Super southern pinot gris

The Ostler vineyards in Waitaki Valley. (Photo: Ostler Vineyards)

Imagine dividing the country into two parts by drawing a line somewhere between Hawke’s Bay and Martinborough. Varieties such as cabernet sauvignon, merlot, syrah and cabernet franc perform the best north of the line, while varieties like riesling, pinot noir and sauvignon blanc tend to strut their stuff south of the line.

I’ve singled out three exceptional wines from Central Otago and Waitaki that demonstrate the power and purity of wines from the deep south.

Pinot gris is capable of making good wine in just about every region, although the richer, riper and often lusher wines from the north of the country are very different to the sleeker, more vibrant and high energy wines south of the line.

I’ve singled out three exceptional wines from Central Otago and Waitaki that demonstrate the power and purity of wines from the deep south.

First is the 2017 Terra Sancta Bannockburn Pinot Gris from Central Otago. It has an intriguing floral note, reminding me that pinot gris is an aromatic variety, together with root ginger yeast lees character and typical stone fruit flavours. Made in a medium-dry style with an impeccable balance. (NZD $27.95)

Next is the 2016 Ostler Audrey’s Pinot Gris from Waitaki Valley, a small region that has produced more than its share of great pinot gris labels. Intense tree fruit flavours with bready lees characters, a thread of chalky mineral and a drop-dead silken texture. (NZD $35)

Finally, the 2018 Domain Road Defiance Pinot Gris also from Central Otago is, like the Terra Sancta Pinot Gris, from the Bannockburn district of Central Otago. I like the wine’s restrained floral and fruit flavours and its impressive purity and ethereal texture. A delicately dry pinot gris. (NZD $26)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *