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Giesen Clayvin Single Vineyard Pinot Noir 2013

Pinot Noir from Marlborough, New Zealand
  • JS96
  • D91
14.5% ABV
Other Vintages
  • JS94
  • WW93
  • BH91
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14.5% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Aromas of bright blueberry, blackberry, aniseed, followed by warm earth and cedar. Brooding blend of dense black fruits, bramble, earth and liquorice with ripe supple tannin, combining to produce a taut palate in its youth, but ensure structure as it ages.

Critical Acclaim

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JS 96
James Suckling
A brambly and perfumed wine that has plenty of sappy red cherries and spices. It's full of fragrances and sweet-berry perfumes, not to mention a little touch of rose petals. Crisp tannins come into play from the get-go on the palate, heralding flavors of raspberries and red cherries. A beautifully defined, long and balanced style. Majestic structure and a deep and focused finish. Best from 2018 and up to 2025.
D 91
Decanter
Bursting with black cherry, baked tamarillo, vanilla and spice aromas; sweetly fruity and quite substantial on the palate, with firm grip and juicy acidity. Will improve.
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Giesen

Giesen

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Giesen, Marlborough, New Zealand
Video of winery
If it weren’t for the heat and the snakes, the Giesen brothers could well have settled in Australia. But after suffering in 40 degree temperatures and an incident involving a snake in a swimming pool, Theo Giesen decided that New Zealand was a more attractive option. Australia’s loss has been New Zealand’s gain. Theo and Alex were the first to arrive in New Zealand on their equivalent of an OE. They had initially planned to start a stone company, along similar lines to their family business back in Germany, but instead they bought land in Burnham, just outside of Christchurch, and planted vines. At the time, it was the southern most vineyard in the world… and many people thought they were a little crazy.

While the brothers had some experience in growing grapes – their family had ‘hobby’ vines back in Germany – neither Theo nor Alex knew how to make wine. So it was up to Marcel to learn. Four years later, Marcel, now a qualified winemaker, joined his brothers in New Zealand.

A lot has changed since those early days, but even though they are now old hands at the business, the brothers are all still very involved. They work closely with the winemaking and vineyard team, and they all still get a kick out of producing world class wine. The thrill of a new vintage never goes away.

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Marlborough

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An icon and leading region of New Zealand's distinctive style of Sauvignon blanc, Marlborough has a unique terroir, making it ideal for high quality grape production (of many varieties). Despite some common generalizations, which could be fairly justified given that Marlborough is responsible for 90% of New Zealand's Sauvignon blanc production, the wines from this region are actually anything but homogenous. At the northern tip of New Zealand’s South Island, the vineyards of Marlborough benefit from well-draining, stony soils, a dry, sunny climate and wide temperature fluctuations between day and night, a phenomenon that supports a perfect balance between berry ripeness and acidity.

The region’s king variety, Sauvignon blanc, is beloved for its pungent, aromatic character with notes of exotic tropical fruit, freshly cut grass and green bell pepper along with a refreshing streak of stony minerality. These wines are made in a wide range of styles, and winemakers take advantage of various clones, vineyard sites, fermentation styles, lees-stirring and aging regimens to differentiate their bottlings, one from one another.

Also produced successfully here are fruit-forward Pinot noirs (especially where soils are clay-rich), elegant Riesling, Pinot gris and Gewürztraminer.

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Pinot Noir

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One of the most finicky yet rewarding grapes to grow, Pinot Noir is a labor of love for many. However, the greatest red wines of Burgundy prove that it is unquestionably worth the effort. In fact, it is the only red variety permitted in Burgundy. Highly reflective of its terroir, Pinot Noir prefers calcareous soils and a cool climate, requires low yields to achieve high quality and demands a lot of attention in the vineyard and winery. It retains even more glory as an important component of Champagne as well as on its own in France’s Loire Valley and Alsace regions. This sensational grape enjoys immense international success, most notably growing in Oregon, California and New Zealand with smaller amounts in Chile, Germany (as Spätburgunder) and Italy (as Pinot Nero).

In the Glass

Pinot Noir is all about red fruit—strawberry, raspberry and cherry with some heftier styles delving into the red or purple plum and in the other direction, red or orange citrus. It is relatively pale in color with soft tannins and a lively acidity. With age (of which the best examples can handle an astounding amount) it can develop hauntingly alluring characteristics of fresh earth, savory spice, dried fruit and truffles.

Perfect Pairings

Pinot’s healthy acidity cuts through the oiliness of pink-fleshed fish like salmon and tuna but its mild mannered tannins give it enough structure to pair with all sorts of poultry: chicken, quail and especially duck. As the namesake wine of Boeuf Bourguignon, Pinot noir has proven it isn’t afraid of beef. California examples work splendidly well with barbecue and Pinot Noir is also vegetarian-friendly—most notably with any dish that features mushrooms.

Sommelier Secret

For administrative purposes, the region of Beaujolais is often included in Burgundy. But it is extremely different in terms of topography, soil and climate, and the important red grape here is ultimately Gamay, not Pinot noir. Truth be told, there is a tiny amount of Gamay sprinkled around the outlying parts of Burgundy (mainly in Maconnais) but it isn’t allowed with any great significance and certainly not in any Village or Cru level wines. So "red Burgundy" still necessarily refers to Pinot noir.

YNG276611_2013 Item# 144499