2015 Valli "Bannockburn" Pinot Noir Central Otago

SKU #1318911 96 points Sam Kim

 This is rich and powerful, yet brilliantly structured and harmonious. Wonderfully fragrant aromas of dark plum, cherry, vanilla and cocoa with nuances of thyme and nutmeg on the nose. The palate is concentrated and richly textured with excellent fruit weight, brilliantly framed by fine, chalky tannins providing excellent frame and length. At its best: now to 2024.

93-94 points Raymond Chan

 Deepish ruby-red with a good heart. This has a full, broad and softly presented nose, very even with warm red berry fruits. This grows in density and has a rounded core, with lovely intensity, revealing some whole cluster stalk nuances. On palate this is deceptively accessible, very harmonious and together, but there is plenty of depth and structure. The tannins are very fine-grained, and the acidity integrated. This has the typical Bannockburn ripeness and substance. A very consumer-friendly wine.

91 points Wine Spectator

 Robust, with tangy wild blackberry flavors and dense, velvety tannins. Notes of black licorice, black pepper and toasted cumin seed linger on the finish. Drink now through 2027. (MW, Web Only-2017)

K&L Notes

Winemaker Grant Taylor has been crafting wines in Central Otago since 1993. Valli was founded in 1998 in order to focus on the unique subregions with the valley. The winery describes the 2015 Bannockburn, "This vintage is exceptionally fragrant with beautiful wild flowers, thyme and lilac woven through bright red fruit, cinnamon and cedar. A palate with incredible energy; red cherry and raspberry are the gateway to a round and creamy mid palate with long, silky tannins and vibrant acidity that gives the wine length and memory. This wine is drinking beautifully at release and will continue to do so for at least a decade."

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Price: $44.99

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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.