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Pinot Noir

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Akarua Pinot Noir 2015 (1 x 75cl)

The Skeggs family were among the first people to buy and plant vineyard land in Central Otago in the mid 1990s, so were lucky enough to acquire a superb north facing site in Bannockburn. Planted in 1996, this 50 hectare site has since provided the backbone of the Akarua wines. Due to the short growing season in Central Otago, site selection is one of the key elements in making a great wine, and Akarua have a site that is among the very best. 

All the Pinot Noir grapes were harvested from Akarua's 50 hectare site on Cairnmuir Road in Bannockburn, which lies at 270 metres above sea level. The soil here is young alluvial schist based sand/silt and sandy loams overlaying schist rock. The vines are 16 years old.

The grapes were hand picked and 90% were destemmed. Pre-fermentation maceration took place over five days, with temperatures peaking at 31°C. Punch downs took place twice daily and post fermentation maceration lasted six days. The wine spent 10 months in French barriques, 30% of which were new.

Deep bright ruby in colour. The nose displays intense black fruit flavours and the complexity that Bannockburn Pinot Noir is renowned for, with haunting aromatics of bramble fruits and spice. The palate is elegantly balanced with red fruits and finely textured tannins. A wine with great poise and longevity.


Akarua RUA Pinot Noir 2017 (1x75cl)

The Skeggs family were among the first people to buy and plant vineyard land in Central Otago in the mid 1990s, so were lucky enough to acquire a superb north facing site in Bannockburn. Planted in 1996, this 50 hectare site has since provided the backbone of the Akarua wines. Due to the short growing season in Central Otago, site selection is one of the key elements in making a great wine, and Akarua have a site that is among the very best. 

All fruit was sourced from the Akarua Estate vineyard in Central Otago. The vines are 16 years old and grow at 270 metres above sea level with a north-western aspect. Soils are young alluvial, schist based sandy/silt and sandy loams overlaying schist rock.

The grapes for the Rua were cold soaked for five days before fermentation commenced, and were punched down twice daily and given another six days on the skins post fermentation to provide the wine with the tannic backbone it requires. The wine then spent seven months ageing in 100% French oak barrique, of which 10% was new. The result is a remarkably attractive - and great value - Pinot Noir from Central Otago.

Bright cherry red in the glass. Lifted cherry aromas with floral and violet notes. On the palate, this well-defined Central Otago Pinot Noir exhibits juicy red fruits. Light, soft tannins complement the savoury highlights, finishing long and bright.


Amisfield Pinot Noir 2015 (1x 75cl)

Awarded a Gold Medal and 95 points at the 2018 Decanter World Wine Awards (click link for details).

For other 2018 DWWA winners, click here.

For a full description of this wine, we would direct you to the data sheet/fiche technique from Amisfield themselves (click blue link below)

Amisfield Pinot Noir 2015 - fiche technique

Youthful aromatic expressions of sweet red cherries, mulberries and plums lead to a complex and lingering palate. The oak is light and subtle to complement the fine grained tannins and supple acidity.


Ata Rangi Crimson Pinot Noir 2016 (1x75cl)

2016 started well with a gentle spring that encouraged even flowering and fruit set across the vineyards. Early summer was calm, without the winds that plagued 2015 and the vines were in great shape to deal with a hotter than average February. March saw a return to cooler conditions, a perfect finish to the season.

Ata Rangi is owned and run by Clive Paton and his wife Phyll, together with Clive's sister Alison and winemaker Helen Masters. Clive planted the bare, stony five hectare home paddock at the edge of Martinborough in 1980 and, in doing so, was one of a handful of people who pioneered grape growing in the area. Renowned for their Pinot Noir, which is consistently ranked as one of New Zealand's best, Ata Rangi also produces a range of white wines including Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.

Crimson is a wine which was inspired by a love of New Zealand's native 'Christmas Trees', the rata and pohutukawa trees. Sales of this wine support Project Crimson, a charitable conservation trust which plants and protects these trees. The Pinot Noir grapes for Crimson are produced from 10-20 year old Martinborough vines in Lismore, Waiora and Walnut Ridge blocks.

The grapes were hand picked and 100% destemmed, keeping as much whole berry fruit as possible. Pre-fermentation maceration lasted between two and six days. The must was inoculated with indigenous yeasts and hand plunged during fermentation that lasted two to three weeks. The wine was racked into barrel, of which 20% was new oak, where it remained for a further nine months after malolactic fermentation until bottling in February 2017.

