The 1er Cru Aux Guettes and Vergelesses are the two most revered and perhaps best within Simon Bize’s range. This is powerful and dynamic with a lovely bouquet of violets, spring flowers and rosemary, lovely supple tannins with vibrant fresh acidity. Beautifully constructed, silky with perfect balance. This will be marvellous within the next 10 years.
One of the best 1er Cru from Simon Bize, this has always been one of our favourites, high tone, lovely fresh acidity, depth and concentration, that’s how we would probably describe this wonderful wine. 2017 is a big but also a very good vintage and most of Simon Bize’s wines are crafter for longevity so expect a magnificent Savigny-les-Beaune 1er Cru within 8-10 years.
A standard village from Savigny-les-Beaune that again typifies the extent that this Domaine is going to even in their basic village wines. On the nose it is fresh, floral, perfumed with a touch of spring flowers, hints of lavender followed by a beautiful seamless acidity, perfect texture and medium body. Will be drinking beautifully over the next 5-6 years plus.
The Red Edition, same varieties as The Pink Edition but of course with more Pinot Noir in it but the Pinot Gris and the Pinot Blanc offers beautiful perfume, lovely aromas and gives it an extra lift of freshness and vitality. A lovely Pinot Noir which is light, soft and almost in the style of a Beaujolais for comparisons sake which you can put in the fridge for 20 mins or so and is absolutely stunning! Crisp and refreshing with lovely cherry flavours, excellent on its own or with food. Delicious!
Sourced from 4 different parcels in Pommard with an average vine age of 54 years, the wine is showing beautiful aromas of violets, a touch of lavender and cranberry. It’s starting to show remarkably well with the oak being fully integrated with a tinge of violet, caressing tannins and beautifully balanced. Even though the 2017 vintage will be approachable earlier than say the 2016, it is also very well built, powerful and it will reward those willing to wait 5-6 years plus.
Sourced from 9 different parcels in Volnay with an average vine age of around 40 years, this is what excellent Volnay is all about! Lovely aromas of dark cherry, spring flowers and thyme give way to a soft, caressing middle palate with lovely fresh acidity, structure and composure. Approachable in the next 3-5 years, better in 5 years plus.
Four parcels totalling about 4.5 acres whose vines average around 50 years go into making this excellent Bourgogne Rouge Vieilles Vignes. Situated below Volnay, for an entry level Bourgogne Rouge, this punches well above its weight. Aromas of thyme, lavender and rose petals give way to a middle to full bodied wine with lovely acidity, excellent middle palate and perfectly balanced. It’s a wine that will reward those that love fresh, clean and poised Pinot Noir but it will also develop for 4-5 years plus.
Dujac's 2017 Morey-Saint-Denis Village is very pretty, wafting from the glass with notes of plums, red berries, rose petal, cinnamon and other warm spices. On the palate, the wine is medium-bodied, succulent and giving with a juicy core of fruit and a light framing of chalky tannins.
Typical Cotes du Nuits, full bodied and precise with beautiful acidity, textured and complex. On the nose it is perfumed with hints of lavender, rosemary, forest floor and tarragon. The palate is magnificent, layered, textured, balanced and refined with power. A beautiful expression of Pinot Noir from the Cotes du Nuits, the birthplace of Pinot Noir! Good to go now but better in 3 years.
“Beautifully expressive and refined with sleek black cherry and blackberry fruit. It’s rich and seductive but also has freshness and detail. Great structure and harmony too. There’s some black fruit richness but also lovely red fruit crunch. Such a textural wine with real interest and detail, with opulence but also some seriousness.”
— JAMIE GOODE – UK
First planted in 1999, this premiere vintage of Alma is the finest expression of Te Mata Estate’s 20-year commitment to great New Zealand Pinot Noir. Alma expresses brooding cheery and delicious ripe, dark plum flavours that unfurl with savoury wildwood scents of truffle and spice.
Midnight-dark with a deep crimson edge, Alma ’18 is a triumph of aromatic wild strawberry, black cherry, currants, marzipan, sage and sandalwood. The palate’s ripe, sustained, structure reveals a parade of spice and brooding, soft, dark, berry fruits and rich savoury tannins - set to unfurl with time. Cherry, black plum, cinnamon and smoke, all glide across a palate which is wonderfully deep-set.
Finely-dressed for its debut, the premiere release of Alma ’18 is modern, majestic, and enchanting in its detail.
