2015 Tongue in Groove "Cabal Vineyard" Pinot Noir Waipara Valley

SKU #1356292 95 points Sam Kim

 Seductive, fragrant and engaging, the bouquet shows dark fruit, smoked game, cedar, black olive and truffle aromas, leading to a silky-smooth palate that is fleshy and velvety. The wine offers delectable fruit flavours as well as spicy/savoury nuances, wonderfully framed by polished tannins. At its best: now to 2023.  (6/2018)

94-95 points Raymond Chan

 Full, even, dark ruby-red colour, a little lighter on the rim. The bouquet is softly full and deeply packed with concentrated aromas of savoury dark-red berry fruit with notes of dark plums interwoven with a layer of complexing dark and dried herbs with a lifted whole bunch stalk perfume element, some earth and mushroom and a suggestion of game. This has detail and plenty of complexity. Medium-full bodied, the palate has rich and mouthfilling, sweet and luscious flavours of savoury dark-red berry fruit along with notes of dark and dried herbs, some whole bunch stalk lift, unfolding earthy and undergrowth elements. The flavours are fulsome, but balanced by fine-grained flowery tannin extraction and soft, integrated acidity. The wine carries to an elegant finish. This is a rich, sweet-fruited Pinot Noir with complex savoury dark-red berry flavours with herbs, whole bunch and earth on a fine-grained palate. Serve with coq au vin, casseroles ans slow-cooked game meat over the next 6+ years. Fruit from the ‘Cabal’ vineyard, indigenous yeast fermented with 40% whole bunches and a portion of whole berries to 13.5% alc. the wine aged 16 months in 25% new French oak barriques.  (6/2018)

93 points Bob Campbell

 Made from hand-picked grapes that were fermented using indigenous yeasts and 40% whole bunches. Unfined and unfiltered. Low levels of sulphur is the only addition. Quite an expressive pinot noir with a rich, almost earthy, stemmy, savoury character supported by plum, berry and spice flavours. Nicely structured and accessible now but with obvious potential.  (5/2017)

93 points James Suckling

 Ripe and attractive black-cherry and plum aromas with a neat thread of spicy and earthy, savory notes. Supple, fleshy and silky palate with juicy, ripe and spicy red-cherry flavors, finishing fresh and luscious. Drink or hold. Screw cap.  (10/2018)

91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The 2015 Cabal Vineyard Pinot Noir comes from clay and limestone slopes not far from Mountford. Mainly Dijon clones, it offers aromas of vanilla and cedar, which frame earthy cola and black cherry fruit. It's medium to full-bodied, with a lush, creamy mouthfeel and a long, firmly tannic finish. It's approachable now but should drink well through 2025. (JC)  (2/2018)

91 points Wine Spectator

 Details of roasted chicory, fresh earth and tomato leaf add an appealing savory note to the velvety core of black tea–scented black cherry and raspberry flavors, with firming tannins. Drink now through 2028. (MW)  (10/2018)

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. #100 James Suckling Top 100 New Zealand Wines 2018

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Price: $29.99

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By: Tim Telli | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 8/21/2019 | Send Email
A full-bodied single vineyard Pinot Noir from New Zealand that delivers on quality and price. It has plenty of fruit but is well balanced with a nice bouquet of savory spices on the nose with some silky tannins on the finish that lead one to think it can be drunk now or kept for another 5-8 years.

By: Alex Schroeder | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 8/7/2019 | Send Email
You’d be hard pressed to find a better value than this in Pinot Noir. Made from the famous Cabal Vineyard on the North facing slopes of the Waipara Valley, this has rich aromas of crushed strawberry, cherry and cola berry with a touch of savory scorched earth. It has a lovely combination of lush, soft texture and fresh, lifted, vibrant aromatics. Truly World Class Pinot at a great price!

By: Diana Turk | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 5/7/2019 | Send Email
This is a gorgeous, underrated wine. The 2015 shows spice and texture, while staying focused. This is a clean, light-bodied style that still feels substantial. Great purity of fruit, savory and herbal notes, lower alcohol and racy minerality makes this a great food red. Plus the winemaker is a woman who excels at minimal interventionist (dare I say natural?) winemaking with a sophisticated edge. Although there is no shortage of interesting Pinot Noir here at the store, I find myself reaching for the Tongue in Groove offerings again and again.

By: Steve Bearden | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 4/18/2019 | Send Email
This is filled with smoky black fruit, a touch of earth and hints of spice in a nicely ripe and dense package that stays very fresh and clean on the finish. A touch heavier than many New Zealand Pinots but with lots of finesse and absolutely lovely flavors.

By: Ryan Woodhouse | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 7/12/2018 | Send Email
The Cabal Vineyard bottling from Tongue in Groove continues to go from strength to strength. A few years back it was clear to see the potential from this site with its purity of fruit, exotic spice and suave mouth feel. Now it seems winemaker Lynette Hudson is teasing even more depth, structure and nuance out of the wine. This is the most complex and compelling showing yet. A darker fruited, more concentrated wine this year with forest berries, ripe plum, mole, and clove. Lovely weight on the palate with fine silky texture from the clay rich soils. So layered and luscious finishing with floral tones and a juicy mouthwatering lift. There is so much "pinosity" crammed into this bottle. Drinking beautifully now but sure to delight for another 5-8 years. K&L Staff Favorite.

By: Stefanie Juelsgaard | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 6/2/2018 | Send Email
When I taste a wine like this, all I think is that I have the best job in the world. This Pinot is bright, lifted, minerally and just so incredibly delicious. The fruit shines, though it's not so much rich as it is as driven. This wine is light bodied, but manages to pack so much punch and flavor that every time I take a sip I want to give the winemaker a big hug for what a natural genius they are. This one sold fast last vintage and I am now reminded why. The package may be funky, but don't let that fool you, as the wine inside is sophisticated and serious. I expect this vintage to go as fast as the last, for good reason. It really is just that incredible.
Top Value!

By: Heather Vander Wall | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 6/2/2018 | Send Email
Another great vintage from Tongue In Groove's Cabal Vineyard bottling of Pinot Noir. This is a brooding and savory Pinot with luscious dark fruit and earthy clay notes. Already developing beautifully, this wine has fine boned but firm tannin, good acidity cut, and an excellent medium weight on the palate. It shows an intriguing savory olive quality that marries seamlessly with the black plum and cherry notes. Well-integrated and showing perfectly at the moment!

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.