Hawkshead Riesling 2020

  • Medium-bodied, dry to taste, a taut core of lemon, lime, tangerine with its zest; intermixed with lime flower & honey.
  • Hints of rose petal/rose water lead, shifting to red apple, white flowers and a floral texture on the nose.
  • The grapes are hand picked; whole bunch pressed, settled for 48hrs and then fermented at cool temperatures to retain the fresh fruit characteristics.
  • 1 or more bottles
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  • Raymond Chan Wi
    5 points
  • Michael Cooper
    4.5 points
  • Sam Kim
    5 points

Editors notes

Central Otago Lowburn Riesling epitomises the strength, vitality and maturity of this increasingly celebrated variety. 2022 Hawkshead Riesling expresses a linear fruit acidity and a distinct mineral note along with citrus blossom florals, ripe peach and passion fruit aromas on the nose. All those vibrant impressions flow easily onto the palate to discover more flavour notes of lemon sherbet and tropical papaya. More poetic palates may also detect a fleeting memory of honeysuckle, or newly unfurled bramble rose leaves.


Tasting Profile

  • Light (Light)
    Full (Full)
  • Low Tannin (Low Tannin)
    Tannic (Tannic)
  • Sweet (Sweet)
    Dry (Dry)
  • Low Acidity (Low Acidity)
    High Acidity (High Acidity)
  • Aroma
    • Floral
    • Lemon
    • Peach
  • Palate
    • Lemon
    • Rockmelon
    • Rose water

Food Pairings

  • Fish
  • Shellfish

Critic Scores & reviews

  • Raymond Chan Wine Reviews

    ""Bright, straw-yellow with some depth, lighter edged. The nose is presented elegantly, bright with gentle nuances of white floral and citrus, underlying honey, beeswax and stonefruit. Medium-bodied, dry-ish to taste, a taut core of lemon, lime, tangerine with its zest; intermix with lime flower and honey. Subtle white pepper and minerals unfold as it lingers to a crisp, citrus-fruited finish. Some residual sugar sweetness rounds the mouthfeel, balances the taut, mouthwatering acid. Citrus zest and a light phenolic grip bound stony minerals and crunchy acidity to a lengthy, dry finish. This is a citrusy Riesling with charming details and tension, presented with a rounded mouthfeel and dry, lengthy finish."
  • Michael Cooper

    ""'Bliss in a bottle', the 2020 vintage (4.5*) was grown at Lowburn, in the Cromwell Basin. Bright, light yellow/green, it is a powerful, full-bodied style of Riesling, hand-picked, fermented with indigenous yeasts in stainless steel tanks (97 per cent) and seasoned French oak barriques (3 per cent), and lees-aged for three months. Highly drinkable in its youth, it is scented and mouthfilling, with rich, peachy, slightly spicy flavours, moderate acidity and a dryish (7 grams/litre of residual sugar), very harmonious finish""
  • Sam Kim

    ""It is delightfully fruited and elegantly poised, showing white flesh nectarine, crunchy apple, lime sorbet and floral characters on the nose, leading to a brilliantly focused palate that is delicate and linear. The wine offers whispering sweetness and firm acidity, finishing impressively long and vibrant""

Other vintages

Love this wine? Here's a list of other vintages we have in stock if you'd like to try them as well.

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New Zealand

The New Zealand wine industry is one of the younger wine regions in the world, whose popularity grew immensely when Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc hit the world wine scene, quite unique in style when compared to the typical French Sancerre.

Wine is successfully cultivated on both the North and South islands from a latitude of 36 degrees in the North to 45 degrees for the most southerly wine region in the world, the South Island's Central Otago. The majority of regions are located in free-draining alluvial valleys except for Waiheke Island and Kawarau Gorge in Central Otago and benefit from the moderating effect of the maritime climate as no vineyard is more than 80 miles from the ocean. With plentiful sunshine hours and cool evening sea breezes, the grapes thrive.