Alma Pinot Noir ’18 is closed with a ‘Diam’ cork, which eliminates any possibility of cork taint, allowing continued evolution in bottle for six years from harvest.
“A wine with considerable, deep-set, spicy allure that has aromas of dried roses, blueberries, purple cherries and pot-pourri. The palate delivers a beautifully plush array of fine and seamless tannins, an exceptionally smooth mouthfeel and a long, alluring and convincing finish. Drink now. Screw cap.” 96/100 – James Suckling
“This has a very enticing and complex nose with lightly smoky red and purple cherries, freshly ground baking spices and sappy, woody, bracken-like nuances. The palate has a beautifully supple texture with juicy red and black-cherry flavors running long and fresh. Drink or hold. Screw cap.” 95/100 – James Suckling
Intense aromas abound; vibrant cherry fruit with an earthy, savoury undertone, reminiscent of being in an underground, chalk cave. This delicious herbal complexity being the result of a high percentage of whole bunches in the ferment. Generous fruit initially on the palate balances the salivating, chalky, mouth coating tannins. Good acid levels also enhance the drinkability of this Pinot and its ageability. A complex style of Pinot Noir showing the abundant fruit of NZ combined with the robust tannins more typical of a Pinot from Burgundy. The fruit weight and structure of this wine will allow bottle development and ageing for the next 8 to 10 years.
Wine Advocate 91 points - "The 2015 Savigny-lès-Beaune 1er Cru Les Vergelesses wafts from the glass with notes of baked plum, cherries, raspberry, currant leaf, rich spice and espresso which mingle in a sun-kissed bouquet. On the palate, the wine is full-bodied, rich and ample, with fine-grained tannins and flavors of fruit preserve. This is a bit more marked by the 2015 sunshine than it seemed in barrel (when it seemed the peer or even the superior of the domaine's Serpentières), and could end up evolving like the 1990."
Chisa Bize has done a magnificent job with this particular vintage and one of the outstanding 1er Cru from this Domaine Talmettes is perhaps one of the best we have tried in the last 20 odd years. Crunchy, fresh and clean with lively vibrancy, beautiful acidity, balance and equilibrium which is really what you expect from great Burgundy. At the moment it is showing little reduction, a little too much frontal fruit but this will balance out. Be patient with it and give it some time. Outstanding 1er Cru! Drink over the next 10 years.
"The 2016 Savigny les Beaune les Grand Liards has a lovely, pure blackberry, boysenberry and wet loam scented bouquet that is very well defined. The palate is medium-bodied with dusky black fruit, chalky tannin, quite linear and focused but you can really feel the freshness and energy on the finish of this impressive village cru. Excellent, especially for a village cru, the sole vineyard to survive and make a single vineyard bottling."
90-92 points, Neal Martin
The 2014 Pinot Noir is more intense than the 2013 with more of the “forest floor” characteristics of a French Burgundy, but full of fruit and spice flavours with a long finish. Like the 2013 it will continue to develop with more bottle age but is drinking beautifully now. Being from North Otago, it has a beautiful balance with lovely acidity, freshness, elegance and even though it is very approachable now it will cellar for another 4-5 years plus.
"There is a light charred oak note present, easily confused with toasted almonds. Flowery scents like cherry blossom, violets and Christmas lilies are combined with plums, boysenberry and liquorice. Immediately the nose reveals this to be a serious wine: very coherent with rapidly expanding boundaries bringing aromatic volume.
The palate, too, has an escalating horizon and an inflating edge; it’s simply delicious, with well-rounded tannins. Initially there is a juicy, plush elegance, with the tannins claiming a more authoritative and luxurious presence, showing off its class and flamboyance. The mid-palate brings the wine back to earth with a grounding acidity that reigns the wine in again without overpowering the fruit weight. It is just enough to bring life again to the floral and lighter fruit aromatics, to highlight the central core and to show the length and smooth finish on the back palate. This is a thought-provoking wine that occupies all spaces and has aroused our excitement tremendously.
We expect this wine to gain further interest over the next ten years."
