Ashwood Estate Pinot Gris – A Vertical Tasting Selection 2009 – 2013

18-Nov-2014
Ashwood Estate is the premium wine brand of Murray MacPhail, a third generation Gisborne farmer, whose Leaderbrand company is the region’s largest land user and horticultural supplier. The company is also the largest grower of grapes and the ‘Ashwood’ brand is the company’s foray into the top end of the wine market. To date, Pinot Gris and Chardonnay have been released to critical acclaim and show success, the Pinot Gris made by Nick Nobilo and the Chardonnay by Steve Voysey, two of the region’s most respected winemakers. Steve Voysey has now assumed the winemaking responsibility for the brand.

Ashwood Estate has released a unique tasting case of the wines made to date, from 2009 through to 2013, the latter vintage with two variants, these being a medium-dry bottling and a sweeter wine made from juice too good to be blended away. The wines from 2009 to 2012 were made from hand-harvested M2 (Italian) and 457 Entave (Alsace) clones from two vineyard sites. These wines were fermented in large 2,500 Litre oak cuves. The 2013 vintage wines are exclusively M2 clone, the drier wine having a portion machine-picked and fermented in stainless-steel followed by blending with a cuve treated portion, and the sweeter wine fermented in oak cuve. All of the wines have been well-awarded in domestic and international wine shows.

I had the opportunity of tasting the finished wines, the 2009 to 2012, as well as two tank samples of the 2013 wines in October last year. Tasted now, the 2009 – 2012 wines are very consistent with how they showed then, but the medium-dry 2013 has become richer, whereas the Late Harvest 2013 has become withdrawn and seems tighter. Here are my reviews of the wines, the 2013 wines now finished. The style is one of richness and complexity in the Alsace style, the wines genuinely reflecting their vintage. They are a fascinating collection. The wines are available individually, but can be purchased as a set. In the latter format, the Ashwood Estate Pinot Gris Vertical Tasting Case comes in a wooden box and is priced at $115.00. www.ashwood.co.nz


FEATURED WINES IN THIS REVIEW

  • Ashwood Estate Gisborne Pinot Gris 2009
  • Ashwood Estate Gisborne Pinot Gris 2010
  • Ashwood Estate Gisborne Pinot Gris 2011
  • Ashwood Estate Gisborne Pinot Gris 2012
  • Ashwood Estate Gisborne Pinot Gris 2013
  • Ashwood Estate Gisborne Late Harvest Pinot Gris 2013

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