2014 Tongue in Groove "Cabal Vineyard" Pinot Noir Waipara Valley North Canterbury
*Five Stars* From a clay and fragmented limestone soils of a vineyard in North Waipara. Around 35% whole-bunches were used to give structure and intensity. An impressively complex wine, with a mix of cherry, plum and chalky/mineral flavors, with a more savory, baked earth, dried herb character. Nicely structured so the wine is accessible but promises to age well.
Wonderfully complex and enticing bouquet of limestone like mineral, ripe red berry fruits, distinctive oak and spice moments. Highly textured, complex, dry, ripe berry flavors, layers of oak, fine and silky.
I like the florals to this dark, burgundy-colored pinot such as the rose and violet perfumes as well as crushed roses. This is a pinot with some earthy nuances too and a very attractive raspberry and blueberry mix on the nose. It's definitely focused on the fruit, and the oak is spicy but in check. Some chalky hints, too. The palate has a seriously powerful core of ripe and delicious dark-cherry-fruit flavors. Some bold tannin is carved into smooth lines with strength and poise. This truly treats you to all the elements of a great Waipara pinot. The finish fans out to a chalky, dark-cherry conclusion. I like the contrast between depth and grace here. Worth noting also the whole bunch impact (35-40%), which is seamlessly woven into the wine. Drink now to 2025.
Richly complex and engaging, the bouquet shows dark berry, cured meat, clove and nutmeg characters with lovely dried herb undertones. The palate is concentrated and focused, yet expansive, together with silky texture and fine, grainy tannins. This is thought-provoking and stylish at the same time, and delivers layers of delectable fruit and savoury flavours. At its best: now to 2020.
Full, very dark, purple-hued ruby-red colour, very youthful in appearance. The nose is finely proportioned with intensely concentrated aromas of ripe, dark-red berry fruits lifted by violet and lavender perfumes, nuances of dark herbs, and a little camphor. This has attractively intriguing detail. Medium-full bodied, the palate features elegantly concentrated flavours of red berry fruits entwined with exotic florals, herbs and spices. The fruit is supported by fine-textured tannin extraction that forms a positive core and line. Subtle acid zestiness lends tension and drive, and carries the stylishly restrained flavours to a long, lingering finish with delicate floral and red fruit nuances. This is an elegant, exotically fragrant Pinot Noir with soft, fine extraction and a supple mouthfeel. Match with Asian and Middle Eastern cuisine over the next 5+ years. Hand-picked fruit from the ‘Cabal’ vineyard, Waipara Valley, indigenous yeast fermented with 35-40% whole clusters to 14.0% alc., the wine spending 21-24 days cuvaison and aged 16 months in approx. 33% new French oak.
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
(93+) Medium to deep ruby-purple colored, the 2014 Cabal Vineyard Pinot Noir has a profoundly scented nose of black raspberries, black cherries and dried Provence herbs, with plenty of earthy stem notes in the background and a waft of lavender. The medium-bodied palate offers a great intensity of black and red berry, earth and herbal flavors with a solid backbone of grainy tannins and freshness, finishing long. Love it!
90+ (from clay and limestone soil; vinified with wild yeasts, using 40% whole clusters; aged for 16 months in one-third new French oak and bottled without fining or filtration; the crop level here was reportedly just 1.2 tons per acre): Dark red with ruby tones. Slightly reduced aromas of plum, dark cherry, clove and earthy underbrush, with subtle nuances of lavender and herbs. Plush and mouthfilling wine, with excellent depth and savory complexity to its concentrated flavors of red berries, plum, flowers and spices. Conveys an impression of strong extract, with enticing sweetness leavened by limestone. Finishes subtle and very long, with smooth tannins firming the lingering, slightly medicinal dark plum and spice flavors. The Tongue in Groove wines are made by Lynnette Hudson, who previously made wine at Pegasus Bay through 2012.
**One of our absolute favorite Direct Imports from New Zealand** World Class Pinot Noir! Tongue in Groove's "Cabal Vineyard" Pinot Noir is from their home region in the Waipara Valley. The vineyard is farmed without the use of any pesticides, fungicides, herbicides or artificial fertilizers. Fruit is hand selected. The soils here are a complex mix of clay, alluvial gravels and most importantly fragmented limestone. Waipara's clay-limestone mix gives the wines of this region a lovely combination of lush, soft texture and fresh, lifted, vibrant aromatics. The Cabal vineyard lends all of this in spades. The 2014 is a bit more "serious" then previous renditions - meaning that is has more structure (likely from the inclusuion of 35-40% whole clusters) and immense concentration from the low yielding 2014 season. The intoxicating perfume of Cabal is still there but there is a little more "umph" on the palate than is the two prior vintages we have carried. I love that this wine has great accessibility now but clearly also has a long and glorious life ahead of it. Enjoy! (Ryan Woodhouse - K&L NZ Wine Buyer)