Sauvignon Blanc is the major white variety people will think of when you mention New Zealand Whites, however fantastic Chardonnay, Riesling, Pinot Gris, Gewurztraminer and less commonly Viognier, Chenin Blanc and Pinot Blanc. Pinot Noir is the most widely planted red variety in New Zealand although Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot (Bordeaux Blends), Syrah are also grown and in even smaller amounts, Tempranillo and Montepulcianos can too be found. Sparkling wines of very high standards are also made in New Zealand.

The key wine regions in New Zealand include Auckland, Canterbury, Central Otago, Gisborne, Hawke's Bay, Marlborough and Nelson.

Central Otago

Central Otago, located at the southernmost point of the world where wine grapes are grown, is a remarkable wine-growing region that spans over 4,000 square kilometers on New Zealand’s South Island. This spectacular landscape is surrounded by rugged mountains, glacial lakes, and wide-open valleys, which have earned the region a reputation as one of the most scenic wine destinations in the world.

The region is centered around the bustling tourist hub of Queenstown, which is an ideal base to explore the many world-class wineries and vineyards that dot the countryside. The unique soils in Central Otago are characterized by heavy mineral deposits in silt loams that are unlike any other region in New Zealand, resulting in wines with distinctive flavor profiles and complex structures.

Central Otago is New Zealand's only "continental" wine-growing region, which means it experiences greater diurnal temperature fluctuations than any other region in the country. These large swings between low and high temperatures create ideal conditions for growing Pinot Noir, the flagship red varietal of the region. The long, cool, and dry autumn period also plays a significant role in producing some of the world's best Pinot Noirs, which are known for their fragrant aroma, silky texture, and true fruit intensity.

In addition to Pinot Noir, Central Otago is also renowned for its aromatic whites, particularly Riesling, which can be made in styles ranging from bone-dry to very sweet. Gewurztraminer, Pinot Gris, and Chardonnay are also produced to a very high standard, reflecting the region's diverse terroir and the skill of its winemakers.

Central Otago's exceptional wines have earned it a place in Jancis Robinson's top five New World wine-producing regions, cementing its status as one of the most exciting and unique wine destinations in the world. With its awe-inspiring natural beauty, welcoming wineries, and world-class wines, Central Otago is a must-visit destination for any wine lover.

Gibbston Valley

Nicknamed the 'Valley of the Vines', Gibbston is the highest and coolest subregion of Central Otago on the South Island of New Zealand. It’s also home to some of Central Otago’s oldest vines. In this high-altitude area, vineyards typically sit at 320 to 420 metres above sea level on north-facing slopes, wedged between craggy schist mountains and the rugged Kawarau Gorge. The grapes face cold winters; hot, dry summers; and a high diurnal range, resulting in some exceptional wines – primarily from Pinot Noir (70% of plantings), though Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, Riesling, and Sauvignon Blanc also grow here. These wines are generally fresh with high, crisp acidity. The Pinot Noirs are made in an earthy, delicate style – a number of which have received awards and an acclaimed worldwide reputation.

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About the brand Hawkshead

In the midst of the Valley of Vines at Gibbston, Denis Marshall and Ulrike Kurenbach have established the Hawkshead Vineyard. The first block of 1.5ha was planted in the spring of 2001, and a further 1.5ha in 2002, making the area planted in pinot noir just 3.00ha. These blocks were some of the first in Gibbston growing on over 80% rootstock, being 3309, RPG, and 101/14. The vines are spaced 2.4 metres between the rows and 1.28 metres between plants, creating a plant density of 3255 vines per hectare. At this spacing they budget on 1.6 kg of fruit per vine.

Today Hawkshead is a ‘Single Estate’ Vineyard on State Highway 6, just 25 km east of Queenstown as the valley gently falls to the Kawarau Gorge. Located on the 45th Latitude the Hawkshead Vineyard enjoys a near continental climate. Warm days and cool nights evoke memories of Burgundy and our grapes, on the north-facing slopes benefit from all year sunshine. A long dry autumn, accompanied by warm daylight temperatures, ensures slow ripening and intense flavour development for high-quality fruit.

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