Wine Life had the pleasure of trying this young pinot noir from Gibbston Valley winery with Chief Winemaker Chris Keys. A world exclusive, we were the first media to try this bright and clear wine. Sipping from Riedel’s Central Otago Pinot Noir glasses, Chris shared a few thoughts with us… 

The 2015 season was eventful on the weather front; spring was cool and frosty but warm conditions in January perked up the smaller-than-average yield. This has led to a pure, pristine clarity of flavour. 

2015 gibbston valley pinot noir wine life queenstown photo blog 2Christopher Keys taking a fruit sample from Bendigo

Snobby Wine Description 

This is a young, sprightly, jangly red. It’s leap froggy energised. It’s pared back 80s or 90s guitar, a bit like the Red Hot Chilli Peppers. Nice tannin. 

It holds itself with a Japanese-like respect, it has power and it understands that weight is a sin and balance is a virtue. 

What went into making this wine? 

The Gibbston Valley wines are classically sculpted using handpicked fruit from our Bendigo and Gibbston subregions. The wines were pressed individually and have spent ten months in French oak barrels, made with 20% new wood. 

This wine was mean to me for a while, showing too much structure, but it just needed more time in the bottle. Now I think it’s going to be one of the best vintages. I’m nervously proud. 

2015 gibbston valley pinot noir wine life queenstown photo blog 3Bendigo fruit

How should we drink this? 

When the sun sinks low but doesn’t set; when the grizzle is the shizzle, slide this out; in the golden lit evening find a friend, speak in blue whilst drinking red.  The bored black and white dog is incidental.

Umm, any cellar-ing or food suggestions?

I think the wine needs a bit more time, the juvenile tannins are yelling and banging on the cot right now. It’s fresh electric. Leave it in the cellar until 2017 (or up to ten years).

Good glassware is important. A wider-brimmed glass will open up the flavours a little. 

It’ll jangle nicely with venison dishes. Serve at 16 degrees C… to clarify, on a warm summer’s day you should put this in the fridge half an hour before serving. 


Harvest Analysis

Harvest Date: 30 March - 30 April 2015
˚Brix: 23.5 - 24.5ºBrix
Titratable Acidity: 6.5 - 8g/L
pH: 3.2 - 3.3 pH

Wine Analysis

Alcohol: 13.5 v/v
Residual Sugar: dry
Titratable Acidity: 6.00 g/L
pH: 3.6 pH

2015 gibbston valley pinot noir wine life queenstown photo blog 4Pinot Noir Gibbston Valley