2012 GeorgeTown Pinot Noir Central Otago

SKU #1228433 93 points Bob Campbell

 Rich, concentrated and quite complex Pinot with bright red cherry and plum flavours together with a hint of fresh herbs and spices. Quite burgundy-like. Elegant wine that is accessible now but promises to age well.

92-93 points Raymond Chan

 Even, dark ruby-red colour, lighter on the rim. The nose is elegantly proportioned with intense aromas of fresh, ripe, dark red berry fruit entwined with savoury thyme herbs, dried herbal elements, sour cherries and game notes. Some complexing secondary undergrowth nuances are beginning to emerge. Medium-full bodied, tight and well-concentrated fruit flavours of dark red berries and black cherries show with sweetness and succulence. The fruit intermingles with dried herb, nutty oak and earthy detail, and is supported by fine-grained tannin extraction. Bright acidity enlivens the mouthfeel and the wine follows an elegant, sinewy line, leading to a long and sustained, fresh-fruited finish. This is an elegantly concentrated, fresh, sweet-fruited Pinot Noir with complex, herb and earthy notes and a sinewy palate. Match with lamb, beef and venison, and semi-hard cheeses over the next 6+ years. Hand-picked fruit given a cold soak and indigenous yeast fermented to 13.5% alc., with approx. 15% whole clusters, the wine spending 24 days on skins total and aged 10 months in 30% new French oak. 325 cases made.

90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 Pale to medium ruby-purple colored, the 2012 Pinot Noir is scented of kirsch, red currant jelly and black forest cake with nuances of fallen leaves and cloves. Medium bodied and elegantly fruited in the mouth, it has very fine tannins and good persistence. (LPB)  (12/2014)

K&L Notes

Georgetown Vineyard is one of the most fascinating blocks of vines in New Zealand. Planted in 2002, in a "Burgundian" manner, the vines are very high-density planted with only a few feet in between rows/vines. The vines themselves are trellised super low to the ground—just above knee high. Now well established with roots 10-feet deep, the vineyard is almost entirely dry grown with very minimal irrigation. Combine this with the high-density planting and it is easy to see why this unique little vineyard produces some very distinctive and very good Pinot Noir! Owner/viticulturalist Ian Dee is well known around Central Otago as an all-around great guy and very talented grape grower with 17 years of experience. He meticulously tends his vineyard entirely by hand. When it comes to winemaking, for the 2012 vintage Ian called upon the skills of Mount Edward owner/winemaker and Central Otago legend, Duncan Forsyth, to give shape to the Georgetown fruit. The combination of this very special vineyard and Duncan's talents in the cellar are majestic. The wine is spectacularly pure and refined. Lifted spiced red fruits with darker edges, star anise, nutmeg, sandalwood notes, and warm earth. There is a lot of fruit and concentration but it's all perfectly in line, silky and supple. The wine has a very polished texture and super-fine tannins. Excellent length and focus on the palate. Really quite Burgundian with its linear intensity. Ryan Woodhouse (K&L New Zealand Wine Buyer)

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By: Dave Genevro | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 2/1/2016 | Send Email
A dark, medium bodied Pinot with great richness, red fruits and a great finish on the palate. This is a side project of Duncan Forsyth, the co-creator at Mt. Edward winery, one of the greats in Central Otago. Duncan has had a hand in making wines in Oregon, California and Germany...'nough said. This fruit is a single vineyard expression, with a small production for this bottling. Get this gorgeous wine here while it lasts!

By: Ryan Woodhouse | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 12/7/2015 | Send Email
Having driven past this diminutive vineyard countless times exiting the mouth of Gibbston Valley gorge, I finally stopped in and met owner Ian Dee and got to know what this unique little property was all about. The vineyard is quite distinctive: its vines are planted at a very high density (like many in Burgundy) and are trellised very low to the ground. The idea is to restrict the vigour of the vines so they produce less fruit but with a greater concentration of flavor. As with all vineyards planted this way they require huge amounts of hand-tending and working on the knee-high vines is backbreaking work. Only someone looking to produce truly hand-crafted, fine wines would bother with such a labor intensive site, someone like Ian! With many years of experience working in viticulture for some of the best properties in Central Otago, he has now invested wholeheartedly in this special little vineyard. The 2012 GeorgeTown Vineyard Pinot was made just up the road at Mount Edward winery under the expert guidance of Mt. E winemaker Duncan Forsyth. The wine is packed with ripe red fruits, sweetly fragranced herbs, thyme, sandalwood, baking spice. Quite light on it's feet but ripe and full of flavor, this is a beautifully expressive wine that is very versatile with food or on its own. The texture is plush and soft, very nimble on the palate and silky through the finish. Lovely pure, ripe, red fruited Pinot.
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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.