Wine of the week, 5 October

Doctors Flat Vineyard produces wine rather than medicine these days, although it could be said that this full bodied Pinot Noir, one of Central Otago’s best, does possess its own type of healing power.

The vineyard was named after its historic name on an old map of the rocky elevated site in Bannockburn, Central Otago by winemaker Steve Davies.

When he first planted three hectares of grapes on this dramatic site, Davies always planned to devote his attentions entirely to Pinot Noir. Initially, at least. He has since planted a smaller, adjacent site on his land with Chardonnay grapes and they have yet to produce wine as the young vines settle in. In the meantime, he has released his newest Pinot Noir this month from the 2018 vintage. Davies holds his wine back for longer than most wine producers in order to let it integrate in taste, prior to release. He also farms his vineyard along organic principles. This means without using pesticides, herbicides, insecticides and other man made chemicals but this is a philosophical choice rather than a certification, as yet.

This week’s top drop is the annual new release from Doctors Flat.

Wine of the week

2018 Doctors Flat Pinot Noir RRP $51.50

This is a robust Pinot Noir with a full body and deep aromas of dark, ripe flavours. Think black plums, cherries and earthy smoked mushrooms, all intermingling with cardamon and fresh cinnamon notes. The grapes in this wine were all hand picked with 22% added as whole bunches to add lift and structure to the fermentation, which was with wild yeasts in small tanks. The finished wine was aged for 12 months in barrel followed by another six months in tank. The 680 dozen wines made were all bottled 18 months after harvest. It’s dry, intense and earthy in style. A youthful wine now that will reward further aging.

Author: Joelle Thomson

I am a wine writer, author and educator... first bitten by a big buttery Chardonnay on a dark and stormy night in the 1980s and there was no turning back... Follow my tastings and join some too on this new site.

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