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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.

£26.20

Akarua RUA Pinot Noir 2016 (1x 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 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.

£17.10

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.

£21.90

Babich East Coast Pinot Noir 2014 (1x 75cl)

The nose has plentiful aromas of black current, raspberry, spicy dark plums and suggestions of mushroom. Attractive dried herb notes are also in attendance Upfront the palate is red and dark fruits with lots of cherries and strawberries. A pleasantly textured wine with fine tannins and a medium weight. An easy drinking Pinot Noir with intensity and a very good spicy length

£13.10

Babich East Coast Pinot Noir 2015 (1x75cl)

The nose has plentiful aromas of black current, raspberry, spicy dark plums and suggestions of mushroom. Attractive dried herb notes are also in attendance Upfront the palate is red and dark fruits with lots of cherries and strawberries. A pleasantly textured wine with fine tannins and a medium weight. An easy drinking Pinot Noir with intensity and a very good spicy length

£12.85

Carrick Pinot Noir 2014 (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.
£28.40

Carrick Unravelled Pinot Noir 2016 (1x 75cl)

Ripe berries and black cherries on the nose which transfer onto the palate with a hint of oak.Finely balanced, fruit forward styled wine.
£16.00

Chateau de Santenay Mercurey 1er Cru Les Puillets 2014 (1x 75cl)

Awarded 95 points and a Platinum Best In Category (Red Cote de Beaune over £15) at the 2016 Decanter World Wine Awards (www.decanter.com): see their August 2016 DWWA supplement (see blue link below).

Chateau de Santenay Les Puilllets 1er Cru 2014 - August 2016 Decanter review

This magnificent property, which dates back to the 9th century, is also known as Château Philippe le Hardi, as it was once owned by the first Duc of Burgundy. Philippe le Hardi is famous as the person who banned the cultivation of Gamay in the Côte d'Or, saying in his edict of 1395 that only Pinot Noir could be used in the production of red wines from the already fabled slopes. Despite its long history, the property had fallen on hard times until it was taken over by the French bank Crédit Agricole in recent years. They have invested heavily, bringing in a new team to support the general manager, Gérard Fagnoni, and putting the emphasis on quality. The property has 98 hectares of vineyard, 72 of which are in Mercurey. These are remarkably well-made and good-value wines from the Côte d'Or and Côte Chalonnaise. 

The eight hectare 'Les Puillets' vineyard is located on the south-south-west facing hillslide slopes in the Chalonnaise appellation of Mercurey. The average age of the vines is 30 years. The soils here are rich in clay, but the limestone is still very present as well as some areas of marl. These characteristics give the red wines of Mercurey power and a beautiful structure.

The 2015 vintage experienced a hot, dry midsummer, which was immediately followed by a cool, damp August. These conditions produced small but perfectly concentrated Pinot Noir berries with thick skins, intense colour and flavour, and soft tannins. Hot weather towards the end of the vintage brought fears of losing acidity so most wineries picked early, helping maintain a delicate acidity in the final wines.

Most of the fruit from their vineyards was hand harvested. On arrival at the winery, the grapes were cold soaked for seven days at 8°C to extract colour and flavour from the skins. Temperature controlled fermentation lasted 12 to 14 days with daily pumping over, finishing with a rack and return, or 'délestage', to impart the grainy tannins that give the wines a lovely structure and length. The wine was then aged in oak barrels for 13 months, of which 20% were new, before bottling.

This Mercurey is a dark garnet colour. The nose is focused on woody notes and kirsch. Full and rich, the palate shows red cherry and redcurrant flavours with mouthwatering freshness and pleasant tannins on the finish. Though drinking well now, it will reward some time in the cellar. Dark ruby in colour. The nose is intense with aromas of dark berries, cherries and spicy notes. The palate is full yet elegant with ripe, dark fruits and a surprisingly long and complex finish.   

£23.00

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.

£13.55

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!

£24.79

Darenberg Feral Fox Pinot Noir 2015 (1x 75cl)

Earthy tones of wild mushroom and truffles are wonderfully countered with lovely, fresh, aromatic notes of musk and flowers, raspberry and kirsch. The palate is fine and balanced, driven forward by a lively line of vibrant acid and ending with that familiar d’Arenberg fine, gritty tannin.

£15.80

Dawson & James Pinot Noir 2011 (1x 75cl)

The Pinot Noir offers delicacy with finely woven fruit and oak, a creamy texture and flavour of wild strawberries. Complex and layered, with a wonderfully long and smooth finish.
£42.60

De Gras Pinot Noir Reserva 2014 (1x 75cl)

Cherry red in colour with fresh and intense aromas of cherry on the nose with a touch of rose petals. A medium bodied wine with fresh red fruit and a refreshing acidity and richness.

£9.20

De Loach Heritage Reserve California Pinot Noir 2015 (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.

£15.40
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