The 2016 very much shows a turning point from vibrant youth to tension and complexity that more mature vines bring. Aromatically this wine offers layers of flavours: violets, dark cherry and plum, notes of bitter chocolate and tobacco with a hint of game. There is a fresh vibrancy on the palate of acid and smooth tannins pulling the wine through to a long, salivating finish.


Carrick Pinot Noir 2015 (1x 75cl)

Complex, rich and elegant Pinot Noir tasting of intense ripe cherries, spice and liquorice. Plenty of richness on the palate and length on the finish.

Catena Zapata Adrianna Vineyard Fortuna Terrae Malbec 2013 (1x 75cl)

The 'new' 2014 vintage was awarded 95 points and Outstanding status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their October 2018 edition panel tasting of Malbec's micro-terroirs (see blue link below). The 2014 is not yet on release in the UK, and the 2013 is quite wonderful.

Catena Zapata Adrianna Vineyard Fortuna Terrae Malbec 2013 - Oct 2018 Decanter review

See/click the link below for more data from the winemakers themselves.

Catena Adrianna Fortuna Terrae Malbec 2013 - fiche technique

96 points - Wine Advocate

"There are three separate bottling from the Adrianna vineyard, one of them the 2013 Adrianna Vineyard Fortuna Terrae, sourced from the part of the vineyard with slightly deeper soils (we're talking only about 70 centimeters here!) that has limestone underneath, is flatter and provides very aromatic, slightly lighter wines, more feminine if you like. It's very floral, gentle, with fine tannins with a good structure based on a combination with superb acidity. This is also lighter colored, the more Pinot of the three. Some 3,000 bottles were filled in December 2015."

96 points James Suckling

"Blackberry and blueberry aromas with hints of spice and bark. Perfumed. Full body, layered, chewy and polished. Deep and beautiful with so much dark fruit and intensity. Stone and chalk at the finish. Powerful. Drink in 2020 and onwards. Made from organically grown grapes."


Costa & Pampa Pinot Noir, Trapiche 2016 (1x75cl)

The grapes are harvested by hand in the early hours of the morning. The fruit is carefully selected from vines that produce highly-concentrated grapes. The juice is cold macerated for 72 hours then fermented in stainless steel tanks and aged for 7 months in French oak barrels. The wine is clarified, stabilised & filtered before being bottled.

100% Pinot Noir.

The vineyards for this wine are in Chapadmalal, Buenos Aires, surrounded by gentle hills and incredible fields that end in the South Atlantic. The winery location is 6 kilometers from the sea, where the particular climate of the coast makes this land a unique place for the development of wines with marked oceanic influence.

Aromas of red fruits such as raspberries and cherries, with soft spicy notes. On the palate, this wine is gentle and round, with a long length. It is very well balanced showing harmony between acidity, sweetness and fruit.


Craggy Range Martinborough Pinot Noir 2016 (1 x 75cl)

Craggy Range produces a collection of iconic wines from multiple regions in New Zealand. Owner Terry Peabody and his family pursued the single vineyard approach to winemaking, planting on green fields and bare land ensuring a focus on quality from the very beginning. New Zealand, with its diversity of soils types offered the perfect location to plant the vines. From the stony, warm soils of the Gimblett Gravels in Hawke's Bay to the volcanic, clay soils of Te Muna Road in Martinborough these exceptional vineyards produce wines with amazing aromatics, purity and complexity.

of French oak cuves and open top stainless steel tanks. The wine is then left to mature in French oak barriques (7% are new) for 9 months.

Gentle handling with whole-bunch fermentation and delicate French oak Barrique treatment ensures a floral wine which embodies the distinctive intense fruit characters of the region. An elegant, silky texture with a delicately balanced tannin structure and a texturally dry finish.

This wine is bright red with a vibrant crimson hue. Enticing pure fruit aromas of red cherry and raspberry meld with rose and damp earth. Supple and fleshy across the palate with a youthful fruit profile and lovely fine tannins creating an elegant dry finish. Beautifully varietal.


Craggy Range Te Muna Road Pinot Noir 2014 (1 x 75cl)

Awarded 90 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their September 2016 edition review of New Zealand Pinot Noir (see blue link below). 

Craggy Te Muna PN 2014 - Sept 2016 Decanter review

The grapes for this wine are picked by hand.  The wine is fermented in a combination of stainless steel vats and oak, then is matured for 10 months prior to bottling.

