Browse Tag

central otago


Mud House “Swan” 2007 Pinot Noir Bendigo (Central Otago) – Smoky/musty raspberry, beet, and sugarplum. OK, but there’s a candied element that detracts. (3/09)

Pink falcon

Peregrine 2004 Rosé (Central Otago) – A non-saignée rosé of pinot noir. Sand and strawberry start light, but develop hints of complexity with air. That said, it neither aspires to nor achieves elevation. Nice enough, but ultimately forgettable. (3/05)

Hit the Trail

[vineyard]Wild Earth “Blind Trail” 2006 Pinot Noir (Central Otago) – Less whole than a previous bottle, showing dense beet and berry with mushroom soda, then a soft sine wave of cherried acidity, and then a deep basso throb of dark earth on the finish. And yet, it doesn’t quite come together; despite its apparent construction as an early-drinking wine, it seems to be closing rather than falling apart. Still, it’s a good, regionally-true introduction to one version of the Central Otago style. A second bottle is identical. (11/08)

Felton-tip pen

[vineyard]Felton Road 2005 Pinot Noir (Central Otago) – Supple but strong-willed, and eminently appealing. Golden beet, grey earth, ripe strawberry, black truffle, and well-integrated spikes of raspberry acidity are flawlessly melded, lingering through a long, steady-state finish. Still very primary, but all the materials for continued life are in place. A lovely wine. (7/08)

Take this job and Chauvet

[hand]Quartz Reef “Chauvet” Méthode Traditionelle (Central Otago) – Apple and geranium, with a complex and floral nose flittering atop a crisp palate of lemon, more apple, and somewhat obvious froth. Long and lingering, precise throughout, but it could use a bit more refinement, bubble-wise. (3/05)

Falcon crest

[winery]Peregrine 2003 Pinot Noir (Central Otago) – Plum, dark red fruit, earth, graphite, and nuts. Complex, elegant, and gorgeous in the broad-shouldered Gibbston style. (3/05)

Back in Black

[winery]Black Ridge 2003 Gewürztraminer “Late Harvest” (Central Otago) – Sweaty feet, spiced lychee, and some fetid notes on the finish. Everyone but me hates it. I don’t think it’s good, but it’s at least interesting. (It’s worth noting that the “foot” element was something I noticed at the winery, as well.) (3/05)

Even a blind trail finds a nut once in a while

Wild Earth “Blind Trail” 2006 Pinot Noir (Central Otago) – There’s no way a Central Otago pinot at this low price point can be any good. And yet, it is. What voodoo are they working? The usual dark, slightly charred and heavy plum, beet, and blood orange fruit is buoyed by fresh acidity but an otherwise complete absence of structure. It’s drinkable now, it won’t be drinkable very long from now, but it’s certainly quite representative of the Otago terroir. How in the hell did they do this? Was Sam Neill, who played the Antichrist and makes wine in the Central Otago, involved? (A: no, he was not. But Michelle Richardson, who’s as much of a winemaking star as star-abhorring New Zealand can generate, was…at least when this wine was made. She’s since moved on.) (6/08)

Arthur Jackson

[vineyard]Two Paddocks 2006 “Picnic” Pinot Noir (Central Otago) – Clean, with good earthiness, stones, and soil underlying dark plums. Simple (as is it’s intent), and good. (2/08)