GIESEN wines from New Zealand are making a new push in the United States. I tasted the Pinot Noir and Sauvignon Blanc this week, both from Marlborough, and they rock. The Sauvignon Blanc has some richness and creaminess to balance the green, herbaceous character of NZ Sauv Blancs, and the Pinot is lush and creamy, too — you can’t drink one glass. The Giesen brothers — Theo, Alex and Marcel — grew up in Germany where generations of their family have been involved in food and wine trades. The brothers had a hobby vineyard. Alex and Theo visited Australia and New Zealand in the early 1980s and settled on the cool-climate South Island to buy land and plant Riesling. Brother Marcel went to winemaking school back in Germany and the rest is history. Thirty years later, they are making world-class wines and have 700 acres of land in the prized Wairau Valley.
Giesen Pinot Noir “The Brothers” Marlborough 2013, $25: The fruit is so gloriously dense and fleshy it’s like chewing cherries, currants and pomegranate with a kick of vanilla and a smidge of caramel, cocoa and brown baking spice. It’s like a liquid chocolate truffle with a cherry and alcohol in the center. Flavors are persistent; tannins are smooth and round.
Giesen Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough 2015, $15: One sip and you are greeted with inviting rich flavors and creamy texture that tame the herbal, grapefruit character so typical of Marlborough Sauv Blancs. Aromas are a perfume of honeysuckle, grapefruit, lemon and green herbs. Flavors are rich and concentrated with grapefruit, herbs, floral notes and lychee nut.
You can reach Sandra Silfven at firstname.lastname@example.org.