2003 Rippon Pinot Noir Lake Wanaka Central Otago New Zealand (Biodynamic)

SKU #1110117 Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The 2003 Pinot Noir has quite a stunning nose of freshly tilled soil, followed by a distinctly Burgundy-inspired palate with silky smooth tannins and a light, ethereal finish.  (4/2008)

Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Medium red. Strawberry, rose petal, pepper and oak on the nose. Fresh and firmly built, with precise flavors brightened by mint and fresh herbs. Not a fleshy style but offers good life in the mouth. The firm tannins call for two or three years of patience.  (10/2005)

Wine Spectator

 Wild berry, spice and strawberry flavors are supple, with very good concentration, a lively structure and toasty oak notes.  (4/2007)

K&L Notes

Additional comments from Wine Advocate: "If ever there was a producer that gave a tantalizing glimpse of what New Zealand Pinot Noir can achieve with mature vines i.e. over 20-years in age, then it is Rippon Vineyard, whose first, pioneering block was planted on schist soils by Rolfe Mills back in 1981 in Wanaka, Central Otago. The winemaking is now directed by Rolfe's ambitious son Nick Mills. His tenures in Burgundy with the likes of Jean-Jacques Confuron and Domaine de la Romanee-Conti are evidenced in Nick’s occasionally superlative wines. Their 15-hectares of vineyard are now run under biodynamic principles although they are not as yet officially certified." (04/08)

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Price: $86.99
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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.