Giesen Clayvin CH PN SY Studio NV A

Giesen Clayvin Series

The wine region of Marlborough may conjure up images of Sauvignon Blanc vines spread flat out along the valley floor as far as the eye can see, but in the last two decades the Clayvin Vineyard, in the region’s Southern Valleys, has been setting the standard for the production of premium Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. Viticulturalist Mike Eaton established Clayvin in 1991, the first commercial hillside vineyard for Pinot Noir in Marlborough, with vines now over thirty years old. Fromm Winery cemented the vineyard’s reputation in the late 1990s and Giesen, after leasing vines in 2013, bought the Clayvin Vineyard in 2015.

The Clayvin Vineyard is on a north facing slope at the top of the Brancott Valley, sheltered from harsh southerly winds. Its high-density planting ensures competition among the vines and, combined with the sunlight intensity there, produces wines of concentration and power. The soils tend to be heavier, containing more clay than other areas of Marlborough, so are excellent at holding water, ideal in the hot and dry summer period. The vineyard is certified organic under BioGro NZ.

Giesen The Fuder Series Clayvin Single Vineyard Chardonnay 2018
93 Points | $84.99

Giesen’s 2018 Clayvin Chardonnay is a luxuriant wine, very youthful in bottle with ripe aromas of peach and nectarine stone fruit, Manuka honey and bright white florals under a seam of vanilla and smoky toasted almond oak. The Fuder Series is named for the large format 1000L German oak fuder barrels used for fermentation and ageing, that allow for fresh and expressive fruit aromas and the energy of fine acidity, although the lees contact and evidence of malo soften this wine with a textural, creamy richness that lingers to the finish. 

Giesen Clayvin Chardonnay NV BottleShot

Giesen Clayvin Single Vineyard Selection Pinot Noir 2019
94 Points | $84.99

Clonal composition is a feature of the Clayvin Pinot Noir vineyard, bringing an abundance of aromas and flavour characteristics to the wine. Often clones ripen at different times so handpicking is crucial, with multiple sweeps by group winemaker Duncan Shouler and his team throughout the vineyard. Yields are very low, producing on average one bottle per vine.

The Giesen 2019 Clayvin Pinot Noir shows a deep colour in the glass with youthful primary aromas of red fruits (cherry, strawberry, raspberry), exotic spice, and that muscular and attractive Clayvin sanguine meatiness. Cedar and dried orange peel notes of French oak with caramel on the finish and a firm dusty tannin grip. Restrained and elegant on opening but loves time in the glass… or you can keep it locked away for another decade if you so wish. 

Giesen Clayvin PinotNoir NV BottleShot

Giesen Clayvin Single Vineyard Selection Syrah 2021
93 Points | $84.99

Marlborough’s cool climate makes it challenging to ripen this variety however vines positioned at the top of the Clayvin vineyard take advantage of the long, hot summer days. Heat from the hills descends and pools among the vines, with low-fruiting wires helping to take advantage of the extra heat. Giesen’s 2021 Clayvin Syrah is an inky deep purple, with blackberry, boysenberry and jubey raspberry fruit aromas and notes of cool-climate white pepper and cocoa French oak. Medium-bodied, there’s crunch from acidity and a savoury finish with that tell-tale Clayvin iron/ sanguine character and dusty lingering tannins. Perhaps a tricky sell given our love of home-grown Aussie Shiraz, but this a delicious and worthy premium cool-climate example worth seeking out. 

Single Vineyard Clayvin Syrah no vintage

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