Matt Stafford, the chief winemaker at Craggy range describes the Te Muna Road Vineyard Pinot Noir as follows:  "A dark and brooding Pinot Noir, grown at our secret place in Martinborough, with a wonderful depth and beauty."

The wine has a bright red cherry colour with a crimson hue. Seductive aromas of dark cherry, dried rose petals, thyme and damp earth. Beautifully varietal, elegant and long on the palate. Medium weight red fruit richness and fine-grained tannins are drawn out long across the palate by acidity to create a finish which is savoury and dry.

This wine matches perfectly with duck dishes.  It can be cellared for 5-7 years from vintage but only if you can resist opening it before then!


Darenberg Feral Fox Pinot Noir 2016 (1x 75cl)

Family owned d’Arenberg is located in the breath-taking McLaren Vale in South Australia and produces an enviable range of wines. From humble beginnings, these wines quickly gained cult status amongst imbibers and judges alike – it’s a deft combination of winemaking tradition and vinous innovation. A tall order for some, but one that d’Arenberg takes in their stride as they continue to push the boundaries and get under the skin of each individual vineyard in order to get the best from the vines. This is backed up by an engaging consumer-friendly approach to the ‘deadly serious fun’ of wine.

D'arenberg's own tasting notes for this wine are excellent, so please click the blue link below to see all this wine's details.

d'Arenberg Feral Fox Pinot Noir 2015 - Fiche Technique


Dawson & James Pinot Noir 2014 (1x 75cl)

Dawson & James is the project of Peter Dawson and Tim James, who met in 1976 when they were both working at Hardy & Sons, and where they continued to work alongside each other for 20 years. They have since moved on to different projects, but have collaborated again to produce the Dawson & James wines in Tasmania. Their shared passion for Australian art, farming, camping and gastronomy, as well as their dedication to fine Australian wine, have combined in this exciting project, and the wines are the proof of their winemaking wisdom and enthusiasm. The wines come from the Meadowbank Vineyard, which is located around 60 kilometres north-west of Hobart, an area characterised by rugged topography and the fast flowing, pristine waters of the Derwent river.

The Meadowbank vineyard is located in the upper Derwent Valley in southern Tasmania and was planted in 1989. The site is 70 metres above the river level and the north-easterly aspect gives it optimal sunlight exposure for grape ripening. The soil is a combination of brown sandy loams over structured clays and sandstone rock. It has a devigorating nature, helping the balanced growth and structure of the vines. Vines are trellised to single cordon and managed to one bunch per shoot, and yields are kept at less than six tonnes per hectare.

The 2014 vintage began with above average winter rainfall which ensured that the vines had sufficient water reserves during the growing season. Cold and windy conditions at the beginning of the summer disrupted flowering slightly and this caused some millerandage within the bunches. Nevertheless, a good summer meant that the Pinot Noir achieved optimum ripeness levels and was hand-picked on 17th April.

Following hand-picking, 25% of the fruit was retained as whole bunches, the remaining 75% was destemmed and crushed. The whole bunches and crushed fruit underwent a four day cold soak prior to fermentation with natural yeasts in open-topped fermenters. The wine was then pressed in a traditional basket press before being transferred to Burgundian coopered oak barriques where it underwent malolactic fermentation and 12 months ageing. 40% of the barriques were new, the remaining 60% was a mixture of 500 litre puncheons and 5-year-old Tronçais oak barriques.

The Pinot Noir has great delicacy and balance. Aromas of ripe cherries and rose petals are complemented by the savoury oak influence. Complex and layered, with smooth tannins, it has a creamy texture and a wonderfully long finish.


De Gras Pinot Noir Reserva 2017 (1x 75cl)

Chile is a unique, remote land, at the end of the world. Apart from being known as a paradise for producing exceptional quality wine, it’s also famous for its crystal clear skies and bright stars adorning the nights throughout the entire country. The De Gras “Star Man” reflects the magic, the sky and stars in the agricultural and winemaking cycles, giving life to wines that express the work done by the farmers who have close ties with the land. De Gras wines are easy to drink and have the distinctive MontGras seal. Their reds are round and fruity with soft tannins and well integrated oak.

This wine undergoes a traditional Pinot Noir vinification. It is cold soaked for 3 - 5 days, before starting native fermentation betweeen 14° - 28° C. It is then aged in old Burgundy barrels of 228 litres for 8 months.

