2014 Brennan "B2" Pinot Noir Gibbston Valley Central Otago (Elsewhere $40)

SKU #1305899 94 points Sam Kim

 It is hugely appealing on the nose showing dark berry, smoked game, toasted almond, cocoa and truffle aromas, leading to a sumptuous palate that offers excellent fruit concentration and velvety texture. The wine is beautifully composed and flowing, and delivers waves of seductive fruit and savoury flavours. At its best: now to 2020.

90 points Raymond Chan

 Even, dark ruby-red colour, a little lighter on the rim with some purple hues. The bouquet is soft and full with complex aromas of savoury dark-red berry fruit entwined with thyme and dried herbs, hints of leather and earth, and nuances of nutty oak. The aromatics build in density with aeration. Medium-full bodied, the palate features open, up-front and accessible, sweet fruit flavours of savoury dark red cherries and berries harmoniously entwined with dried, thyme herb notes along with stalk and undergrowth elements providing detail. The fruit is gently mouthfilling and enlivened by light, lacy acidity, and underlined by light, supple tannin structure and extraction. The wine carries to a light, savoury nuanced, red-fruited finish. This is an accessible Pinot Noir with savoury red fruits and dried herb interest on a supple, soft structured palate. Match with risotto, pasta and mushroom dishes over the next 4+ years. Clones 5, 667, 777, 115 and 10/5 from the ‘Home’ block, fermented with 20% indigenous yeasts and 10-15% whole bunches to 13.5% alc., the wine spending 30 days on skins and aged 10 months in 27% new oak.

K&L Notes

Winery Notes: "Our younger house-style of Pinot Noir is the 2014 B2 Pinot. Made to be drunk young, it's immediately approachable and engaging. Flavours of black cherry, boysenberry and dark chocolate make it easy to drink on its own or with food with a long, silky finish. The Brennan vineyard is situated in the dramatic Gibbston sub-region of Central Otago, New Zealand. Sean Brennan launched the label with the intention of producing limited quantities of iconic, aged wines that truly represent the potential of this exceptional wine region.80% of what we grow is Pinot Noir which we handpick and put into barrels to mature for a few years. The other 20% of our production is a mix of winemaking fun, pushing the winemaking boundaries of what Central Otago is known for. It's our indulgence and we'd like to share it with you."

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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.