The 2017 vintage was awarded a Gold Medal and 96 points at the 2018 Decanter World Wine Awards (click link for details).
Gasper is located in Goriška Brda, which makes up the two thirds of Collio stretching into Slovenia from Friuli-Venezia Giulia in north-eastern Italy. Goriška Brda has a climate ideally suited to viticulture, with its proximity to both the Adriatic Sea and the Alps providing dry, warm summers with cooling breezes during the crucial ripening period. The Gasper wine estate is a joint venture between a local cooperative and the Carman family, who have been in the wine and hospitality business for over 50 years. At the helm of the cellar is Darinko Ribolica, a respected oenologist from Goriška Brda. He uses Slovenia’s local varieties to create wines in a modern, fresh style.
The grapes for this wine are grown at altitudes ranging between 80-200 metres above sea level. The vineyards are terraced and face south-west, east and south. The climate here is sub-Mediterranean and experiences a mixture of warm sea air and the influence of cold winds from the Alps.
2018 was a wonderful vintage with no hail or frost experienced, resulting in a very successful harvest. A rainy spring led to an early summer and temperatures were warm and not excessively hot. Conditions at harvest time were ideal with warm, dry days and cool nights.
Fruit was pressed in a pneumatic press and then fermented and matured in stainless steel tanks. No malolactic fermentation was allowed to take place to preserve the freshness and fruit character of the grapes.
100% Pinot Grigio/Pinot Gris.
Residual sugar = 3.7g/litre.
The wine is straw yellow in colour with a subtle shade of pink. The nose is reminiscent of pear, grapefruit, pineapple and cinnamon. Well balanced, this medium-bodied Pinot Grigio has a lovely richness, with a silky finish and citrus aromas.
ABV = 14.0%.
"Grown and hand-picked at Bannockburn, in Central Otago, this freshly scented and mouthfilling wine was made in a basically dry style. Vibrantly fruity, it has strong, pure pear and lychee flavours, a hint of spiciness and excellent delicacy, harmony and depth." Four and a Half Stars, Listener Magazine - Michael Cooper, 13 October 2018.
Established in 1992, the Dicey family owns some of the oldest vineyards in the Bannockburn region of Central Otago on the famous Felton Road and have acquired land over the last ten years to build up to over 40 hectares, including six single vineyard sites. Their portfolio vineyards spans Central Otago from Gibbston to Lowburn Valley and on to Bendigo home still under Mount Difficulty at Bannockburn.
Central Otago provides New Zealand’s only continental climate, combined with unique soils ideally suited for growing Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Gris. The Bannockburn area, in particular, is one of the few sites outside of Burgundy that lends itself to the growing of the pernickety Pinot Noir grape; Mt Difficulty craft wines in the Burgundian style whilst stamping the uniqueness of the terroir to produce structured and serious wines. Not content with growing superb Pinot Noir, they are also known for their aromatic whites and grape varieties such as their grower series Lowburn Chardonnay and Estate Chenin Blanc.
Winemaker-in-chief Matt Dicey has a lifelong association with the wine industry and is a fourth-generation vigneron. After achieving a Masters Degree in Oenology and Viticulture, Matt spent four years gaining experience overseas.
As with all New Zealand wines, Mt Difficulty adhere to strict sustainability practices and constantly strive towards organic production.
Mount Difficulty is the name on the leading wines. The ‘second label’ is named Roaring Meg; these wines are produced in a more fruit-driven, early-drinking style and have become a mainstay of the Mt Difficulty stable since their introduction in 2003.
See the blue link below for the excellent fiche technique/technical note from the team at Mt Difficulty.
This wine is 100% Pinot Gris.
Note - always a question with Pinot Gris - how dry is it? 4g/litre of residual sugar (RS) here, so on the very margins of that sugar being detectable. That is, this is a dry Pinot Gris.
This aromatic Pinot Gris grows really well in the cool climatic conditions and produces a dry white with stone fruit aromas of peach and nectarine on the nose. The front palate displays vibrant, juicy flavours of stone fruits and ripe red apples, whilst the mid palate is full, creamy and well textured followed by a lingering, rich yet clean grapefruit driven finish.
ABV = 14.5%.
To Juliet’s question “What’s in a name?” the Sartori family would answer “Everything!” For over a century, Sartori, a leading name in fine wines from northeast Italy’s Veneto region, has stood for traditional values elevated by innovation, a dedication to quality and — above all — a boundless passion for quality winemaking. A constant theme over the last century has been the Sartori family’s bond with their land: it is a heritage that has evolved and is reflected in their new interpretations of the great classical Veronese wines, as well as in their innovative expressions of traditional varietals.
Pinot Grigio 100%.
This Pinot Grigio has aromas of white pears and flowery notes. The palate is soft and fresh with good texture. Very good as an aperitif, but nice also with pasta dishes with light sauces and fish.
ABV = 12.0%.
The wines of Ponte Del Diavolo are made on the well-drained soils of Grave del Friuli and are fuller than those from Verona. The Ponte del Diavolo wines take their name from the spectacular medieval bridge in nearby Cividale. The story goes that the devil struck a bargain with the townspeople, promising to make them a bridge in return for the soul of the first living thing to cross it. The cunning citizens sent a dog or cat across, depending on the variation of the story, thereby saving themselves and gaining a wonderful bridge.
The Pinot Grigio grapes for this wine are grown in vineyards in Grave del Friuli in the southern part of Friuli. The vines are grown on alluvial plains with stony soils.
After crushing, the must was chilled to 11-12°C and pressed gently to ensure no herbaceous aromas were extracted. Temperature-controlled fermentation using selected yeasts took place in stainless steel tanks between 12-14°C. Cold fermentation meant that the process could be drawn out to 30 days to increase perfume and complexity. The wine remained at 6°C in tank on the fine lees until bottling. This is a costly and time consuming process but plays a key role in contributing to the finesse and delicate aromatics of the finished wine. No carbon fining was used and the Pinot Grigio was sealed under screwcap to maximise freshness and eliminate cork taint.
100% Pinot Grigio.
Light, bright lemon in colour, this wine showcases a lively, freshly cut pear and baked bread character on the nose. Aromatic, with good structure and body, it has lovely elegance on the palate with ripe pears, a touch of sherbet and a nutty note offset by the characteristic freshness of wines from Friuli.
ABV = 12.5%.