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central Otago

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  1. Quartz Reef Methode Traditionalle NV
    Quartz Reef Methode Traditionalle NV

    Salzburg-born Rudi Bauer is one of the most respected winemakers in Central Otago, having worked at Mission and Rippon amongst others before forming Quartz Reef in 1996 with Clotilde Chauvet from Champagne and Trevor Scott. They cultivate 15 hectares of Pinot Noir using multifarious rootstock and clone variations upon north-facing slopes of quartz deposits in Bendigo with supplementary fruit sourced from Central Otago. 

    The non-vintage Methode Traditionelle Sparkling is sourced from Gibbston and Bendigo, displays a captivating nose of oyster shell, orange-blossom and granite; the palate very well-balanced with good acidity and touches of lemon zest, green apple and just a faint hint of elderflower on the bone-dry finish. I doubt you will find a better non-vintage New Zealand sparkler. NEAL MARTIN

    Biodynamic farming, lees maturation, attention to detail, great vineyard sites. Rudi Bauer of Quartz Reef has many positives in the manifestation of his life work. Beyond that, and so often it’s hard to separate the person who makes the wine from the wine itself, he’s an outstanding human. And hilarious. That being said, it means little when wines are in brown paper bags being tasted. This wine leapt from the pack.

    Incredible intensity, inward concentration, a knife edge of acidity in finely wrapped layers of toastiness, marzipan, brioche with a sleek, lean profile of green apple and citrus. Fine, fine bubbles add dimension and freshness. Aside its precision, it’s gorgeous to drink, refreshing the palate with each sip, leaving lingering detail of the presence of the wine. Insanely good drinking. It’s fine wine personified. Kudos here. MIKE BENNIE, The Wine Front

    NV
    Sparkling Wine
    New Zealand
    373
  2. Maude Central Otago Pinot Noir 2018
    Maude Central Otago Pinot Noir 2018
    A blend of Poison Creek (Queensberry) 58.8 %  and Mohawk Hill (Lowburn) 41.5 % from one of NZ great underrated Pinot Producers. The operation is under the watchful eye of winemakers Sarah-Kate (SK) and Dan Dineen. After leding there previous winemaking poisitions they have quietly built a winery, a new home, developed the Maude wine label and started a family amidst the stunning back drop of Lake Wanaka in Central Otago, New Zealand.

    It is no surprise to wine industry insiders that their wine, Maude, has become an instant success. But like any supposed 'instant' success there lies an enormous amount of energy, experience and professionalism behind a project, which epitomises this winemaking couple.

    Whole cluster ferment of about 25%, matured 10 months in barrique with no fining / minimal filtration

    Blackcurrant, bramble, dark cherry, plum with hintsof violet and dried pine needles on a forest floor.
    A sophisticated Central Otago Pinot Noir, where precision and detail replace volume and mass.
    2018
    Pinot noir
    New Zealand
    373
  3. Charteris The Winter Vineyard Otago Pinot Noir 2014
    Charteris The Winter Vineyard Otago Pinot Noir 2014
    Only 250 dozen produced and held in the winery for five years. From patches of deeper soil on the vineyard 36% whole bunch, 64% whole berry. Juicy plum and cherry fruit has a plushness along with the Charteris hallmark of elegance. (97) JAMES HALLIDAY

    Punchy, oak-laden, chewy pinot of vin de garde, long cellaring feel. Restrained, tight, quietly powerful. Charming in tannins, ripples of understated dark cherry fruit, ferrous character and earthiness on the quiet. Some savouriness and malt creeping in. Feels like it needs some more time. MIKE BENNIE, The Wine Front
    2014
    Pinot noir
    New Zealand
    373
  4. Valli Bendigo Vineyard Pinot Noir 2019
    Valli Bendigo Vineyard Pinot Noir 2019
    Distinctive, powerful, ripe, pure and intriguing. Punnets of raspberries and black current, wild thyme and rocky countryside scents. Baking spices of oak and toasty wood, then dark velvet roses. Tense and dry, taut and fruity, very young and tight in texture. Fruit flavours mirror the nose, tannins are firm and chalky, acidity in abundance. A fantastic wine but needs to be cellared to develop more complexity and fuse the attributes together. Best drinking 2024 through 2034+ (96) CAMERON DOUGLAS MW
    2019
    Pinot noir
    New Zealand
    373
    Special Price $73.00 Regular Price $85.00 As low as $68.00
  5. Valli Waitaki Vineyard Pinot Noir 2019
    Valli Waitaki Vineyard Pinot Noir 2019
    Complex and detailed, mineral and fruit centric bouquet. Aromas of limestone and hard clay, red berry fruits then sweet new oak. Flavours of raspberry and red cherry lead the palate, then sweet wood and mineral, red apple and spice. An abundance of tannins andacidity, then roses and a light-weight salinity. Wonderful texture and length, purity and pinosity. (96) CAMERON DOUGLAS MW
    2019
    Pinot noir
    New Zealand
    373
    Special Price $74.00 Regular Price $87.00 As low as $70.00
  6. Valli Bendigo Vineyard Pinot Noir 2018
    Valli Bendigo Vineyard Pinot Noir 2018

