From the Cellar: Peregrine Gewurtztraminer Central Otago 2009 – $$
14% alc. Brilliant gold colour.
Geoff Kelly wrote of this wine in late 2013, “When Greg Hay was here from Peregrine, he dumbfounded us by showing what is one of the greatest gewurztraminers ever made in New Zealand, and then in the latter part of the discussion casually mentioned this 2009 was the last of the line. The vines had all been pulled out, he said, due to the low and alternate-year cropping. The wine is just beautiful, fragrant and fruit-rich, wonderful acid balance, great freshness and cellar potential, the gewurz spice building in mouth, a dryish wine. It should cellar for another eight years or so. It is essential in any cellar hoping to showcase the diversity New Zealand wines can achieve.”
So when I read this I went and bought the last two bottles on the shelves at Regional Wines…
An envelopingly aromatic and sweet bouquet: developed, warm and ripe, with sweet notes of honey and toffee, and touches of mandarin and apple.
Sweet, smooth and ripe to taste. Toffee and caramel flavours. Saline. Fine flinty texture. A long, hot and spicy finish.
So poised and balanced and memorable. A few years ahead for this wine I think – I’ll probably open the second bottle in 2019.
Outstanding 95 points
Wild Grace Pinot Noir Central Otago 2015
Someone at work bought this negociant wine for our Friday work drinks. I am usually suspicious of entry-level Pinots, but this was really good.
It had a good core and depth of fruit, good ripeness, and little of that bitterness I sometimes see in over-extracted cheaper Pinot Noir. The nose kept my interest, with an alluring savoury character. Yum.
Nice label design too. We are a design-led company…
Recommended 89 points
A trio of new additions for the Land of Nod:
Giles Robin ‘Alberic Bouvet’ Crozes-Hermitage 2014 – $$$ – drink 2021-2024. This was the standout (affordable) wine from the recent Giles Robin Tasting I attended.
Lamont Riesling Central Otago 2014 – $$ – drink 2021-2024. I remember drinking an earlier vintage from this producer at La Boca Loca with L and Mum and Dad a couple of years ago. I loved the super-dry and austere mineral character of the wine. Quite foreboding, and unlike any Riesling I have tried before. Very interested to see how these two behave!
From the Cellar: Mudhouse Pinot Noir Central Otago 2012 – $$$
Dark carmine. 12.5% alc.
This was recommended to me a while back by some writer, so I bought a brace for the Pool Room. Opening time…!
I saw a savoury and spicy note under a carpet of herb. Dark fruit, showing depth and intensity of bouquet, with cardboard and boiled lolly.
In the mouth the wine was full and rich. Ripe black cherries carried through to the end with no bitterness or loss of extract. Heat on the back palate. Just lovely.
Highly Recommended – 90 points
Clos Henri ‘Petit Clos’ Pinot Noir Marlborough 2015 -$23.55 Juicy & approachable, with structure and depth.
Kiritea ‘ Te Hera’ Pinot Noir Martinborough 2013 -$21.65 – savoury, peppery & aromatic. A layered, typical Wairarapa style.
Folding Hill Pinot Noir, Bendigo Central Otago 2013 -$28.95 – Elegant, wild thyme notes
Neudorf ‘Tom’s Block’ Pinot Noir Nelson 2014 -$30.25 – A quality quaffer.
Greystone Pinot Noir Waipara 2014 – $33.95 – Hand-harvested from the Omihi Vineyard. Wild yeast ferment with 15% whole bunch to add complexity.
This wine was commented at the tasting as being ‘cerebral’. If you think about anything long enough it becomes cerebral. I thought it had a velvet quality on the nose, with spice, some herbal character, and scents of red roses. So there!
Smooth mouthfeel, with a powerful and dense core of statement fruit. Elegant. It finished hot. No thinness or metallic notes, just deliciousness throughout.
Highly Recommended. 91 Points
Locharburn Pinot Noir Central Otago 2013 – gift
The grapes for this wine were grown beside Lake Dunstan in the Cromwell basin from a single vineyard overlooking the Locharburn stream. It is not a label I am at all familiar with.
Dark carmine – a particularly dense-coloured Pinot. 14% alc.
It showed quite dumb the first night, but opened up beautifully graceful the second night
Soft savoury notes on the nose, I smelled dried herbs, very perfumed. There were strong fruit scents of dark cherries, touches of oak and vanilla, red roses, soap and crayon wax. Verging on being a Rhone…
A classic Cromwell Pinot Noir in the mouth. Reminds me of Wooing Tree, Beetlejuice and Mt Difficulty wines from that part of the country. Sweet, rich and ripe. Flavours of dark cherries and plums. Fine-grained tannins. Raspy and textural. Long and hot, with a spicy finish.
Not at all a shrinking violet! I loved it.
Highly Recommended – 93 points
From the Cellar: Felton Road Block 3 Pinot Noir Central Otago 2011 – $$$+
Another wine from one of New Zealand’s vinous rock stars.
Deep pinot ruby. 14% alc. Leggy.
Gorgeous perfumed nose. Savoury and hot, with brambly black cherries, herbs and thyme. Showing a deep intensity of bold fruit.
To drink the wine started sweet on attack, and was savoury through the mid-palate, and a herbal note towards the end. Ripe, finely textured, well balanced. Hot finish.
This is a very fine, yet grunty, pinot. Wants another five years to really exhibit its class. Shame I haven’t got another bottle..
Felton Road Block 3
From the Cellar: Peregrine Saddleback Pinot Noir Central Otago 2011 – $
Bright pinot ruby. 13.5% alc. The second wine of Peregrine Wines.
Moderate intensity, a floral bouquet. Soft, with spice, pepper, and some savoury and herbal characteristics. This wine really needed decanting. Splashing helped, but it looked much better the next day.
To drink, the wine showed ripe red fruits, direct and simple. There was balance in the acids, and silky tannins. Good concentration. A long finish.
As I wrote earlier, this wine showed far more attractive on the second night. The age would have helped – it was softer, and the flavours and aromas emerged with more varietal intensity. The first night it had looked like the kind of red cordial that I hate so much about second-label Pinot Noirs. I know it isn’t something that noted producers want to achieve, but I see it all the time – a lack of finesse, grace and complexity straight out of the glass.
Second labels are bought for immediate drinking, not overnight decanting.
The Admiral Reserve Estate Pinot Noir Central Otago 2013
Back to NZ Pinot’s…
Pinot Ruby. 13.2% alc.
A negociant’s wine, this Pinot Noir is produced for Paddy’s Wholesalers who hail from Seaview, an industrial section of Hutt City. Nary a vine in sight in that part of the world. And no vineyard or winemaker identified on the label either – I don’t like that at all. And what is a Reserve Estate? There are several paid-for glowing reviews on the label, mind, so let’s see if it’s any good…
I can’t see much on the nose. It’s quite dumb. There is a bit of light fruit, pepper and herbaceousness if I try hard, but little expression save a bit of green.
On palate it is light and thin and somewhat metallic. It’s not vibrant or fruity, and almost tastes sour. The fulsome reviews do not describe the wine I am drinking here. Perhaps this bottle was poorly stored.
Lamont Riesling Bendigo Central Otago 2013 – $$$
Mum and Dad came to stay the weekend. After a catchup we decided to head to Café Polo for dinner. I selected this wine for the table:
Light straw. 11.04% alc.
Very refined and elegant in expression with mineral citrus bouquet with a delicate phenolic tang. Dry, dry, dry, to taste, with light and tight fruit flavours, and a preponderance of mineral character. A quality drop, but also a somewhat challenging expression of Riesling, due to its shortage of apparent sweetness.