Central Otago, nestled in the southern part of New Zealand’s South Island, has rapidly gained worldwide acclaim for its outstanding wines, especially its Pinot Noirs. Blessed with a unique terroir characterized by schist-rich soils, dramatic landscapes, and a continental climate, this region produces wines with unparalleled intensity and purity. In this article, we journey through the top wines of Central Otago, providing expansive reviews for each.
Felton Road Block 3 Pinot Noir 2016
Tasting Notes: This wine opens with an aromatic bouquet of cherries, thyme, and a hint of leather. On the palate, one can detect layers of raspberry, clove, and a touch of forest floor.
Review: Felton Road’s Block 3 is a testament to the magic Central Otago can infuse into its Pinot Noirs. The wine’s elegance, structure, and depth make it a memorable experience.
Mount Difficulty Long Gully Pinot Noir 2017
Tasting Notes: Dominated by aromas of plum, violets, and a hint of cocoa, the palate delights with flavors of dark cherry, truffle, and a whisper of oak.
Review: Mount Difficulty’s Long Gully offers a harmonious balance of fruit and earthiness. It’s a wine that showcases the maturity and complexity possible in the region.
Rippon Mature Vine Pinot Noir 2018
Tasting Notes: This wine emanates scents of cranberry, rose petals, and wet stones. On tasting, it reveals a blend of red fruits, spices, and a mineral undertone.
Review: Rippon Mature Vine is both delicate and profound. It speaks volumes of the vineyard’s lakeside terroir, presenting a wine that is both refreshing and contemplative.
Quartz Reef Bendigo Single Ferment Pinot Noir 2019
Tasting Notes: Opening with an inviting nose of blackberries, anise, and a hint of vanilla, the palate is treated to a symphony of wild strawberries, sage, and a soft smokiness.
Review: This offering from Quartz Reef encapsulates the Bendigo sub-region’s character with finesse. Its multifaceted profile makes every sip a journey through Central Otago’s landscapes.
Two Paddocks The First Paddock Pinot Noir 2020
Tasting Notes: A perfume of red currant, lavender, and a touch of cedar sets the stage for flavors of raspberry, white pepper, and dried herbs.
Review: Owned by actor Sam Neill, Two Paddocks doesn’t just boast celebrity status but stands out for its exceptional quality. The First Paddock Pinot Noir is a stellar representation of what dedication to the craft can produce.
Valli Bannockburn Vineyard Pinot Noir 2018
Tasting Notes: This wine presents an alluring amalgamation of aromas, from red cherries and raspberries to a hint of smoked meat. On the palate, there’s a fusion of blackcurrant, thyme, and a soft note of mushroom.
Review: Valli’s Bannockburn Vineyard Pinot Noir beautifully captures the essence of Central Otago with its intensity and precision. Its finish, long and satisfying, makes it a must-try for Pinot Noir enthusiasts.
Peregrine Pinot Noir 2017
Tasting Notes: Offering a burst of blackberries, violet, and a trace of mineral on the nose, the palate unfolds with layers of plum, dark chocolate, and a touch of vanilla.
Review: The Peregrine Pinot Noir seamlessly marries power with elegance. Representing the quintessential Central Otago flavor profile, it’s a wine that resonates with the purity of its origin.
Amisfield RKV Reserve Pinot Noir 2019
Tasting Notes: Enticing aromas of black cherries, mocha, and a pinch of clove lead to a palate dominated by flavors of dark fruits, truffle, and a hint of tobacco.
Review: Amisfield’s RKV Reserve is a luxurious wine that mirrors the meticulous care taken in both the vineyard and the winery. Its robust character and lingering finish are a testament to Central Otago’s winemaking potential.
Wooing Tree Sandstorm Reserve Pinot Noir 2020
Tasting Notes: With a bouquet of strawberries, roses, and a touch of earthiness, the wine offers a palate bursting with red currants, cinnamon, and a delicate undertone of wet stone.
Review: Wooing Tree’s Sandstorm Reserve, with its intricate profile, embodies the winemaker’s passion and Central Otago’s exceptional terroir. It’s a wine that dances gracefully on the palate, promising an unforgettable experience.
Prophet’s Rock Home Vineyard Pinot Noir 2018
Tasting Notes: This wine captivates with aromas of wild berries, dried herbs, and a hint of leather. The palate is treated to a blend of cranberries, anise, and a smoky whisper.
Review: Prophet’s Rock Home Vineyard Pinot Noir is a stellar example of depth and balance. Each sip tells a story of the region’s diverse landscapes and the artistry behind crafting such a masterpiece.
Central Otago, enveloped by rugged terrains and serene lakes, holds a unique allure for wine enthusiasts globally. Its reputation isn’t just built upon breathtaking vistas or being the world’s southernmost wine-producing region, but rather on the sheer dedication of its vintners and the extraordinary wines they craft. The selections we’ve explored here, from Felton Road to Prophet’s Rock, offer a profound look into Central Otago’s rich wine narrative. For the seasoned oenophile or the curious explorer, Central Otago delivers wines with a distinct personality, each echoing the whispers of its land.
Here’s to the resplendent charm of Central Otago wines – a symphony of nature and nurture, promising unparalleled pleasure to the senses. Cheers!