Great Central Pinots…

Posted 8 October 2015

New Zealand has a history of one grape, one basket and heavy reliance on one theme. Today, that theme is sauvignon blanc, which makes up 75% of Marlborough’s vineyard land but not so long ago (1983), muller-thurgau occupied four times the land than any other grape. Winemakers in Central Otago have gone even further, investing 80% of their energy in pinot noir, which makes up over 80% of their region’s vines. Like most southern areas, Central is a tad cool, so that makes for a lot of pale ruby, super fruity, light bodied reds. It can be tricky to find those extra special pinots. But they do exist. And one of the best places to find them is at blind tastings where big spittoons accompany the invitees, so it’s not fun zone central, but here are a trio of top wines from tastings last month.

Wines of the week

2014 Earth’s End Central Otago Pinot Noir, $29 14%
Mount Edward winery is in the Gibbston Valley and home to winemakers Duncan Forsyth and Anna Riederer, who focus is on making smooth, savoury, earthy pinots, such as this outstanding wine.

2013 Mount Edward Central Otago Pinot Noir, $45, 14%
Flavours and aromas: rhubarb, beetroot, rose petals; spices (cloves, nutmeg, licorice); good complexity, smooth and lingering in taste.

2013 Doctors Flat Central Otago Pinot Noir, $48, 13.5%
Bannockburn based winemaker Steve Davies is a bit of a perfectionist in the vineyard and the winery, which shows through in this super concentrated pinot, which bursts with big fruit flavours and earthy overtones. Tasty.