Pinot Noir 2016 & 2017
Neck of the Woods:
Gibbston, Central Otago.
When it comes to NZ’s most impressive Pinot Noir, we look no further than Central Otago. This region produces the finest examples of New World Pinot Noirs and our Gibbston Valley vineyard is no exception. Our region has a continental climate with extreme diurnal rhythms. As a result, temperatures can fluctuate during the growing season between 30 degrees at daytime, and 5 degrees at night. Our Gibbston vineyard is planted in the true north-to-south direction on the southern bank of the Kawarau River. Gibbston is the coolest of the sub regions in Central Otago and has one of the slowest ripening seasons which gives the fruit a longer hang time on the vine, allowing the fruit to develop elegance and complexity of flavour.
Gibbston, Central Otago.
- Climate: Continental
- Clones: Dijon 115, Abel, 5
- Soils: Alluvial loess over firm river gravels
- Oak: Percentages: 25% new
- Coopers Used: Francois Freres, Mercury
- Time in barrel: 12 months
- Whole bunch: 35%
- Total bottles produced: 2400
Raymond Chan 5 star review
Dark, deep ruby-red colour with some depth, a little lighter on the rim. The nose is full and voluminous with deep and well-concentrated aromas of ripe black cherry and black berried fruits entwined with a layering of savoury dried herbs and complexing whole bunch stalk perfumes. This has a firm and deep core. Medium-full bodied, the palate is elegant in proportion with rich and juicy fruit flavours of savoury dark-red and black cherry and berry fruit harmoniously melded with subtle notes of dried herbs and whole bunch stalk elements.
The flavours show good depth and intensity forming a fine core, and the fruit is supported by fine grained, flowery tannin extraction with soft, balanced acidity. The structure carries the wine to a lingering, fine-textured, dry finish. This Pinot Noir has voluminous fruit aromatics and an elegant, finely concentrated, sweet fruit with complex savoury detail and a fine-structured palate.
Malcom Abel Pioneer of New Zealand Pinot. Respected customs officer. Thief.
We’re inspired by pioneers. By those who aren’t afraid to take risks and do things differently. Who stay true to what they believe. And we dedicate every one of our vintages to a groundbreaking, rule-defying character that followed their passion and forged their own path.
Back in the 70s, a crafty Kiwi traveller returning from France tried to smuggle in a small cutting of vine. Tucked in his gumboot of all places. Sadly for him, an eager customs officer (and aspiring wine maker) named Malcom Abel confiscated it.
The cutting had been stolen from the holy grail of Pinot – Domaine de la Romanée-Conti in Burgundy. Abel recognised its significance right away and paid for it to be put through quarantine. A few months later, the cutting was released. Abel planted his prized Pinot clone, and died shortly after. But his legend lives on. The Abel clone, or the gumboot clone as it’s affectionally known, now makes up a large portion of New Zealand’s Pinot Noir.
Our Pinot Noir owes its very existence to Malcom Abel. And we’re inspired by his willingness to go his own way and take a risk for the sake of making his dream a reality.