Pinot Noir

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Akarua Pinot Noir 2013 (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. Akarua was re-introduced after many years to Liberty Wines by Tony Jordan, who makes their sparkling wines. Tony built Domaine Chandon in Australia, and is one of the world's leading experts in sparkling wine production. He has been enamoured with the potential for Central Otago to make top quality fizz for quite a while, and is now doing so with Akarua.

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.

£25.80

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.

£21.50

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

£12.84

Bachelder Oregon Willamette Valley Pinot Noir 2013 (1x 75cl)

Distinctly Oregon, yet almost Burgundian in its suppleness and finesse, this 2012 Pinot has perfumed red wild forest berries mingled with nuanced blackberry fruit, distinctive soft, ripe tannins and a silky mineral finish.
£30.94

By Farr `Tout Pres` Geelong Pinot Noir 2015 (1x 75cl)

The nose is more savoury than fruit driven. Fine layered textures and flavours build on a palate of balanced rich fruit, oak, and earthy tones to form a powerful expression of a very special site. 

£58.80

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.
£27.66

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.
£15.45

Chateau de Santenay Clos Vougeot Grand Cru 2014 (1x 75cl)

Awarded 95 points and a rare Outstanding status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their 2016 Decanter World Wine Awards Rhone Section  (see blue link below).

 

Chateau de Santenay Clos de Vougeot Grand Cru 2014- 2016 Decanter World Wine Awards

 

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.

Château de Santenay owns 25 hectares of vineyards in the Côte d'Or. The soils here are free-draining with a mixture of clay and sand, and a subsoil which has a high limestone content. This forces the roots of the vine to dig deep to find the vital nutrients and water they need, which in turn results in a high concentration of flavour within the fruit.

2014 was a demanding vintage, requiring a lot of effort and care, which was eventually rewarded with success. The wines show a real aromatic purity, great balance and are unexpectedly deep in colour.

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.

A rich, dark garnet in colour, the 2014 Clos de Vougeot offers powerful and concentrated black fruit aromas with an elegant touch of oak. On the palate, flavours of black cherry and black berry fruits are complimented by a subtle spiciness with a long finish.

£109.70

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.

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.   

£22.65

Costa & Pampa Pinot Noir, Trapiche 2015 (1x75cl)

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.

£13.20

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.

£15.30

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.
£41.85

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.

£8.94

De Loach ‘Olivet Bench’ Estate Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir 2012 (1x 75cl)

Awarded 95 points and Outstanding status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their October 2017 edition in Steven Spurrier's Fine Wine World column (see blue link below).

De Loach Olivet Bench RR Pinot Noir 2012 - October 2017 Decanter review

The winery and vineyards were originally owned and run by the De Loach family, with Cecil De Loach as winemaker. 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.

All the De Loach wines are made and bottled at their estate facility. The Pinot Noir was made from fruit grown in premium vineyards throughout northern and central California, helping to achieve a unique balance of delicate Pinot characteristics and more intense fruit flavours. The vineyard is located within the Olivet bench region of the Russian River Valley on goldridge soils. The vines are cane-pruned and farmed biodynamically.

Fruit for this Pinot Noir was primarily sourced from the Delta region of California and underwent minimal handling. A pre-fermentation cold soak was followed by fermentation in closed-top fermenters. Post fermentation warm maceration took place to extract good colour and ripe tannins. A small portion of the wine was barrel aged to add some slight oak complexity, but most was kept in stainless steel in order to stay true to its lighter, food-friendly style.

The wine opens with subtle fresh fruit aromas of strawberry and blueberry heightened with hints of anise. The deep aromas lead to enticing flavours of dark, ripe fruit and plums with just a touch of white pepper on the finish.

£45.24
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