Nevis Bluff which was established in the mid 1990’s has been a great pioneer in Central Otago producing both Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris. However their real star is the Pinot Gris, it’s dry and full bodied with lovely mineral overtones, crisp bright acidity with hints of Turkish delight, ripe pear and still remaining fresh and crisp. Frankly one of the best Pinot Gris in the country!
Pinot Blanc is a variety which is not widely planted in New Zealand, in fact there are very few of them around however this is superb, concentrated with beautiful acidity, textural and lovely complexity. Aromas of peach, nectarine and apricot with a touch of dry herbs. Lovely balance, pure and a persistent finish. Drink now or over the next 3-4 years.
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.
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.
You will be familiar with Domaine point by now for producing excellent value for money Riesling, Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris. This is their brand new release, a Gewurztraminer based more on the style of an Austrian rather than an Alsace with hints of lychee, Turkish delight, dry spice and floral. Very well balanced with lovely concentration, depth, dryness and focus. Excellent with fish and spicy dishes. Drink now or over the next 3-4 years.
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.
Very much made in an Austrian/German style with a little residual sugar, off-dry, but vibrant, fresh, full bodied with lovely acidity and minerality. Central Otago seems to be producing outstanding Riesling. We’ve tried this together with excellent examples of German and Austrian Riesling and it’s just up there. Refined, focused with lovely citrus flavours and able to age for the next 2-3 years plus, absolutely outstanding especially at the price!
It’s not often that we come across an excellent Pinot Gris which offers an array of concentrated fruits of pear, fig and turkish delight yet maintaining wonderful structure, clarity and focus. This is a Pinot Gris that is suitable for drinking right now being very refreshing and aromatic yet will also cellar for another couple of years.
In the last 10-15 years, Central Otago has surged ahead in the production of outstanding Pinot Noir, lately they have also extended their search towards Riesling. Mt. Edward is perhaps the best exponent of both in this area and their Riesling (whenever it is available) is a true revelation of what can be done with this variety. The 2012 vintage has been one of the best for awhile, having tried it a few months ago it was already showing a lovely floral perfume, great texture and perfect acidity, made in an off-dry style and not overly alcoholic it is outstanding in its youth but will also cellar for another 3-4 years. Without doubt one of the best Rieslings in the country.
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.
The Carrick winery is named after the mountain range that overlooks the vineyard and estate in New Zealand's hottest wine growing region Central Otago. The vineyards are all located in Bannockburn, on the Cairnmuir Terraces which are a mixture of gravels and alluvial sediments. The vines in Cairnmuir were planted in 1994 and extended in 1998 with the Central Otago staples of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay as well as Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Gris.
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