2007 Craggy Range "Zebra Vineyard" Pinot Noir Central Otago Bendigo (Elsewhere $40-60)

SKU #1107346 91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The 2007 Zebra Vineyard Pinot Noir has developed nicely since bottling, the nose introspective with dark cherries, plum and gravel, all well defined. The palate is medium-bodied, slightly chewy tannin and good acidity. Lovely balance - real tension here with a crisp plum and mulberry imbued finish. This has certainly coalesced since last year. Excellent.  (9/2009)

Wine Spectator

 Crisp in texture, with an open feel to the spicy currant and anise seed flavors, which linger nicely against fine tannins. Drink now through 2013. (Web Only- 2009)

K&L Notes

This single-vineyard Pinot Noir from Craggy Range is now in a prime drinking window. An excellent vintage in 2007 featured low yields across New Zealand, and a positively scarce 12 hl/ha for this bottling. The Zebra Vineyard Pinot Noir was hand-harvested and destemmed to ferment with indigenous yeast. The wine then spent 10 months on its lees in 42% new French oak. From the winery: "Deep red with hints of crimson. Aromatics of rose, blackberry, coffee, spice, and earthy herb notes. The palate is brimming with vibrant florals, cherry, and dried herb characteristics. The palate is reined in by grainy, savoury tannins and completed by supportive spicy French oak and a long, flavour filled finish."

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Price: $24.99
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Staff Image By: Joe Manekin | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 7/14/2012 | Send Email
Surprisingly deeply flavored and complex for the price, this Craggy Range bottling shows fairly deeply pitched, dark berry fruit aromas and flavors, with some pretty pinot floral subtle spice nuances. I think that I speak for most of the staff when I say that I would be really hard pressed to find a better bottle of pinot noir under $30.

Staff Image By: Ryan Woodhouse | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 7/6/2012 | Send Email
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A great single vineyard offereing from Craggy Range and a ludicrous price! This is from the Bendigo subregion of Central Otago, planted on very quartz rich soil. The site gives a nice delicate mineral aspect to an otherwise very pure and fruit driven wine. The nose is full of red fruits of the forest with hints of darker cherry and coffee. On the palate the wine is rich yet supple elegant. Medium bodied but with great texture and persistence. The years in bottle has evolved fine silky tannins, but the hallmark concentration of Bendigo, Central Otago Pinot Noir has preserved a powerful core of fruit that is still youthful and exuberant. Serious Pinot for twice the price!
Top Value! Drink from 2012 to 2020

Staff Image By: Jim Chanteloup | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 7/3/2012 | Send Email
Well, we scored a winner here! The Zebra Vineyard lies in the warmer (not hot) sub-region of Bendigo in Central Otago. The fruit was all hand picked, de-stemmed and fermented with wild yeast. The bouquet is beginning to show secondary character developement with cedar, sandlewood, plum, dark strawberry, rhubarb,clove and dried orange peel. On the palate, there is good juicy acidity with fine soft tannins and a long persistent spicy finish. At almost half the original price, this is a great opportunity to taste a complex Kiwi Pinot from the latest region to gain attention for producing fantastic wine from this varietal.

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Pinot Noir

- One of France's most legendary grapes and the grape that earned Burgundy its reputation. The parent of varietals like Pinot Gris/Grigio and Pinot Blanc, Pinot Noir is blue to violet to indigo in color with relatively thin skins, and it is said to have been cultivated in France for more than 2,000 years. At its best, Pinot Noir creates elegant wines that are filled with primary red fruit aromas and flavors while young, revealing with an array of secondary characteristics like earth, smoke, violet, truffle and game with age. The varietal is also known, perhaps better than any, for its ability to translate terroir, or a sense of place. While the best Pinot Noir still comes from Burgundy, it is being produced with increasing success in cooler climates around the world. In France, it is part of the trifecta of grapes that can go into Champagne, and it is also grown in Alsace, Irancy, Jura, Savoie, Lorraine and Sancerre. Outside of France it is produced under the names Pinot Nero and Blauburgunder in Italy's mountainous regions, as Spätburgunder in Germany and as Blauburgunder in Austria. In the US, Pinot Noir has found suitable growing conditions in the cooler parts of California, including Carneros, the Russian River Valley, the Anderson Valley, the Sonoma Coast, Monterey County, the Santa Lucia Highlands and Santa Barbara County, as well as in Oregon's Willamette Valley. In recent years, New Zealand has demonstrated its ability to interpret this hard-to-grow varietal, with successful bottlings coming from careful and attentive growers in Central Otago, Martinborough and Canterbury. Chile is also an up-and-coming region for Pinot Noir, creating fresh, fruit-forward, early-drinking and affordable Pinots from the coastal Casablanca Valley and the Limari Valley.

New Zealand

- New Zealand is an extremely diverse wine-growing nation. The long history of producing wine started in the 1830s with wineries such as Mission Estate (1850) and Te Mata Estate (1896) still producing wine today. The two islands hold a multitude of different growing climates ranging from warmer areas such as Hawke’s Bay to very cool regions such as Waitaki, and Awatere. Most regions are defined as Maritime with the exception being Central Otago that has a moderate Continental climate with the high elevation creating dramatic diurnal swings in temperature. The plethora of grapes grown in New Zealand reflects this diverse microclimate make up. Everything has a place here, Bordeaux varietals and Syrah in Hawke’s Bay, Chardonnay and Pinot in Nelson, Pinot Noir and Riesling in Central Otago , aromatic whites in Waipara and pretty much everything you can imagine in Marlborough. New Zealand is also one of the “greenest” wine producing nations on earth (94% of wine certified sustainable in 2013) with a strong focus on organic and Biodynamic farming.