De Gras Pinot Noir Reserva is a vibrant red colour. On the nose it is very fruity, highlighting the fresh red fruits. There is marked acidity in the mouth and charming flavours of sour cherries predominating, as well as some forest fruit hints. It is a lightweight wine, which is vibrant and fresh highlighting the cool climate of the valley.


De Loach Heritage Reserve California Pinot Noir 2016 (1x75cl)

Deep ruby in colour with aromas of cherry, cola and eucalyptus. Red fruit mingles with hints of black pepper on the palate and a round mouthfeel is accented by smooth tannins and a nice acidity. This is a balanced wine with a lengthy finish.


De Loach Russian River Valley Pinot Noir 2015 (1x75cl)

The winery and vineyards were originally owned and run by the Cecil and Christine De Loach. In 2003, the family run Burgundian estate Jean-Claude Boisset purchased De Loach and brought the focus back to the estate's original high quality winemaking philosophy, with specific emphasis on small lot winemaking, particularly of Pinot Noir from the Russian River Valley. The winery's 17-acre estate vineyard has been completely restored and converted to organic and Biodynamic® viticulture, a tradition upheld by many foremost Burgundian vineyards. The De Loach estate vineyards are certified organic by CCOF.

The Pinot Noir is sourced from four vineyard sites across the Russian River: the BCD Vineyard, the Becnel Vineyard, the Heintz Vineyard and the Murray Vineyard. Each of these Russian River Valley Vineyards contributes their unique complexities to the final blend. The vines are grown on Huichica clay loam soils.

Following a very dry 2014, drought was a threat in California during the 2015 growing season. Luckily during February and April, sufficient rain fell which meant that the vines thrived. Problems at flowering and fruit-set lowered yields in some areas. Summer was sunny and fairly warm, which accelerated ripening and meant that by mid-August, harvest had begun. In spite of the low yields, the wines from 2015 have lovely concentrated fruit.

Crafted using traditional Burgundian techniques, the grapes were hand-sorted then fermented in small vats with all punch-downs done by hand. The wine was aged for 11 months in 16% new French oak barrels to create a complex, multi-layered Pinot Noir.

The 2015 Russian River Valley Pinot Noir opens with inviting aromas of raspberry, strawberry and a touch of vanilla. Silky on the palate, the wine offers flavours of strawberry, rhubarb, clove and plum. It is well balanced with moderate tannins and bright acidity.


Delta Pinot Noir 2016 (1x75cl)

The Delta farm, first established in 1848, is now owned by Neal Ibbotson of Saint Clair Family Estate. Their specialisation in Pinot Noir sets Delta apart from the crowd in Marlborough. Lying on the West Coast highway, the 30 hectare Delta Vineyard is planted with the best new Dijon clones of Pinot Noir and can be divided into two areas. The flatter part, closer to the road, produces approachable, younger drinking wines bottled under the 'Delta' label, whereas the best fruit from the hillsides that rise to around 175 metres produces the reserve style 'Hatter's Hill'. The low vigour clay soils, combined with the elevation of the vineyard, the warm days, the excellent quality of the light, the cool nights and the constant breeze, make this site ideal for the production of top quality Pinot Noir.

The Delta Pinot Noir vineyard comprises 27 hectares, planted in 2002 and 2003 with the best Dijon clones. A superb combination of low vigour clay soils, excellent elevation and Marlborough's viticultural advantages - plentiful sunshine, warm days, cool nights and constant breeze - make this an ideal site for producing top quality Pinot Noir.

This vintage saw one of the best fruit sets Marlborough has seen in recent years across all varieties. The growing season was warmer than average with an extended dry period up until late January. Some light rain in late February alleviated any water stress, extending the flavour development period. The ideal growing season continued, with very settled autumnal weather keeping disease levels low, to make 2015/2016 a perfect growing season.

Fruit was hand-harvested in separate batches then destemmed, but not crushed, into small fermenters. After a five day soak to stabilise the colour, fermentation took place at temperatures of up to 34°C, with frequent gentle hand-plunges. The wine was pressed off skins at the end of fermentation. After settling to remove solids, the wine was racked to a mixture of new and seasoned French oak barrels for malolactic fermentation and ageing on fine lees. The wine was then blended and bottled after ten months of ageing.

This Pinot Noir has lifted aromas of ripe berries with hints of dark spices. The palate offers damson plum with undertones of freshly ground coffee and vanilla, followed by well-balanced acidity, a fine tannin structure and a clean, lingering finish.

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