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2017 Quartz Reef "Bendigo Estate Single Vineyard" Pinot Noir Central Otago (Biodynamic)

SKU #1419468 95 points Bob Campbell

Outer quote mark Fragrantly aromatic Pinot Noir with ripe cherry, plum, spice and subtle oak flavours. An elegant wine with appealing purity and suppleness. There is also a suggestion of floral character, perhaps red rose? Delicious now but no rush. Inner quote mark (3/2019)

95 points Decanter

Outer quote mark On former gold-mining terrain in the Bendigo sub-region, the vines were planted in 1998 on north-facing slopes of Waenga fine sandy loam, at elevations up to 264 metres. An untypically cool and windy summer resulted in smaller bunches and lower berry weight than normal, though the fruit was nonetheless well ripened and concentrated. Six clones were small-batch vinified, with natural yeast fermentation starting after cold-soaking for up to seven days; after 23 days on the skins, the wine was moved to French oak barriques, 28% new, to age for 12 months with spontaneous malolactic fermentation. After an appealingly bright, jammy fruit nose of redcurrant, raspberry and cherry, the wine manages to strike a balance between both opulence yet somehow restraint on the palate. Its very expressive character steadily reveals layer upon layer of that bright berry-cherry fruit along with dried herbs and soft cedary spice, and it keeps developing through a great-length finish. The price-tag (set to be around £60 in the UK) puts it on a par with a decent entry-level Volnay or Gevrey-Chambertin from Burgundy. Does the ‘organic factor’ justify it? It’s a lovely and very moreish wine in its own right, so that would be in the eye of the beholder. Drinking Window 2020 - 2027 (DL) Inner quote mark (2/2020)

94 points James Suckling

Outer quote mark This is a very good Pinot, delivering a mix of powerful fruit and a focused structure. Violets and ripe red cherries sit amid gently stony, flinty nuances, leading to a palate that has a succulent, lithe and juicy core of vibrant cherries and chalky tannins. Great Pinot. Drink now. Inner quote mark (10/2018)

94 points Wine Enthusiast

Outer quote mark This vintage of renowned biodynamic winemaker Rudi Bauer's single-vineyard Pinot, from the Bendigo subregion is an expressive an dhighly pleasurable drop now, but, like all of his Pinots, also has cellaring potential. Billowing from the glass are plums, blueberries, violets and heaps of baking spice, then more savory, earthy notes of black olives, stones, and a slight sanguine character. The spiciness form both the fruit and the oak, is more prominent on the palate, but combine it with juicy fruit, pristine acidity, and poised, laser-focused tannins and the result is a wine of depth and elegance that speaks of its place. *Editors' Choice* (CP) Inner quote mark (5/2020)

90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

Outer quote mark Mocha, loam and charred beet root appear on the nose of the 2017 Single Vineyard Pinot Noir. It's a boldly flavored, assertive wine, medium to full-bodied, with silky tannins and crisp acids. From Bendigo, a warm subregion of Central Otago, it's true to winemaker Rudi Bauer's signature style, maybe a touch less tannic than some of his previous efforts but still flavorful, complex and long. (JC) Inner quote mark (7/2019)

Wine Spectator

Outer quote mark The blackberry and black cherry flavors are deep and velvety, with notes of black tea, rosemary and dried porcino. Harmonious on the long finish. Drink now through 2028. (MW-Web 2019) Inner quote mark

K&L Notes

95 points/5 stars from Huon Hook: "Very good colour and the wine is all-round bright, fresh, clean and lovely. The tannins are softer here than in the past, although it's still highly structured. Tannins are less blocky and the wine less extracted. Delicious pinot; superb quality." (01/19) *biodynamic, organic*

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By: Kirk Walker | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 10/28/2019 | Send Email
This is everything that I have come to love and expect from the Quartz Reef Bendigo, intense dark cherry fruit with the faint herbal spice that only seems to intensify the fruit. It has to be the site and the farming but this wine has a red fruit character to it that is unique to itself but always speaks to me of the Central Otago. Rich and mouth-filling, for a Pinot, with soft round tannins. The finish is where this wine shines, it explodes with slightly macerated mixed wild berries that just goes and goes.

By: Stefanie Juelsgaard | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 10/25/2019 | Send Email
While Central Otago may still be a young wine producing region, having only come into the international scene in the early 1980s, its winemakers have quickly become some of the most masterful in the world. Rudi Bauer is certainly part of this group of maestros, consistently producing some of the best Pinot Noirs we carry at K&L. Central Otago is known for producing dark-fruited, brooding wines. This wine does carry those notes, but has plenty of freshness and power to boot. Herbal and earthy, this wine is elegant, not rich and high-alcohol. By far one of the best Pinot Noirs I've had this year.
Top Value!

By: Thomas Smith | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 10/21/2019 | Send Email
Rudi Bauer is one of the original five winemakers in Central Otago, and his Quartz Reef wines represent some of the best in New Zealand Pinot Noir. Entirely biodynamic, these wines have had a cult following among our customers for years, and I’m so excited by the 2017 in particular. When I talked to Rudi over the summer, he explained that it was a difficult vintage that gave them a ton of challenges, but ended with a small crop with incredible intensity. It shows in the glass. Dark fruited with elements of blackberry and black cherry, it is muscular and powerful. Its almost impossible not to draw comparisons to Cote-de-Nuits, but truly this is its own wine. Bright acidity along with a quiet tannin profile that gracefully rests along the palate, this is seamless pinot noir at its perfection.

By: Sarah Covey | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 10/17/2019 | Send Email
One of my favorite things about the wines from Quartz Reef continues to be their consistency—they are so elegant, beautifully crafted, and expressive of Central Otago. Winemaker Rudi Bauer is so careful with how he allows the grapes to really tell the story of the place, and while similar in style to Burgundy, in truth, they are pure New Zealand. This has always been my favorite New Zealand Pinot Noir. The Bendigo Single Vineyard Pinot Noir has a lovely minerality and fresh acidity framing the bright red cherry, spice, rose, red plum, and a very delicate savory note. The long finish draws you back for more. A perfect pairing with a classic Thanksgiving meal, pork tenderloin or salmon, this very special Pinot Noir is one to stock up on while it lasts (not much 2017 was made!). You will not be sorry.

By: Alex Schroeder | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 10/17/2019 | Send Email
The value here really can't be overstated. This is complex, seductive, easy, rich, and refreshing all at once. On the nose, red currant fruit is hoisted by forest floor, violets, a touch of scorched earth and mint. The flavors come together seamlessly on the palate with lightly gripping tannins and the perfect fruit/acid balance for a very pleasant, long finish. Dare I compare it to Grand Cru Burgundy that cost ten times as much? I do, and so should you.

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