Trophy for Champion Chardonnay – New Zealand Organic Wine Awards 2019
Gold Medal – New Zealand Organic Wine Awards 2019
The Clayvin vineyard has become Marlborough’s ‘Grand Cru’. Established by Mike Eaton and made famous by Fromm, this clay based hillside vineyard in the Southern Valleys was firstly leased by Giesen and then purchased about 4 years ago. Fromm and Te Whare Ra still get fruit from here as well. This is a wine that has been given the ‘Rolls Royce’ treatment. Around 5 days before harvest grapes, leaves and flowers from the vineyard are collected into a fermenting bucket and sealed, taken to the winery for the yeast to start. The grapes are hand sorted in the vineyard and pressed into the Fuders and the natural yeast added. The wine is then left to its own course with minimal sulphur added and no fining – as natural as they can get. This new 2015 is an exceptional Chardonnay. All sorts of complex flavours – smoky flinty corruption gives way to fig, cashew, stonefruit, citrus .. may even be better than the highly regarded 2014. Exceptional Chardonnay.
5 Stars & 97/100 Sam Kim, Wine Orbit, August 2017 (2015 Vintage)
"An exceptional offering; the bouquet is inviting, engaging and very charming with white stone fruit, rockmelon, lemon pith, vanilla and hazelnut characters with a touch of flinty notes. The palate offers outstanding fruit purity and vibrancy, wonderfully complemented by creamy texture and firm acidity. It is taut yet rounded and flows effortlessly to an extremely long sensual finish. At its best: 2018 to 2023."
5 Stars & 95/100 Bob Campbell MW, The Real Review, June 2019 (2015 Vintage)
"Rich, concentrated and quite complex chardonnay with white peach, stone fruit, hazelnut, bran biscuit and spicy oak flavours. A substantial, well-structured wine that promises to deliver even more with the benefit of bottle age."
95/100 Cameron Douglas MS, November 2018 (2015 Vintage)
"Very new, youthful bouquet; complex and layered. As the wine opens up in glass the complexity becomes stronger and deeper. Aromas and flavours of Grapefruit, peach, white flowers, rocky stony minerality, fine yet abundant oak signature with tannins and acidity to match. Bold, rich and complex with a lengthy finish. Think Grand Cru Brugundy. Best drinking 2022 through 2032."
5 Stars Yvonne Lorkin, May 2019 (2015 Vintage)
"I have literally been doing a months-long Rumplestiltskin dance waiting for this wine to be released. Certified organic and representing the pinnacle of what the team at Giesen can achieve from Clayvin, (one of Marlborough’s most sought-after vineyards), it’s absolutely stunning and worth every cent from the very first sip. A yeast-starter is created from grapes, leaves, and flowers from the vineyard that are loaded into a fermenting bucket, sealed, then taken to the winery to bubble away. The fruit is hand sorted then pressed into 1000lt oak fuders before that natural yeast is added. Following that, it’s as hands-off as possible, with no fining, minimal sulphur additions and all that my friends, is what makes this wine so glorious to drink. With aromas of cashew butter spread onto slices of grapefruit and peach, then baked in a low oven on oak boards, this toasty, creamy, fruit-saturated sensation is quite the most lovely thing. Also scooped Gold and Champion Chardonnay at the recent NZ Organic Wine Awards."
18/20 Tim Jackson MW, JancisRobinson.com, July 2019 (2015 Vintage)
"Brancott Valley subregion. North part of Clayvin vineyard, with 20-year-old Mendoza and 95 clones. Six-hour racking after pressing, to German oak foudres for fermentation, using a pied de cuve prepared in the vineyard. Pale-mid lemon-gold. Celery and fennel herb, then broad, subtle nuttiness, spice and earth. Broad and complex. Crisp and appley palate, that is both rich and powerful, and brisk – in a manner not dissimilar to Montrachet. Dense and long."