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Featured Reviews

Johner Estate 2017 Riesling and Sauvignon, and 2016 Pinot Noir and Reserve Syrah

07 May,2018

Established in 2001 by Karl Heinz Johner, Johner Estate in Gladstone makes a broad and strong range of Wairarapa wines. The focus is on wines made from his 15 ha vineyard at the end of Dakins Road in Gladstone, but he draws fruit from around the greater Wairarapa area to complete his portfolio. Karl’s winemaker is Raphael Burki, with the company since 2006. Together they have developed the Lime Hill Vineyard project, sited east of Masterton (click here to see my reviews of the 2016 Chardonnay and Pinot Noir). Here, I review four new release mainstay wines from the Johner Estate range.


Johner Estate Wairarapa Riesling 2017

Riesling from New Zealand – Wairarapa & Wellington


Brilliant pale straw colour with green hues, near colourless on the edge. The nose is elegant and slender in proportion with aromas of lime fruit along with lemonade and white florals entwined with suggestions of toasty and minerals. The fruit is taut and finely concentrated with good penetration. Medium-dry to taste and light-medium bodied, the palate has a finely concentrated heart of lime fruit harmoniously melded with white florals, a little honeysuckle and hints of toast detail. The wine flows along a fine line with subtle phenolic grip and brisk, lacy acidity enlivening the mouthfeel. The wine carries to a moderately sustained finish. This is an elegantly concentrated medium-dry Riesling lime and floral flavours and hints of toast on a fine-textured, lively palate. Match with Asian fare over the next 3-4 years. Hand-picked fruit, WBP and fermented in stainless-steel to 12.0% alc. and 11 g/L RS. 17.0+/20 May 2018 RRP $20.00

Johner Estate Gladstone Sauvignon Blanc ‘Sur Lie’ 2017

Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand – Wairarapa & Wellington


Bright, pale straw colour with pale green hues, near colourless on the rim. The nose is fresh and vibrant with fragrant fruit aromas of passionfruit melded with white florals, along with piquant herbs, unfolding notes of nettles and cut-grass, and thirst-quenching minerals. Dry to taste and medium-bodied, the palate is bright and lively with finely packed flavours of passionfruit, white stonefruits, gooseberries and herbs, and some nettle-like elements. The fruit forms a smooth, linear core with underlying acidity lending energy. The wine carries to an elegant, lingering finish of passionfruit and nettles. This is a refreshing, smooth flowing Sauvignon Blanc with fragrant, but concentrated flavours of passionfruit, herbs and nettles. Serve with Pacific Rim fare over the next 2+ years. Hand-picked fruit from the ‘Home Block’, partially WBP, fermented in stainless-steel with 10% on 300 L seasoned oak to 12.5% alc. and 3.5 g/L RS, the oak portion undergoing batonnage and the tank portion aged 7 months on lees. 18.0-/20 May 2018 RRP $24.00

Johner Estate Gladstone Pinot Noir 2016

Pinot Noir from New Zealand – Wairarapa & Wellington


Moderately dark, deep ruby-red colour, lighter on the edge with a little garnet. The nose is softly full with aromas of dark-red berry fruit entwined with dark and dried herbs, nutty and slightly resinous oak, and suggestions of savoury earth, unfolding dark-red florals. Medium-full bodied, the palate is open and accessible with good depth of savoury dark-red berry fruit melded with slightly resinous, nutty oak, along with dark and dried herbs and earthy interest. The fruit forms a positive core and is underlined by light grainy tannin extraction and structure, with balanced acidity. The palate has good linearity and carries to a finish of savoury red fruits and oak. This is a moderately concentrated Pinot Noir with savoury red berry fruit, nutty oak and hints of resin with earthy complexity on a grainy-textured palate. Match with wild duck and pork, and casseroles over the next 5 years. Hand-picked fruit from the ‘Home Block;, a blend of Dijon clones and some Abel, fermented with 20% whole bunches to 13.5% alc., the wine spending 15 days on skins and aged 12 months in one-third new French oak. 17.0+/20 May 2018 RRP $39.00

Johner Estate ‘Reserve’ Gladstone Syrah 2016

Syrah from New Zealand – Wairarapa & Wellington


Full, even, black-hued red colour, a little lighter on the rim. The nose is well proportioned and packed with firm and intense aromas of black berried fruits, notes of dark raspberries melded with white and black pepper, unfolding nuances of Asian spices and black mineral elements. Medium-full bodied, the palate is fine in proportion with well-concentrated and intense flavours of blackberry and dark raspberry fruit entwined with white and black pepper, and spices. The fruit is supported by fine-grained tannin structure with soft acidity, and some underlying alcoholic power, carrying the wine to a rounded, but concentrated and sustained finish. This is an elegantly concentrated Syrah with blackberry and dark raspberry fruit along with white and black pepper, and spice notes on a fine-textured palate. Match with roasted and grilled lamb, beef and venison dishes over the next 5-7 years. Hand-picked fruit from the ‘Home Block’, destemmed and fermented to 14.0% alc., the wine spending 21 days on skins and aged 12 months in one-third new French oak barrels. 18.0/20 May 2018 RRP $50.00

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