Blanc.
The country is known for it’s cool climate wines which stand out with clean fruit flavours and fresh bursts of acidity. The NZ wine industry has a lot to thank the dairy industry for as it’s use of stainless steel tanks and refrigeration technology has been adapted to winemaking and created superb results, accentuating the wine characteristics mentioned above.