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Giesen The Brothers Syrah 2011

Syrah/Shiraz from Marlborough, New Zealand
  • WS91
14% ABV
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14% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Aromas of blueberries and violets with dense chocolate notes and spicy dark fruit, bramble and cedar. The palate is dense and succulent with savoury, aniseed and cinnamon stick flavors, refined tannin and a long, complex finish. This wine will benefit from decanting before drinking.

Critical Acclaim

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WS 91
Wine Spectator
Aromatics of fresh-cracked black pepper, lavender, sage and Chinese five-spice powder open up to firm, slightly chewy notes of wild blackberry, blueberry and plum. Effusive and juicy, with plenty of push on the long, lingering finish. Drink now through 2030.
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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.

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.

Syrah/Shiraz

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Marked by unmistakable deep purple hue and savory aromatics, Syrah accounts for a good deal of some of the most intense, powerful and age-worthy reds in the world. Native to the Northern Rhône, Syrah still achieves some of its maximum potential here, especially from Hermitage and Côte-Rôtie.

Syrah also plays an important component in the canonical Southern Rhône blends based on Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre, adding color, depth, complexity and structure to the mix. Today these blends have become well-appreciated from key appellations of the New World, namely Australia, California and increasingly, with praise, from Washington.

In the Glass

Syrah typically shows aromas and flavors of purple fruits, fragrant violets, baking spice, white pepper and even bacon, smoke or black olive. In Australia, where it goes under the name Shiraz, it produces deep, dark, intense and often, jammy reds. While Northern Rhône examples are typically less fruity and more earthy, California appears increasingly capable of either style.

Perfect Pairings

Flavorful Moroccan-spiced lamb, grilled meats, spareribs and hard, aged cheeses are perfect with Syrah. Blue cheeses are perfect with a dense and fruit-driven Australian Shiraz.

Sommelier Secret

Due to the success of Australian “Shiraz,” winemakers throughout the world have adopted this synonym for Syrah when they have produced a plush and fruit forward wine made in the Australian style. As an aside, Australians are also fond of tempering their fruit-forward Shiraz by blending with Cabernet Sauvignon, which adds depth and structure.

PHYOAGBSH11_2011 Item# 141049