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Featured Reviews

Gladstone Vineyard 2012 Sauvignon Blanc Releases

28 September,2012

As the senior winery in the greater Wairarapa district, many eyes are on the first releases of every new vintage from Gladstone Vineyard. The wines are the benchmarks for the region and set the standard of success for the other players. Christine and David Kernohan have run the operation since 1996, ten years after it was established. The 2.7 ha ‘Home Block' was supplemented by the establishment of the 10 ha ‘Dakins Road' vineyard, and nowadays an extra 8 ha are leased from contract growers. Gerhard Smith has been winemaker with Christine since 2005, and Kyle Mason the vineyard manager for over 5 years. He has instituted the ‘Biological Viticulture' regime at Gladstone Vineyard. I review four of the latest releases from this well-established and experienced team, including three 2012 vintage wines and three Sauvignon Blancs.


12,000 Miles Gladstone Sauvignon Blanc 2012

Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand – Wairarapa & Wellington


Bright, very pale straw colour with slight green hues, near colourless on rim. The nose is softly voluminous with aromas of savoury gooseberry, capsicum and herb aromas. Dry to taste, this is tightly packed with deep flavours of gooseberry fruit. The palate is soft in texture with slippery acidity, enhancing the up-front expression. The fruit is uncomplicated and has a dryness in its expression and carries through to a fulsome, textural finish. This is a dry, soft and flavoursome Sauvignon Blanc to serve with antipasto over the next 2 years. Fruit from the ‘Boyd', ‘Cliffs', ‘Dakins Road' and ‘Home' sites, stainless-steel fermented to 12.5% alc., and 0.4 g/L rs, the wine aged on lees 2 months. 16.0+/20 Sep 2012 RRP $19.00

Gladstone Vineyard Gladstone Sauvignon Blanc 2012

Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand – Wairarapa & Wellington


Fruit from the ‘Boyd', ‘Dakins Road', ‘Carters' and ‘Home' blocks, from vines up to 25 y.o., stainless-steel fermented with a small component in barrel to 12.75% alc. and 1.2 g/L rs, the wine undergoing batonnage. Very pale straw colour with slight green hues, very pale on rim. This has a very fresh, tight and elegant nose, the bouquet pristine and pure with aromas of white florals, limes and apples. Dry to taste, the palate is elegant in proportion, showing tightly bound and subtle flavours of florals, gooseberries and minerals. The palate flows with fine acidity and tension, bringing a delicate liveliness to the mouthfeel. A refined core and palate line leads to a long finish with restrained fruit nuances. A refined and pristine Sauvignon Blanc, this is stylishly subtle, and will be a match with Thai, Vietnamese and Japanese dishes over the next 2-3 years. 17.5+/20 Sep 2012 RRP $25.00

Gladstone Vineyard ‘Reserve – Sophie's Choice' Gladstone Barrel Fermented Sauvignon Blanc 2011

Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand – Wairarapa & Wellington


Named in tribute to ‘Sophie', the Kernohan's golden retriever. Hand-picked fruit from 25 y.o. vines from the ‘Home' block, WBP and fully barrel-fermented in seasoned French oak to 13.3% alc. and 0.3 g/L rs, the wine aged 10 months in barrel with batonnage. Full straw-yellow colour with some depth, light golden hues at heart. The bouquet is full, intense and densely concentrated with aromas of ripe nectarines interwoven with spicy oak, unfolding to reveal a complex nutty, citrus and herb amalgam. Dry and full-bodied, densely packed fruit flavours form a concentrated and weighty core with flavours of nectarines and tropical fruits, dark herbs, spices and nuts. This is smooth and slightly creamy in texture showing the barrel-ferment, with soft acidity in the background. The flavours of spicy oak and fruit blossom and linger on a long, textural and dry finish. This is a full-bodied, complex and textural, oak-fermented Sauvignon Blanc packed with flavour. Serve with herb-marinated poultry and pork dishes. 150 cases made. 18.5/20 Sep 2012 RRP $35.00

Gladstone Vineyard Gladstone Rosé 2012

Rose from New Zealand – Wairarapa & Wellington


Bright, pale pink colour with slight peach hues. The aromatics are light and fresh with bright strawberry fruit and boiled sweet notes, along with red florals and honeysuckle. Dry to taste, delicate flavours of strawberries and bon-bons are enlivened by zesty, racy acidity, adding a sweet, juiciness to the mouthfeel. This is clean and crisp, the fruit expressed with clarity. The wine has a good palate line enhanced by a little textural thread and acidity which carries through to a moderately long finish. This is a racy, zesty rosé with delicately luscious strawberry confectionary flavours. Serve as an aperitif over the next 2 years. Made from Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Malbec grapes from the ‘Dakins Road' block on skins for 12 hours and cool-fermented to 13.0% alc. and 2.64 g/L rs. 16.5/20 Sep 2012 RRP $25.00

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