2011 Black Quail "Estate" Pinot Noir Bannockburn Central Otago (Elsewhere $40+)

SKU #1147940 95 points Bob Campbell

 A deliciously ethereal texture is the most remarkable feature of this soft and seductive Pinot Noir. Elegant rather than blockbuster style with plenty of power. Black cherry, plum, spice and a suggestion of liquorice and dark chocolate.

90 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Good bright deep red. Inviting aromas of black raspberry, mocha, sandalwood and underbrush are a bit Vosne-like. Nicely concentrated and silky, with good depth to the sweet raspberry, smoke, licorice and mocha flavors. Still a bit edgy on the back but I like this wine's stuffing and loamy dark raspberry soil tones. Finishes with dusty tannins and very good length. In a distinctly Burgundian style. (A second bottle, of equal quality, was broader and more pliant on the back end.)  (10/ 2013)

K&L Notes

What a stunning bottle of Pinot! It has a simply amazing combination of richness and decadence with brightness and finesse. This bottle really shows why so many people (including myself) believe the Central Otago in New Zealand is producing some of the world's finest Pinot Noir. This K&L exclusive Direct Import is grown on a tiny terrace vineyard directly overlooking the majestic Kawarau River as it surges out of the mountainous Gibbston Valley. The soil is a magic combination of metamorphic schist and heavy clay silts lending both power and minerality. The wine has lots of ripe dark brooding fruit, plum, dark cherry, forest berries and warm earth. The wine is also rich texturally with super fine silky tannins that beautifully caress the entire palate. As the rich fruit subsides on the finish this wine morphs again to express some of the typical gamey, earthy notes and the distinctive whiff of freshly picked wild thyme that distinguishes its Bannockburn origin. Lovely Pinot for heartier dishes like roast pork, duck and wild mushrooms. This tiny boutique property sits at the end of Felton Road and has some quite illustrious neighbors. Our Direct Import means we can offer this wine at ½ the price of some of its' competitors of similar quality. This is a serious deal not to be missed...when it's gone it's gone for good. (Ryan Woodhouse K&L NZ Wine Buyer)

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Product Reviews:

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By: Sal Rodriguez |  K&L Staff Member  |  Review Date: 9/20/2014  | Send Email
Wow! Drink like you’re royalty! Wasn’t quite sure what I expected but this… this is like velvet slippers for your mouth! Dried flowers, perfume, and fruit lift plentifully out of the glass with just the slightest hint of forest floor. The palate is full of dark fruit offset perfectly by a hint of black pepper and finishes rather elegantly with lively fruit and lovely spices. There’s a new region on my radar for exciting, pure, poised Pinot noir!

By: Ryan Woodhouse |  K&L Staff Member  |  Review Date: 9/19/2014  | Send Email
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Beautiful rich Pinot Noir with a striking balance of pure dark fruit, exotic Asian spices, wild herbs and warm earth. An exquisite combination of power and precision with layers of soft fruit underlain with mineral and savory complexities. Silky smooth tannins and excellent length on the palate. This is primo Central Otago Pinot and a very attractive price!
Top Value!

By: Mike Barber |  K&L Staff Member  |  Review Date: 5/15/2014  | Send Email
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Just the one wine from this great vineyard--and their concentration shows. Across from the famous Felton Vineyard, the Black Quail vines produce dense and lovely Pinot Noir. This elegant bottle is full of earth, cinnamon, and soft, dark fruits that linger with every sip.
Drink from 2014 to 2019

By: Melissa Smith |  K&L Staff Member  |  Review Date: 1/20/2014  | Send Email
A very lovely Pinot with an elegant finish. I'm excited to hear how their project growing truffles under oak trees imported from France turns out.

Additional Information:


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.
Alcohol Content (%): 14