2014 Tongue in Groove "Cabal Vineyard" Pinot Noir Waipara Valley North Canterbury

SKU #1252074 96 points Bob Campbell

 *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.  (1/2015)

94 points James Suckling

 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.  (12/2016)

94 points Sam Kim

 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.

93 points Raymond Chan

 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.

93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 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! (LPB)  (12/2016)

90 points Vinous

 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. (ST)  (5/2016)

K&L Notes

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 inclusion 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. (Ryan Woodhouse - K&L NZ Wine Buyer) 94 points Wine Front: " Dark cherry, anise, blood orange - like Barolo - but with a smattering of bunchy spice and new oak. Medium bodied to full, slick of tannin, again savoury, earthy, and fruit sweet, dried herb and olive, rolling finish with thick tannin and fine length. A wine of personality, interest and intrigue. It certainly made a (good) impression on me."

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Price: $29.99
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Staff Image By: Joe Bruno | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 5/30/2017 | Send Email
Complex and layered, with standout notes of plum, dark cherry, and blackberry along with potpourri and earl grey tea. Tannins are higher than usual for a Pinot Noir, verging on the texture of an Austrian red like Blaufränkisch or St. Laurent. Red and dark cherries dance on the palate with cranberry and berry compote. A truly unique and outstanding wine; can drink now but I would hold for at least another year.

Staff Image By: Jeff Garneau | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 11/5/2016 | Send Email
Further fruits of our direct import program in NZ/Australia. The 2014 Tongue in Groove Cabal Vineyard Pinot Noir offers extraordinary complexity at an almost unbelievable price. Without the overt ripeness of the 2013 vintage the more reserved 2014 nevertheless combines plenty of ripe red and black fruits with lively acidity and a rich, almost silky texture. Beguilingly floral. Intriguingly spicy. And the addition of 35% whole clusters contributes a savory quality that adds yet another layer of flavor. This is unquestionably one of the best values in the store for New World Pinot Noir under $30.

Staff Image By: David Driscoll | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 10/5/2016 | Send Email
I think I've written the exact same thing in all my previous reviews when it comes to Ryan's Pinot Noir selections from New Zealand: as Burgundy gets more expensive and small vintages reduce that inventory, I continue to be swayed over to the wines from Wiapara, Central Otago, and Marlborough. This TIG from Cabal Vineyard drinks like something in between village-level Pommard and a heartier Sonoma Coast expression. It's full of dark berries and an endearing earthiness, but it's utterly approachable and can be drunk right now. We have a take-out place nearby the Redwood City store called Pronto that does rotisserie chicken and sides. I paired that hearty meal with this wine and polished off both in less than a half hour. Now I'm back for more!

Staff Image By: Stephanie Vidales | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 9/19/2016 | Send Email
This is an truly stunning Pinot Noir. The complexity of this wine blew me away as well as its rich flavors and silky texture. Plum, red berries, minerality and baking spices fill the nose and finished beautifully on the palette. The wine showed its best after some time in the decanter alongside a lovely salmon dinner. Two thumbs up!

Staff Image By: Mahon McGrath | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 8/10/2016 | Send Email
Ripe berry fruit and rhubarb are set off by allspice and baked clay on the nose. The lusciousness of the fruit takes a back seat on the palate, thanks to abundant acidity and a dash of fine chalky tannins: it’s like the wine’s wearing spanx. The finish runs to pomegranate and blood orange. While it is tempting now, I think that this Pinot Noir’s best years are in front of it. Give it an hour in a decanter now, or three years or so on its side, to get the most from it.

Staff Image By: Ryan Woodhouse | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 8/10/2016 | Send Email
Glass Full Glass Full Glass Full Glass Full Glass Full
Fantastic Pinot yet again from Tongue in Groove. These guys are on a tear right now making some of the most compelling and delicious Pinot in NZ. Fruit is hand selected from a vineyard with limestone rich clay soils. This has wonderful aromatic lift, floral tones, musk, woodsy spices and wet clay. The fruit is deep, rich and succulent, a broad texture, perfect extract and whole bunch derived structure and length elongating the whole thing on the palate and adding a wild "sauvage" character. Mineral inflections linger in the long, powerful finish with a kiss of French oak. This is very serious Pinot and a step up from last years more pure fruited, easy drinking Cabal that was already a huge hit with our staff and customers. This edition has all the fruit and purity the 2013 had but adds another layer of complexity and structure on top. Just awesome.
Top Value! Drink from 2016 to 2022

Staff Image By: Randy Hagerman | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 6/24/2016 | Send Email
This is an unbelievable Pinot Noir at an amazing price. The 2014 "Cabal Vineyard" unleashes layers of black cherry, black plum, spice, and herbaceous aromas. On the palate, it's softly textured and fuller-bodied for a Pinot Noir. That being said, there is plenty of structure here, but the tannins are ripe and well integrated. This wine has wonderful concentration and richness, but plenty of acid to maintain balance. I am a huge fan of Tongue In Groove because of wines like this.

Staff Image By: Dave Genevro | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 5/18/2016 | Send Email
My favorite Pinot time after time. The vintage is so much different than last year (2013 vintage). This is darker, more brooding and meaty almost. This drinks more like a burgundy than the 2013, that reminded me more of something out of Oregon. Herbs and some savory notes play well with the dark red and blue fruits. This is a whole lot of wine for this price tag. While still young, this is great right out of the gate, or will definitely benefit from more patience. Cheers!

Staff Image By: Andrew Stevens | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 5/14/2016 | Send Email
The new vintage of one of my all time favorite Pinots is here and I could not be more excited. Similar to the last vintage the 2014 Cabal Vineyard Pinot starts fairly closed and driven, but after a good decant or a couple of hours to breath this turns into a ridiculously good and complex Pinot Noir. Layers of red fruit and cherry chase notes of sandalwood and black tea with acid lifting and carrying everything forward. There is a touch more earth and some herbal notes than the previous vintage and while this is drinking extremely well right now it will likely age into a true beauty.

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