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Bold, complex, and unconventional - this wine is the mark of the man whose outrageous legacy is inextricably tied to the Giesen story.
August Giesen (pronounced Aw-goost), born 1888, was a sommelier, restauranteur, hotelier, and a bit of a local legend in his native Germany. To Giesen Wines founders Theo, Alex, and Marcel, he was simply ‘Opa’.
This elegant barrel-fermented Sauvignon Blanc displays all of the boundary-pushing characteristics of its namesake. Hand-picked and wild fermented with integrated oak, this complex and multi-dimensional wine is a fitting tribute to a legend.
Fruit from two iconic Giesen vineyards make up The August Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2018 – our Matthews Lane and Dillons Point vineyards.
Fruit from our Matthews Lane site adds rich ripe tropical notes, steely, wet pebble aromas and purity. Our organically-certified Dillons Point adds herbal notes, richness and structure. Wild yeasts add extra texture and build depth and length.
With a tropical nose featuring passionfruit, guava and lime leaves, this is a multi-dimensional wine layered with toasty almonds, fresh brioche and incredible flinty notes. A carefully selected mix of seasoned German & French oak provides complexity and elegance.
Read more about our new-look wine and the man behind it.
August Giesen's outrageous legacy is inextricably tied to the Giesen story. So producing a wine elevated to its richest expression, with meticulous care from our winemakers, seemed a fitting tribute to a legend.
Wairau Valley - Dillon's Point & Matthews Lane
The wine is crafted to show a richer expression of Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc and is made to showcase cellaring potential.
Hands-on viticultural practice is key to the quality of the fruit for this wine. Vines receive a mix of spur and cane pruning to two canes, and shoots are thinned to promote even ripeness and concentrated flavours. Resulting low yields contribute to the intensely concentrated flavours in The August.
After hand picking, the fruit was whole bunch pressed to enhance flavour and retain acidity and purity. 80% of the free run juice was put in tanks before gravity filling second and third-use 1000L German oak Fuder barrels, and older French oak barriques. Fermentation was left to happen naturally with wild yeasts to add extra texture and build depth and length.
Blended directly from barrel and lightly filtered before bottling, it has been maturing since then and will continue to reward cellaring for 10 years.
With low yielding vines, hand harvesting, barrel fermentation with wild yeast, and extended maturation on lees, the meticulous care taken by our viticulture and winemaking teams is evident. As result you can expect complexity, depth, texture, and purity of flavour. A fitting tribute to a legend.
With his sense of fun, smart suits, love of steak tartare and passion for Mosel (the dry German Riesling that was his favourite wine), August Giesen was a legend. His story begins in 1888, when a boy named August...Read more
It takes a lot to upstage a German Emperor, but fledgling entrepreneur and good-natured chancer August (Aw-goost) Giesen did just that the day he missed his train to a dinner engagement where he was due to work. Always one...Read more
The year was 1909. The place was America, land of freedom and opportunity. The man was August (Aw-goost) Giesen – determined to start a new life in the new world. Always one to push the boundaries, August believed New...Read more
If you were to give Theo, Alex and Marcel Giesen a health check, the likelihood is that you would find wine running through their veins and food embedded in their DNA. The link begins with the brothers’ grandfather August...Read more
Two great Marlborough vineyards were home to the grapes that went into this dry, full bodied and creamy Sauvignon Blanc; Dillon’s Point and Matthew’s Lane are both in the Wairau Valley and home to some of the oldest Sauvignon grapes in the region. All of which were hand picked and whole bunch pressed to preserve fruit purity and retain fresh acidity; 80% of the free run juice was fermented in tanks with the remainder fermented with wild yeasts in used 1000 litre German oak fuder barrels and older French oak barriques. The finished wines were blended and lightly filtered before bottling, without fining. The result is a multi layered, flavoursome Sauvignon that highlights the benefits that older oak can bring to flinty young dry white wines. This is a stunning match with creamy white cheese or roast chicken. The August drinks well now and can undoubtedly evolve positively for at least another four to five years.
2018 Vintage, Reviewed January 2021."
Joelle Thomson - New Zealand Wine Reviewer
"This powerful, distinctive wine was hand-picked, barrel-fermented and lees-aged. Weighty and fleshy, it has concentrated, tropical fruit flavours, showing excellent complexity, and a dry, rounded finish. Drink now or cellar.
2018 Vintage, Reviewed November 2020."
Winestate New Zealand
"Pure, lifted, floral, subtle, complex aromatics with gooseberry, greengage, white flowers, passion fruit and smoky, nutty barrel ferment notes. Dry, full, textural, elegant style with lovely focus and finesse with a salivating salty, finish.
2018 Vintage, Reviewed December 2020"
New Zealand Wine Rater
"A magnificent barrel-fermented rendition, offering complex aromas of crunchy apple, grapefruit, fig and oatmeal characters with a hint of flinty overtone. The palate is wonderfully concentrated and weighty, while remaining refined and structured, leading to an impressively long expansive finish. Texturally gorgeous and engaging. At its best: now to 2028.
2018 Vintage, Reviewed November 2020."
Sam Kim, Wine Orbit
"2014 Vintage: Lovely developed characters marked by zesty grapefruit perfume and nutty smoke with integrated oak. Very textural with intense fruits of pineapple, grapefruit and ripe melon. May 2018"
International Wine Challenge 2018
"2013 Vintage: Another high-end Sauvignon Blanc that sees some oak aging, this is a rich, ripe wine, loaded with nectarine and citrus fruit. The oak framing is barely noticeable, but serves to highlight the silky texture and adds a pleasant grilled note on the long finish. March 2018"
Joe Czerwinksi - Wine Enthusiast Magazine
"2013 Vintage: This distinctive wine is named after the Giesen brothers’ grandfather, August (pronounced ‘Ow-goost’) Giesen. Hand-picked and barrel-fermented, it is a commanding, weighty wine (14.5% alc/vol), complex and dry, with highly concentrated tropical-fruit flavours, slightly nutty, tightly structured and long. Maturing very gracefully, it’s currently in full stride. "
"2012 Vintage: Fermented in French oak barrels and German oak fuders, this is a superb example of oak-influenced sauvignon blanc. Very fleshy, weighty, complex and rich, it is finely textured, with concentrated, ripe, stonefruit flavours, gently seasoned with smoky oak. Delicious now. Rated highly by all judges. "
"2013 Vintage: This distinctive wine is named after the Giesen brothers' grandfather, August (pronounced 'Ow-goost') Giesen. The 2013 vintage («««««) was hand-picked and barrel-fermented with indigenous yeasts. Light yellow/green, it is a commanding, weighty wine (14.5 per cent alcohol), complex and dry, with highly concentrated tropical-fruit flavours, slightly nutty, tight and long. Maturing gracefully, it's a very harmonious wine, likely to be at its best 2017+"
Michael Cooper Buyer's Guide