2014 Elephant Hill Pinot Noir Central Otago (Elsewhere $30+)

SKU #1257677 92-93 points Raymond Chan

 Moderately dark, even ruby-red colour, with a lighter edge, youthful in appearance. The nose is elegantly and firm with softly concentrated aromas of dark-red berry fruits lifted by red florals , unfolding subtle layers of thyme herbs. Some spice and liquorice notes emerge, and the nose builds in depth and concentration in the glass. Medium-full bodied, the palate features bright, juicy and sweet soft red berry and cherry fruit flavours, entwined with thyme herbs, spices and liquorice notes. The fruit forms an elegantly concentrated line with fine, grainy tannins and fresh, lively acidity lending a plush, supple mouthfeel. The sweet fruit and lively acidity carry through to a sustained finish of dark red berry fruits and spices. This is a bright, sweet, juicy and elegant Pinot Noir with dark fruits, liquorice and spices, and a lively, supple mouthfeel. Match with poultry and pork over the next 5 years. Hand-picked fruit from the ‘Maori Point’ vineyard, Tarras, destemmed and fermented with 5% whole clusters to 13.5% alc., the wine aged 10 months in 25% new French oak.

Vinous

 Bright medium red. Crushed raspberry and spices...Juicy, spicy and nicely concentrated, showing good acidity and grip to its dark berry and fresh herb flavors...Finishes with a firm tannic spine. (ST)  (5/2016)

K&L Notes

This wine sold out quickly the last few years and the 2014 vintage is sure to be another staff and customer favorite. Winemaker Steve Skinner was trained in Burgundy and it shows in his beautifully pure expressions of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Sourced from a single vineyard called Maori Point in the Tarras sub-region of Central Otago. This wine is defined by its delicate floral highlights and lovely pure, dark red, wild berry flavors, some bramble leaf, sandalwood and winter mulling spices. The wine is medium-plus bodied Pinot Noir with refined, fine tannins and exceptional poise on the finish. (Ryan Woodhouse - K&L NZ Wine Buyer) Winemaker's Notes: "The majority of the grapes were carefully de-stemmed with a small proportion (5%) of whole cluster grapes used. They were cold soaked for 3 weeks at 5°C to preserve delicate aromas and colour. Fermentation took place in traditional open top wooden cuvés. Following pressing, the wine spent 10 months maturing in oak, of which 25% were new Burgundian oak. It was then bottled with minimal fining and intervention. The wine shows typical Pinot Noir characters of red berry fruit and subtle floral characters followed by notes of bay leaves and spice. A perfectly balanced wine with soft tannins and excellent length."

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Price: $19.99
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By: Ryan Woodhouse | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 12/1/2016 | Send Email
Tough to find a better Central Otago Pinot at this price! From a single vineyard in the Bendigo sub-region called Maori Point. Robust dark fruits, toasted spice, warm earthy tones, briary elements, wild thyme and minerals. Subtle power. Quite Burgundian in a way but with an unmistakable "wild" Central Otago core.

Additional Information:

Varietal:

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.
Country:

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