2019 Rockburn Eight Barrels Pinot Noir $96
Winemaker Malcolm Rees-Francis selected his top eight barrels (hence the name) of wines from Gibbston Valley grapes grown on shallow fine sandy loam soils, then made this full bodied, bone dry, intensely impressive Pinot Noir. It’s from the 2019 season, which was warm, damp and frosty but made up for its challenging weather conditions by having a long autumn to accentuate ripening. Grapes were given a seven day cold maceration to extract colour and then fermented in seven tonne fermenters followed by 14 months in French oak, 75% new – a high proportion but the wine does seem to soak it up and definitely has the structure to age for seven to eight years, possibly longer. Impressive now, but needs time to shine its brightest.
2019 Rockburn Eleven Barrels Pinot Noir $96
This is a wine of purity made from a single clone of Pinot Noir (777) and single vineyard in Parkburn, Central Otago. It’s also from the warm, damp and frosty but long 2019 vintage, which allowed great flavour development thanks to the lingering autumn weather that year. The grapes were given a seven day cold soak to extract colour and tannin, then fermented in seven tonne fermenters followed by 14 months in French oak, only 18% of which was new. I love the fruit expression in this bold wine, which is bone dry, spicy and a gorgeous drink now, when decanted, but will shine with time in the bottle – tuck it away for up to a decade, if willpower allows.
- Both wines available now online from rockburn.co.nz