2016 Central Otago Pinot Noir
New Zealand: Central Otago
With his nose deeply buried out of the glass, Agent Noir lifted his head and exclaimed; “Richebourg! This nose is unmistakably evocative, must be a Richebourg?” He was wrong. It was Rockburn. What consoled a confused expert who was a couple of continents and oceans off in his blind tasting guess was the massive 97-point Platinum award this received from Decanter, an accolade often bestowed upon only the likes of Richebourg, top Grand Cru reds of Burgundy. While a Richebourg from 2016 ranges from $500 to $5,000 per bottle – we are not making this up – this can be had for less than $30.
Medium ruby-garnet, with a pomegranate seed luminescence shining through the core. The stunning, sultry perfume is dizzyingly bold with ripe cherries, laced with an earthy undertone. A burst of boysenberry and raspberry fruit defines the lush mouthfeel, against a backdrop of gamey and sweet spices. Long on the lacey finish, as if cashmere against the palate, the tannins are refined with texture and complexity. This deserves the freshest cuts of salmon or veal, wild mushrooms, and decadent sauces.
Don’t just take our word for it though. Burghound, or Allen Meadows, foremost expert on the wines of Burgundy as his aptly appointed publication name suggests, rarely speaks highly of any New World Pinot Noir, but he too noticed how special these Pinots are; “Rockburn takes its name from the rugged, rock-strewn, burn-scarred landscape of Central Otago… pure, complex and ultra-fresh, delicious and beautifully textured, exceptionally pretty” when he wrote for a 2013, the only vintage he was able to review as these wines can be hard to find. Only a few cases available, with 40% savings and the huge accolades, this is destined to sell out fast.
Central Otago, along with Burgundy, Oregon, and California, is one of the world’s top Pinot Noir regions. The alpine climate, topography, and scenery truly set it apart. Pinot Noir specialist Stephen Tanzer for Antonio Galloni’s Vinous describes it best; “The world’s southernmost wine region, Central Otago has an extreme climate capable of producing outstanding varietal intensity and purity of flavor. With its hot but short summer, high UV light (not only is it far south but it sits under a hole in the ozone layer) and dry conditions, Central Otago tends to produce Pinots with dark fruit and floral qualities and considerable stuffing; their flavors often remind me of wines from the southern Côte de Nuits, especially Nuits-Saint-Georges and Vosne-Romanée, or the far Sonoma Coast.”
Here is what the wine press has to say:
97 Points, Platinum – Decanter - “All killer no filler! Optimally ripe red cherry and mulberry notes with fruit tea and cinnamon spice characters. A luxurious wine with cashmere textured tannins, a racy acid bite, and a long, intense, focused fruit finish. Superbly smooth.”
Medium ruby-garnet, with a pomegranate seed luminescence shining through the core.
Stunning, sultry perfume, dizzyingly bold, ripe cherries, laced with an earthy undertone.
A burst of boysenberry and raspberry fruit against a backdrop of gamey and sweet spices.
Long, cashmere against the palate, the tannins are refined with texture and complexity.
This deserves the freshest cuts of salmon or veal, wild mushrooms, and decadent sauces.
What the Winery Says
- Malcolm Rees-Francis
- 100% Pinot Noir
- Central Otago, New Zealand
- 86% Parkburn Vineyard, 14% Gibbston Vineyard
- 10/5, 5, 6, Abel, 667, 777
- Gibbston 40cm topsoil over alluvial gravels, Parkburn 10-15 cm loam over river gravel
- 4.7 g/l
- < 1.0 g/l
- Harvest dates
- April 3 – May 6, 2016
- 10 months
- 35% new, 18% 1 year old, 47% 2 years old French oak
- Bottling date
- February 28, 2017