Awarded 95 points and Outstanding status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their September 2018 edition panel tasting of "Alternative" New Zealand Whites (not Sauvignon Blanc or Chardonnay) (see blue link below)...
Trinity Hill Gimblett Gravels Marsanne Viognier 2016 - Sept 2018 Decanter review
... and comments from one particular reviewer...
Trinity Hill Gimblett Gravels Marsanne Viognier 2016 - Sept 2018 Decanter review - individual comments
Since its inception in 1993, John Hancock (who has been making wine in New Zealand for over 35 years), in conjunction with his partners Robert and Robyn Wilson, have made Trinity Hill a byword for quality and consistency. Winemaker Warren Gibson has been with Trinity Hill since 1997. He is in charge of the 80 hectares of vineyard owned by Trinity Hill, of which 47 hectares are in the Gimblett Gravels. Trinity Hill wines have an elegance, balance, drinkability and precision of flavour. This estate was one of the first to plant grapes on the Gimblett Gravels in 1993.
The Marsanne and Viognier grapes come from deep, free draining gravel soils in the microclimate of the Gimblett Gravels region. The soils were deposited by the Ngaruroro River as it changed course over many thousands of years. Their low fertility and excellent drainage give small crops of grapes with highly concentrated flavours and aromas.
A late beginning to the 2016 season was followed by a very warm summer and early autumn period. The warm days were also combined with warm night-time temperatures and high humidity, particularly in the second half of March. It was definitely a season to be close and vigilant with the vines.
Hand-harvested fruit was gently whole-bunch pressed and then immediately transferred to barrel. The indigenous fermentation took place in a range of aged French oak barrels but with no new oak component. After ageing on the lees in barrel for 14 months, including malolactic fermentation, the wine was blended and then bottled in July 2016. Barrel fermentation and lees ageing add richness and complexity, however no obvious oak character is sought.
The Viognier provides exotic aromatics of apricot, musk and jasmine and a luscious mouth-feel. Marsanne provides gentle honeysuckle flavours as well as structure and tension to balance the fullness of the Viognier. The exotic nature of this wine makes it a great substitute for Chardonnay or Pinot Gris.