Ata Rangi's McCrone Vineyard was originally established by our team for friends Don and Carole McCrone who also grow Pinot Noir for leading Oregon producer Ken Wright Cellars. By 2001, when this 6-acre vineyard was planted, we had 20 years of Pinot experience and were able to choose clones and trellising styles that we considered consistently top performing. Unlike our own vineyard soil profiles,the McCrone site just around the corner in Regent St has a smattering of clay within the gravels. The cooling effect of this clay delivers a distinctively different aroma and flavour profile than that of the Ata Rangi Pinot Noir, even with vine age taken into account. The 2014 is the fifth release from this single site. Bottled in August 2015 this wine has been allowed to slowly evolve prior to release two years on. A bolder style than our flagship Pinot Noir, the nose offers a depth of rich spicy notes with a hint of manuka flower. It opens on the palate with a big swell of flavor supported by fine, velvety tannins. The finish is juicy and complex, with an evolution of flavours into a more savoury, umami style.
Occasionally for various vintages Nevis Bluff produce their Reserve Pinot Noir. A selection of their best fruit from their oldest vines and given longer elevage, the result is a concentrated, medium to full bodied wine with aromas of Maraschino cherry, thyme and wild game. Lovely balance and intense yet soft and silky as Pinot Noir demands. Beautifully drinking now or over the next 4-5 years. Again if you haven’t tried it, this is a must because it is one of the top ones!
One of the classics from Otago going back to the mid 1990’s, Nevis Bluff are producing impeccable wines in particular their Pinot Noir mainly from Single Vineyards, close planted, non-irrigated and the results speak for themselves. A full bodied Pinot Noir with hints of thyme, forrest floor and black cherry, clean with precision and vibrant acidity.
A stunning Rose made exclusively from Pinot Noir young vines with red onion colour yet dry, crisp and vibrant with superb acidity and richness. As far as New Zealand Rose go, this is a wonderful example of how Rose should be, not heavy, not sugary but well balanced and refreshing.
Volnay is an expressive, feminine, soft and velvety wine that even though can be approached fairly young, in the hands of a top producer can also age for many years. Voillot’s Volnay is expressive, medium to full body, vibrant and fresh. Soft and elegant but still powerful, focused and concentrated. An outstanding Volnay that will cellar for 5 years plus.
Emma’s Block is farmed and worked with exactly the same philosophy as Tinker’s Field however the wine is more restrained, elegant and soft, wonderful texture and not as frontal as the Tinker’s Field. Powerful Pinot Noir but with elegance and finesse also organically grown along the lines of the Tinker’s Field.
Rippon is synonymous with Wanaka and is one of the pioneers in the Central Otago region. The Mills family have been farming their land for almost 100 years. Their viticulture is organic with emphasis on growing outstanding Pinot Noir. The current generation headed by Nick Mills has extensive knowledge of Burgundy viticulture and winemaking methods. Full bodied, perfumed and soft, the emphasis here is on velvety textures, minimal winemaking intervention and let the vineyard do the talking! It will cellar beautifully for the next 8-9 years though very interesting to see how good New Zealand Pinot Noir can be when it’s done right.
"It’s youthful and ripe on the nose displaying red/black cherry, blueberry, spice and a hint of game characters. The palate is well-expressed with lovely fruit weight and silky texture, leading to a lingering dry finish backed by polished tannins.
This is a very clear example that Central Otago can make very good Pinot Noir without the exorbitant prices. We like this Pinot Noir because it is dry, well balanced and well structured yet with lovely frontal fruit, juicy and very good handling of the oak. Once you try it, it is a very clear example that you don’t really have to pay top prices to get a superb quality Pinot Noir. This is drinking superbly now however it has lovely structure, concentration and depth and it will also keep for another couple of years or so.
A completely new Rosé from Champagne Bollinger. The creation of this non-vintage rosé has been long in the making and a dream of the House for over six years. This wine has evolved not as a curiosity, but as with all of the Bollinger cuvées, as a careful assembly of the very finest ingredients by their talented, passionate team. In the meticulous House style, Bollinger Rosé is modelled on the Special Cuvée blend, combining the fruits of previous harvests plus the addition of reserve wines from their cellars in Ay. The final component, which provides colour and delicate aromas of ripe red fruits, is a proportion of still red wine coming exclusively from Bollinger's Grand Cru Vineyards in the Cote d'Ay and Verzenay.
This majestic house situated just across Laurent Perrier, has been our exclusive import for many years, they produce a range of Champagnes from exclusively they own vineyards which is not always the case in Champagne. Their Cuvee Rose is made from Pinot Noir, light pink in colour with a bouquet of great freshness and wild strawberry. On the palate it is full flavoured yet showing lightness and delicate, wonderful refined bubbles, clean acidity and very refreshing.
