The idea that good things take time takes on a whole new meaning when it comes to top shelf red wines.
They tend to take ages to reach our wine glasses for good reason.
Reds take longer to make than white wines. They need to spend more time in touch with their skins, which is where their colour is extracted from. And then there’s the oak maturation. This is the ageing of red wines in wood, usually oak, but sometimes other types of wood can be used, such as pine (hence, Greek retsina) and, in the past, totara was used in the early days of the New Zealand wine industry. The ageing of wine in oak is an expensive but effective way to soften their natural astringency by treating them to controlled oxidative maturation. It can add flavour too, but this is not the intention of many winemakers.
All of this is a long way of saying that two new flagship Pinot Noirs are in the pipeline from New Zealand’s biggest wine company, Pernod Ricard NZ. I tasted both wines yesterday. They are: Brancott Estate Chosen Rows Pinot Noir and Brancott Estate (name to be confirmed) Pinot Noir.
The company’s chief winemaker is Patrick Materman, who had samples of the two new wines open for tasting yesterday at the biggest wine event ever in Wellington – Pinot Noir NZ 2017.
The Brancott Estate Chosen Rows Pinot Noir will be the red partner to the winery’s flagship white from Marlborough, Chosen Rows Sauvignon Blanc. Materman says the new Chosen Rows Pinot Noir will be released around October 2017 and will coincide with the launch of new white under the same brand. I expect the wine’s price to be in line with the white, which means about a three figure price tag, but more on that when the official word is on the street, later this year.
And the other new Pinot Noir from Brancott Estate will also be a premium quality wine with a price tag of about $60 and a distinctive new label that pays homage to a new sculpture. Materman says exact timing has yet to be confirmed for both the wine’s launch and the sculpture’s construction in the vineyard, but he expects both to be later this year. Both the sculpture and the label were designed by the New York based, Israeli born artist, Dror.
Watch this space.