I recently posted 20 tasting notes for Felton Road wines and five more for South Island producer, Ostler.
Three noteworthy South Island pinot noirs from the 2015 vintage deserve a mention.
Ostler Lakeside Vines Pinot Gris 2016, Waitaki Valley, NZD $29.90
It’s always a pleasure to receive a package of new release pinot noir from Otago’s subregional specialist, Valli Wines.
I recently tasted some of the front-runners in a reasonably comprehensive annual tasting of local gewürztraminer.
Ostler Audrey’s Pinot Gris 2015, Waitaki Valley, NZD $35
Jules Stephan may have inherited a passion for wine from his great, great grandfather, Charles Levet who, with his son, made a living from wine from their 2.8-hectare vineyard on the Kaipara Harbour between 1863 and 1907. Levet was this country’s first known commercial winemaker. The Auckland War Memorial Museum still holds Levet’s wine press, although to my knowledge it has never been displayed.
Ostler Lakeside Vines Pinot Gris, Waitaki Valley 2011 $32 From north of Central Otago, this rich, ripe-style gris is golden yellow hued and opulent in the mouth. Full flavoured, rich, rounded and slightly sweet in late-picked Alsace style. Big, generous and lingering, it’s an impressive
Waitaki Valley is a large area in North Otago formed by the braided Waitaki River flowing from the main divide to the coast north of Oamaru. A small number of grape growers have been attracted to the area by its free-draining, limestone-rich soils and long, reliably dry ripening season. The region has all the elements needed to make taut, edgy and powerful wines, particularly from Pinot Noir and the aromatic varieties Riesling and Pinot Gris.
Environmental influences on wine aroma and flavour are a pet subject of mine. The most obvious such characteristic in Australian wine is mint, in its various guises, which is caused by the preponderance of eucalyptus trees in our rural areas. I have written about this