2014 Carrick Estate Pinot Noir Bannockburn Central Otago (Biodynamic) (Elsewhere $50)

SKU #1319552 95 points Bob Campbell

 Fleshy, fruit forward pinot noir with lush plum and dark cherry flavours plus a subtle seasoning of spicy oak. A silken-textured wine with that’s deliciously drinkable now. The best Carrick Pinot Noir I’ve tasted for some time.

90 points Vinous

 (90+) Bright medium red. Aromas of ripe plum and red cherry plus a whiff of reduction. Silky and rich on entry, then more backward and youthfully medicinal in the middle, offering very good inner-mouth tension to the black cherry and menthol flavors. Finishes with a firm spine of tannins that will require time in bottle to soften. Carrick has reduced the percentage of new oak for this bottling to 10% as the wines already derive enough structure from the sandy soils.

Jancis Robinson

 Bright cherry red. Spiced and not particularly sweet-fruited though there's definitely an intensity of fruit in the aroma. Juicy red cherries and plums and a nice chewy texture, rounded out on the finish. Spicy and fresh on the finish and with a mineral and more savoury quality that seems to increase the length. Succulent texture.

K&L Notes

Winemaker Francis Hutt definitely seems to be drawing the best out of these mature vines at Carrick. In my mind he's one of the THE best up and coming winemakers in the country. (Ryan Woodhouse - K&L NZ Wine Buyer) 92 points Wine Front: "Herb and spice and all things nice. Red cherry, choc-dusted cherries, sweet ‘n’ savoury perfume here, something elemental and earthy in the mix. Lovely sniffing. Soft, supple, easy flow, richness and sweet-ripe fruit. The wine floods the palate, fuzzy tannin from front to mid and exits with a puff of talc-like, smudged tannin and freshness. Lush. This is a lean, sandy site for growing pinot noir. "The thing I am trying to work out is how to find finesse from such a hard site, a site where soil is hard, vines are hard, tannins are hard", says winemaker Francis Hutt. About 15% new oak. Unfiltered wine."

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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.