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Giesen Riesling collects top gong at New World Wine Awards

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Giesen Wines has been recognised as New Zealand’s undisputed champion of Riesling with its seventh consecutive listing in the New World Top 50 - making it the winemaker with most awarded wine variety in the competition’s history.

Giesen Riesling has been awarded New World Top 50 status for seven years. Giesen set the record in 2017 when its Giesen Estate Riesling was the first wine to win five consecutive Gold Medals at the New World Wine Awards. Giesen Estate Riesling has held New World Top 50 and Gold Medal status in 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2019. For the first time last year Giesen Gemstone Riesling received a New World Gold Medal and was listed in the New World Top 50.

In its 17th year, New World Wine Awards were judged by a panel of 17 independent wine experts, headed by Chair of Judges Jim Harré. Entries were evaluated using the same 100-point scale as other wine competitions worldwide, which benchmarks entries against what a perfect wine should be like. This year, Giesen Estate Riesling was recognised from 1,274 entries submitted by 176 wineries from New Zealand and overseas. It’s available in New World stores nationwide for the next five weeks.

Giesen has a quality Riesling pedigree. Founders Theo, Alex and Marcel Giesen drew upon their German heritage to create Estate Riesling which they have made since their first vintage in 1984. Giesen Estate Riesling has become a favourite with Kiwis, being the largest selling Riesling in New Zealand. As well as the New World accolades it has won multiple trophies, including most recently; Champion Riesling Trophy and Champion Open White Wine Trophy at the Air New Zealand Wine Awards 2016.

Giesen Chief Winemaker and four-time winner of NZ Winemaker of the Year, Nikolai St George is proud of Giesen’s Riesling portfolio.

"Giesen has a wonderful focus and commitment to Riesling. We punch well above our weight and sell more Riesling in New Zealand than any other producer. We’ve been making Riesling since the brothers’ first vintage from Canterbury in 1984 and over the years we’ve created an extensive Riesling portfolio with multiple styles and regions."

"Riesling is a great way of introducing people to wine. We’re discovering our Riesling - particularly Giesen Estate Riesling - is finding favour with younger drinkers who enjoy the aromatics and slighter sweeter style. That’s one of the wonderful things about Riesling, there are so many styles making it a wonderful variety for wine lovers to explore and enjoy."

Giesen Riesling Portfolio

Giesen’s extensive Riesling portfolio offers something for every wine lover from the person just starting their journey of wine exploration to the seasoned wine drinker looking for something new and complex and now even a Riesling from Germany.

Giesen Estate Riesling 2018

The jewel in Giesen’s Riesling crown, Estate Riesling is has been the cornerstone of the company’s Riesling dominance and is a favourite with wine lovers throughout the country.

Blended from cool-climate vineyards throughout Marlborough and Waipara. Fruit from Marlborough adds a textural element, richness, citrus flavours and ageability to the wine, while the Waipara component provides fabulous floral aromatics.

After pressing and settling for 36 hours, clear juice was fermented in separate vineyard batches, mostly at cool temperatures. A selection of different yeasts were chosen to amplify the regional characteristics of the Marlborough fruit. Giesen’s winemakers tasted each parcel daily and stopped the ferment when the acid/sugar/alcohol balance was reached and when the aromas of spice and exotic tropical notes were present. Stopping the ferment early also retains some natural sugar hence the beautiful off-dry flavour of the wine.

Giesen Estate Riesling 2018 is available at New World stores across New Zealand for $16.99 RRP.

Giesen Gemstone Riesling 2018

In 2017 Giesen developed its limited release Gemstone Riesling with a point of difference, including wine fermented and held in German-made granite tanks. Wine matured in granite has an intense, mineral character.

Fruit for Gemstone was chosen from a single Awatere Valley, Marlborough vineyard because of its fantastic condition and concentration. The juice was divided into three parcels for fermentation. A portion went into Giesen’s large German granite tanks, a second parcel went into 500 litre French oak barrels with at least four years age and the final parcel went into stainless steel tanks. After fermentation the wine was held on light lees for two months before the three parcels were blended ahead of bottling.

