miércoles, 20 de febrero de 2013

Esk Valley Hawkes Bay Pinot Gris 2011


- Tasting notes: This is a full bodied and dry style of Pinot Gris. Aromatics and flavours of stone fruit, honey and pears with a hint of spice providing complexity. "This is a full bodied and dry style of Pinot Gris. Barrel fermentation in seasoned barriques has provided the wine with richness and the early picked sites have provided fresh, natural acidity. Aromatics and flavours of stone fruit, honey and pears are evident with a hint of spice providing complexity". Wine maker
- Ideal drinking: Enjoy as a young wine or cellar for two to four years for a richer and more complex style.
- Food match: Try with soft cheeses, pork dishes, or seafood.
- Vineyards: This wine utilises fruit from unique Hawkes Bay vineyard sites. The Barber Vineyard in the Esk Valley is planted on river silts deposited by the Esk River while the Keltern and Noetzli vineyards at Maraekakaho are planted on the stony river terraces of the Ngaruroro River. Each vineyard is trained on a VSP trellising system and intensively managed to provide ripe fruit at low yields.
- Wine making: All fruit was hand picked and gently whole cluster pressed in a pneumatic press. An early pick from the Barber Vineyard has provided natural acidity and freshness to the finished wine while later picks from the Keltern and Noetzli vineyards have provided richness and aromatics. The individual vineyard parcels were fermented separately in a mix of tanks and seasoned oak barriques. The parcels were then left on lees until September before blending and bottling.
- Technical details: Region: Hawkes Bay; Variety: Pinot Gris; Oak Use: 55% barrel fermented in aged barriques; Alcohol: 13.2 %; pH: 3.66; Total acidity: 6.15 gL; Residual sugar: 3.7 gL. May contain traces of milk products. Contains sulphites. Suitable for gluten free diets.
- Price: £10.61


Hawkes Bay is located on the east coast of the North Island in and around the cities of Napier, Hastings and Havelock North. It sits at a latitude of 39.4 degrees south, the equivalent of Madrid in the Northern Hemisphere.

The region's varied, complex mesoclimate and soil patterns make it one of the most versatile wine-producing regions in New Zealand. Its maritime climate contributes to the distinct character of Hawkes Bay wines. The long sunshine hours are often reflected in the style of wines produced, mostly described as full bodied and with plenty of mouth-filling characters.

Hawkes Bay is one of New Zealand's oldest wine regions, dating back to 1851, and in 2010 was New Zealand's second-largest wine region and the largest premium red-wine producer in the country.

Over the years, the region has won international acclaim for its extremely high-quality Bordeaux-style reds and full-bodied Chardonnays. Another grape variety thought to have great potential here is Syrah, produced in a classic European style with strong black-pepper flavors.

Hawkes Bay vineyards are planted on a range of soil types, from deep, free-draining gravel to heavier silts and loams. Any discussion of Hawkes Bay would be incomplete without mentioning Gimblett Gravels, a terroir comprising shingle soils and warm temperatures that are particularly suited to growing Bordeaux Blend varietals. The gravels were laid down by a river, the Ngaruroro, which changed its course after a flood in 1867.


Pinot gris (also known as pinot grigio) is a white wine grape variety of the species Vitis vinifera. Thought to be a mutant clone of the Pinot noir grape, it normally has a grayish-blue fruit, accounting for its name (gris meaning "grey" in French) but the grape can have a brownish pink to black and even white appearance. The word pinot, which comes from the word meaning "pine cone" in French, could have been given to it because the grapes grow in small pine cone-shaped clusters. The wines produced from this grape also vary in colour from a deep golden yellow to copper and even a light shade of pink, and it is one of the more popular grapes for orange wine. The clone of Pinot gris grown in Italy is known as Pinot grigio.

Pinot gris has been known since the Middle Ages in the Burgundy region, where it was probably called Fromenteau. It spread from Burgundy, along with Pinot noir, arriving in Switzerland by 1300. The grape was reportedly a favorite of the Emperor Charles IV, who had cuttings imported to Hungary by Cistercian monks: the brothers planted the vines on the slopes of Badacsony bordering Lake Balaton in 1375. The vine soon after developed the name Szürkebarát meaning "grey monk." In 1711, a German merchant, named Johann Seger Ruland (re)discovered a grape growing wild in the fields of the Palatinate. The subsequent wine he produced became known as Ruländer and the vine was later discovered to be Pinot gris.

Until the 18th and 19th century, the grape was a popular planting in Burgundy and Champagne but poor yields and unreliable crops caused the grape to fall out of favour in those areas. The same fate nearly occurred in Germany, but vine breeders in the early 20th century were able to develop clonal varieties that would produce a more consistent and reliable crop.

Researchers at the University of California, Davis, have determined that Pinot gris has a remarkably similar DNA profile to Pinot noir and that the colour difference is derived from a genetic mutation that occurred centuries ago. The leaves and the vines of both grapes are so similar that the coloration is the only aspect that differentiates the two.

Around 2005, Pinot gris was enjoying increasing popularity in the marketplace, especially in its Pinot Grigio incarnation and similar New World varietal wines.

The grape grows best in cool climates, and matures relatively early with high sugar levels. This can lead to either a sweeter wine, or, if fermented to dryness, a wine high in alcohol. Clusters of Pinot gris may have a variety of colors in the vine. These clusters can range from bluish grey to light pinkish brown. The grapes grow in small clusters (hence the pinecone shape), and upon ripening, often display a pinkish-gray hue, although the colors can vary from blue-gray to pinkish-brown. Pinot gris is often blended with Pinot noir to enrich and lighten the Pinot noir's flavor.

Wines made from the Pinot gris vary greatly and are dependent on the region and wine making style they are from. Alsatian Pinot gris are medium to full bodied wines with a rich, somewhat floral bouquet. They tend to be spicy in comparisons with other Pinot gris. While most Pinot gris are meant to be consumed early, Alsatian Pinot gris can age well. German Pinot gris are more full-bodied with a balance of acidity and slight sweetness. In Oregon the wines are medium bodied with a yellow to copper-pink color and aromas of pear, apple, and/or melon. In California, the Pinot gris are more light bodied with a crisp, refreshing taste with some pepper and arugula notes. The Pinot grigio style of Italy is a light-bodied, often lean wine that is light in color with sometimes spritzy flavors that can be crisp and acidic.

Pinot gris is considered an "early to market wine" that can be bottled and out on the market within 4–12 weeks after fermentation.

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