This wine is a cracker. Good deep crimson, magenta colour right to the rim. The nose shows classic Caroline’s character of dark, brambly fruit offset by distinct oriental spice, slightly earthy undergrowth notes tinged with a seasoning of fresh new French oak. The palate shows great depth of character, seamlessly weaving fruit, spicy tannins and savoury flavours into a well integrated whole. We think this is the finest pinot we have ever made, well worth the effort of cellaring for a decade or two….’
Wine Spectator’s Wines of the Year Review Never heard of New Zealand’s Waitaki Valley? You’re in good company. Few wine lovers have. Located on the east coast of New Zealand’s South Island, Waitaki Valley is not only the country’s newest—and smallest—wine region, but also its riskiest, climatically speaking, due to recurrent frosts, which have discouraged some of its pioneers. Of the roughly 300 acres of vines that have been planted in Waitaki Valley, only one-half to two-thirds are still in production this year. But when you taste the 2010 vintage of Ostler Vineyards’ Caroline’s Pinot Noir you know in a single sip why Waitaki Valley is a rare and remarkable region. What’s it got? It has what Pinot Noir lovers around the world know are the two magic words: coolness and limestone. I’ve tasted three vintages of the Ostler Caroline’s Pinot Noir (2008, 2009 and 2010), and based on that sampling I can testify that the stunning 2010 is no anomaly. The same features keep showing up in the wine: striking minerality; crisp, refreshing acidity; and a pure, beautifully delineated panoply of the grape’s signature berry flavors. The Ostler Caroline’s 2010 reminds me of a fine Chambolle- Musigny, a Burgundy village noted for its layered, perfumed Pinot Noirs made from limestone soils. Frankly, I can’t think of higher praise than that. Hard to find, but worth the effort.
90 Point Review - Robert Parker Medium to deep ruby colored, the 2010 Caroline’s Pinot Noir presents a nose of black raspberries, mulberries, and red currants, with hints of dried leaves, lavender, and fertile soil. Medium to full-bodied, it shows a very palatable, savory side in the mouth, with the earth-laced bramble berry flavors framed by a low to medium level of chewy tannins and lively acidity. It finishes long. Drink it now to 2016+.