Another great tasting with the Hong Kong Wine Society last night. This time New Zealand Pinot Noir from the South Island. All from 2007.
When I travelled there in 2010, I thought of putting together this horizontal to compare and contrast Central Otago with Nelson and Marlborough. Then, I was told that the 2007 would be a keeper and so, it was interesting to taste them last night, 6 years on.
Most of them did keep very well. In fact, it became quite clear that some of them could keep another 4-5 years and continue to age very well so much they still had flesh and wonderful primary fruit, if a little baked, to carry on evolving.
The wines we tasted blind are listed below in order of ranking from the group, In bracket is my own personal ranking. What needs to be said from the outset is that the individual rankings were all over the place and the score of each wine were very close from each other. this is certainly a testament that pretty all of the wines below were in the same league. But as we need to make choices, eventually, little things influence the final rank.
Pisa Range Estate Black Poplar Block Pinot Noir Central Otago 2007 (1)
Hans Herzog Grand Duc Pinot Noir Marlborough 2007 (11)
Seresin Estate Sun & Moon Pinot Noir Martinborough 2007 (4)
Seresin Estate Rachel Pinot Noir Martinborough 2007
Keillor Vineyard Black Quail Pinot Noir Central Otago 2007 (12)
Surveyor Thomson Pinot Noir Central Otago 2007 (7)
Neudorf Moutere Pinot Noir Nelson 2007 (8)
Mt Difficulty Long Gilly Pinot Noir Central Otago 2007 (6)
Olssens Slapjack Creek Pinot Noir Reserve Central Otago 2007 (10)
Rippon Pinot Noir Lake Wanaka Central Otago 2007 (2)
Alexandra Wine Company Alex Gold Pinot Noir Central Otago 2007 (5)
I was really impressed with the Pisa Range . Frankly, when I visited, Jenny & Warwick Hawker treated us like royalty from their extreme graciousness and kindness. It was impressive to feel how much they care about their vineyard. And so, I was very happy when we removed the foils to learn that not only I had ranked them 1st on my list, but the group also did!
The wine was wonderful. The nose did not express itself too much. But I did not discount it because I could certainly feel a certain "depth", a density that is actually difficult to describe. This to me is a clue that the palate will be concentrated with plenty of flesh. Also a clue that aromas will need time to come out of their shell. I was not disappointed. It not only had plenty of flesh but it was also crisp, supple and wonderfully velvety. It did reveal itself more as the wine was warming up on my palate. It was perfumed and showing plenty of black & red fruits. What impressed me though was the length. Very long and very intense. It was vibrating. Certainly a wine to keep for a while, certainly I would feel comfortable keeping it a good 5 years more...
Another wine that impressed me was the Rippon. Interestingly, the group did not think so, ranking it last. For me, it was wonderful. Ready now and will keep but certainly not develop much more. It was earthy, plummy, spicy, and perfumed all at once. Very complex. On the palate, I loved its vibrancy and energy. It was crisp and supple. Very silky and in perfect balance. The length was extremely persitant and perfumed. A wonderful wine. In fact, I scored it 1st at the beginning, but I changed my mind only because the Pisa Range give me a sense that it can keep longer and evolve much more complexity.
In any case, a wonderful tasting. Here, I learned that Pinot Noir from Central Otago are not to be underestimated. And it is apparently just the beginning... So, watch this space...