    Big, solidly-structured pinot noir that shows the influence of a warm site, ripe vintage and 50% whole-bunches in fermentation. Seriously solid wine that's a bit locked in by tannins right now but promises to reveal ever-increasing spicy complexity as it ages. BOB CAMPBELL MW

    Aromas of violet flowers, spiced plums and blueberries with background, spiced wood, leading to a palate that has a very fleshy, succulent and zesty core of ripe dark cherries, fine tannin and a plush, supple finish. Drink now. Screw cap. JAMES SUCKLING

    The fullest-bodied Valli Pinot (from the warmest subregion), the 2018 Bendigo Vineyard Pinot Noir boasts ebullient black cherry and blackberry fruit. Medium to full-bodied, with hints of cocoa, clove and a bit of dusty-rose character, it's big but not lacking elegance or complexity, finishing with silky tannins and admirable length. WINE ADVOCATE

    2018
    Pinot noir
    New Zealand
    373
  7. Valli Waitaki Vineyard Pinot Noir 2018
    Valli Waitaki Vineyard Pinot Noir 2018

    Pure, vibrant pinot noir with cherry, floral, rose petal, chalk-mineral, five spice, fresh herb and nutty oak flavours. A delicately-perfumed and slightly closed wine with obvious cellaring potential BOB CAMPBELL MW

    This cooler area, in a warmer vintage, has worked a treat with this taut, focused and compact pinot. Fresh red cherries and sappy allure on the nose, moving to a palate that has almost chalky, compact tannins and a very succulent and detailed, fresh finish. Drink or hold. Screw cap JAMES SUCKLING

    Smoky, meaty notes from the 30% new Mercurey barrels accent the nose of the 2018 Waitaki Vineyard Pinot Noir, but it's by no means one-dimensional. It also offers up hints of roses, cherries and clove. Medium-bodied, silky and elegant on the palate, it lingers teasingly on the finish, alternating between fruity and savory characters, both wrapped around a graphite-laced backbone. WINE ADVOCATE

    2018
    Pinot noir
    New Zealand
    373
  8. Valli Bannockburn Vineyard Pinot Noir 2018
    Valli Bannockburn Vineyard Pinot Noir 2018

    Fragrant, appealing aroma with quite a floral and violet emphasis, while the palate was more savoury with crushed herb and grape stems adding extra interest to cherry and berry flavours. An ethereal wine with a backbone of fine tannins - should age well BOB CAMPBELL MW

    The rich and fleshy red plums here are irresistible, as are the aromas of ripe red cherries and raspberries with a perfumed, grassy and spicy edge. This has such appealing and succulent style that it will be really hard not to drink now. JAMES SUCKLING

    The 2018 Bannockburn Vineyard Pinot Noir features slightly chunkier fruit than found in Valli's bottlings from cooler regions (Waitaki, Gibbston). That may actually appeal more to consumers looking for a slightly bigger, richer style of Pinot Noir. Black cherries and notes of baking spices are framed by ripe tannins and crisp acids, and there's just a suggestion of cedary oak (it was aged in 30% new French pièces). It's smooth and supple on the finish, making it approachable now, yet it should age well for a decade or so. WINE ADVOCATE

    2018
    Pinot noir
    New Zealand
    373
  9. Valli Gibbston Vineyard Pinot Noir 2018
    Valli Gibbston Vineyard Pinot Noir 2018

    Made with 30% whole-bunches in fermentation, which adds a spicy dimension to this elegant and quite complex pinot noir while leaving access to bright cherry, fresh herb, slate-mineral and spicy oak flavours. Good now but worth waiting a few years. BOB CAMPBELL MW

    Plenty of fresh red cherries and there's a very rich, supple and fleshy feel to this wine, a shining example from the warmer, 2018 season. It offers such ample, fleshy, red and dark cherries, in a sweeping wrap of plush tannins. Succulent and juicy finish. Drink or hold. Screw cap. JAMES SUCKLING

    When the weather is just right-typically warm years-Gibbston can excel. Valli's 2018 Gibbston Vineyard Pinot Noir offers up a stunning array of herbal-floral aromas, hinting at roses, tea and mint, all backed by a core of red cherries. It's medium-bodied, silky and fine, with plentiful (but ripe) tannins. The 31% new French oak is scarcely noticeable, submerged under the waves of fruit-driven complexity, and the 30% whole-bunch component is similarly well integrated. What a beauty! WINE ADVOCATE

    2018
    Pinot noir
    New Zealand
    373
  10. Rippon Mature Vine Pinot Noir 2017
    Rippon Mature Vine Pinot Noir 2017
    This offers aromas of violets, blueberries, red and dark cherries, fragrant, freshly cracked black pepper and wet dark stones. Complex, but still tightly wound and reserved. The palate is very concentrated, dense and elegantly poised with such powerful tannin, carrying concentrated blueberry and dark-cherry flavours long. Really taut, fully ripe and mouth-wateringly  intense pinot noir. Dark cherry-pit freshness to close. From biodynamically grown grapes. Drinkable now, but better in five years. (99) NICK STOCK, jamessuckling.com
     
    2017
    Pinot noir
    New Zealand
    373
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