A classic Beaune from one of the most classical producers in Burgundy, soft and velvety with lovely acidity and stucture, caressing tannins and slightly floral. Perhaps not at the very high level of his Volnay and Pommard however this is a spectacular Beaune that offers, even in its youth, precision, soft and velvety tannins. Quite approachable now however it will be much better in 5 years plus.
A single vineyard that typifies the essence of Volnay, concentrated with lovely racy acidity, vibrant and fresh. In style of Joseph Voillot, his wines represent the essence of the terroir, beautifully perfumed with hints of lavender, spring flowers and violets showing at the moment mainly primary fruit with excellent texture and balance on the palate. Still very young but this will benefit from cellaring 7-10 years.
Most of you will know this producer by now as one of the top ten producers in Burgundy and indeed the world. All the fruit for this wine comes from his vineyards. The wine has a purple brick red colour, wonderful perfume of truffle, cepes and dried mushrooms. The palate is rich, concentrated and very gamy with hints of dark berry fruit, yet elegant and full. Being 100% Pinot Noir, the wine also displays forest undergrowth, but still remaining silky and velvety. This is what classic Pinot Noir should be, mushroomy, earthy, silky yet full and intense.
This prestigious champagne needs very little introduction as its name has been synonymous with glamour, refinement and celebration over the years. Having tried one of these bottles recently, it is starting to evolve into a majestic, pure and clean wine with considerable depth and structure, superb bubbles, length and stature. Even though it's almost 10 years old, it will further develop for a number of years with careful cellaring. It is suitable with a variety of dishes and obviously on its own.
The latest release from Mt. Edward that from humble beginnings has become one of the benchmark producers in Central Otago. The 2014 together with 2013, 2007 and 2009 are perhaps the best vintages since its insertion in 1997, founded by Alan Brady one of the pioneers in the area, the wine has been improving year on year which is not always the case for many other vineyards. This is one for the cellar, lots of ripe cherries, thyme and ripe berry fruits, but it is not all about just fruit, what I like about this wine is the lovely soft and velvety tannins that you come to expect from Pinot noir, ample middle palate with focus and balance. Medium body and expressive, no doubt one of the top not just from Otago but in the country. Cellar for another 5-6 years.
Located in the beautiful and bountiful area of Bannockburn in Central Otago, Carrick winery is quietly achieving results that are having critics sit up and take notice.The vineyard is named after the Carrick mountain range that overlooks the winery.The vineyards are all located in Bannockburn, on the Cairnmuir Terraces. Like many other Central Otago wineries their is also significant plantings of Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and the aromatic varieties of Pinot Gris and Riesling.
It's good to see that finally Pinot Noir winemakers in this country are waking up to the fact that not everybody wishes to spend $40-$50 to get a decent Pinot Noir. We were quite taken back by the quality of this wine, frankly we thought it would be between $40-$50 until we knew the price. It is a soft savoury and plumy Pinot Noir, in other words what Pinot Noir should be like. The 2013 vintage even though it was a good one, is ready for drinking now. Lovely cherry and soft plumy flavours, slightly savoury, well balanced oak and wonderful forrest floor characters. Having tried this alongside other Pinot Noirs at $30 let me tell you, it delivers! All of this at the price of $19.95.
"Very seductive pinot noir combining a sensual, silken texture with layers of complex fruit and savoury flavours. The wine has structure but it is deeply buried within a core of sweet fruit. Dark-fleshed plum, violet, cherry, spice and very subtle fresh herbs are among the more obvious flavours in this supremely complex wine. Outstanding! 8/8/2017" – Bob Campbell
Cristal, created in 1876 for Tsar Alexander II in Russia is one of the most unique Champagnes in the world. It is in fact the only one with a flat bottom bottle which was requested by the late Tsar because he thought it was being short measured. This is champagne at its finest, as inspired today as it has always been, the embodiment of elegance and purity. Cristal is made according to the strictest criteria, based on a dramatic selection process which applies to the vintage, cru, blends and finally the wines. Only Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grapes from the House's 10 most celebrated crus are used in the production of this legendary cuvée.
The Best of Burgundy Mixed Dozen includes the following:
3 x Domaine Dujac Morey Saint-Denis 2017
3 x Simon Bize Bourgogne "Les Perrieres" Rouge 2015
3 x Didier Fornerol Cotes de Nuits Villages Rouge 2016
3 x Domaine Joseph Voillot Bourgogne Vieilles Vignes 2017
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