Nikolai St George says granite is exceptional for stabilising temperature, tempering the heat generated by fermenting juice, storing the heat build-up and then returning it slowly when external temperatures drop, which all adds up to a wine with intense, mineral character.

For the 2018 vintage Giesen added its own new world winemaking twist to the centuries old tradition of winemaking with granite. During fermentation the granite tanks used their granite lids which allowed air in, causing slight evaporation which added concentration to the wine. However, once fermentation stopped, Giesen replaced the traditional stone covers with floating stainless steel lids which the winemaking team specially designed. The new floating stainless steel lids stopped the passage of air which meant the wine retained its bright, clean fruit flavours.

Gemstone Riesling 2018 has exciting notes of luscious citrus blossom on the nose, opening out to a textured wine with balance, subtle sweetness, minerality and a long lingering character-filled finish.

Gemstone by Giesen is widely available in fine wine retailers and supermarkets across New Zealand for $19.99 RRP.

Giesen Riesling Blush 2019

Drawing upon knowledge of how to make great Rieslings which people love, the team have created Giesen Riesling Blush.

The winemakers started with Giesen Estate’s much-loved and awarded Riesling - carefully selecting parcels of premium dry Riesling from cool-climate vineyards in Marlborough and Waipara. Fermentation of premium Riesling parcels was stopped before dryness, to maximise

flavour while delivering slightly less alcohol (only 10%). Then winemakers added the exceptional element - a splash of Syrah.

A playful pink candy-floss colour, Giesen Estate Riesling Blush offers enticing aromas of luscious red berries and elderflower, underlined by subtle sweet spice and a refreshing twist of citrus. The delicious wine offers taste mouth-watering lime and blood orange, with a touch of sweetness that finishes dry.

Giesen Riesling Blush is widely available in fine wine retailers and supermarkets across New Zealand for $16.99 RRP.

Giesen Mosel Riesling 2018

Sticking with their love of Riesling, something different from the Giesen brothers, which will be available in early 2020.

Theo, Alex and Marcel Giesens’ memories of their grandfather August travelling to Mosel to buy barrels of the region’s world famous Riesling, prompted them to purchase a vineyard and make wine in this iconic German region.

Giesen Mosel Reiler Goldlay 2018 is unashamedly Germanic. With its fruit grown on the slopes of the area’s most regarded winery area, it’s a showcase of the region’s ancient slate soil and cool climate of its origin, showcasing high minerality, giving way to flavours of lime,

lemon, melon and pineapple. It’s perfect balance between minerality and tropical flavours is thanks to its dryness.

Giesen Mosel Reiler Goldlay Riesling is very approachable and perfect for every occasion - a great aperitif on its own or equally enjoyable matched with a meal. Seafood is a sure bet with Mosel - the purity of flavour in crustaceans like crab, prawn and crayfish are echoed in the wine and given a flavour twist with Mosel’s elegant acidity. Germans are well known for their love of pork and Giesen Mosel and pork are a perfect match - try it with slow roasted pork belly or even a BLT.

While Giesen Mosel Reiler Goldlay Riesling is a delicious reflection of its German terroir, it also reflects its connection with New Zealand and the brothers’ love of sharing wines with family and friends. Not only is it great quality but It’s incredible value - particularly given that it comes from Reiler Goldlay, one of the most acclaimed of Mosel’s Riesling growing areas. While Giesen Mosel Riesling is drinking beautifully now, its firm acidity means it’s possible to age it for up to five years.

Giesen Mosel Riesling will be available from early 2020 at selected fine wine retailers.

Since its establishment in 1981 by brothers Theo, Alex and Marcel, Giesen Wines has built a reputation for delivering quality Riesling and today it has varying Riesling styles. Investment in vineyards, equipment and winemaking technology have enabled expansion of Giesen Wines. Giesen owns 13 vineyards throughout Marlborough’s highly sought after Wairau Valley and has longstanding relationships with 50 of New Zealand’s well respected grape growers, giving the winery access to the finest quality fruit, which is the backbone of its global success.

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