Rockburn Twelve Barrels; the name says it all really. Every year we fill hundreds of French oak barrels with Pinot Noir, and every year I search for those individual barrels that most eloquently speak of site and season. We present the results of that search to you here with a wine that exhibits the attributes I enjoy most about Pinot Noir; subtlety, elegance and personality
The 2022 TwelveBarrelsGibbston Vineyard Pinot Noir is a single vineyard wine displaying the elegance, power and grace generated by our Gibbston Back Road Vineyard site. Dark and concentrated, the TwelveBarrelsdisplays notes of bramble fruit, truffle and cedar char, with lifted florals on the nose, and seamless texture to the palate. With a fine balance of ripe tannin, natural acidity and lively fruit, this wine truly represents the Gibbston sub-region and its complex nature. Expect to see this youthful wine transform and evolve over a decade or more; please be aware a fine deposit may occur as a result of our minimal handling philosophy.
18.5+/20 (94 pts) -Candice Chow for Raymond Chan Wine Reviews - "Light, ruby-red with a light haze (unfiltered), even colour throughout. This has a raw expression, displaying pure cherry, blueberry, plum, sweet spice and a hint of minerals. Medium-light bodied, cherry, blueberry and plum aromas have a pure core, unfolding vanilla, cinnamon and a floral touch. Fine powdery tannins reflecting minerals glide along the palate with lacy acidity; a warming, spiced finish carries a sustained finish. This Gibbston Pinot Noir is delicate and pure on a gentle flow. Match with pork fowl and duck over the next 8+ years. Fruit from Gibbston Back Road Vineyard, clone 6, fermented in 7-tonne fermenter, 8 days cold soaked, fermented over one week to 14% alc, 10 days post-fermentation maceration, aged 14 months in French oak, 50% new oak.
95 / 100 - David Walker Bell, Wine Folio - "A dark crimson-purple colour and a bright perfume of cherry, blackberry, orange peel, forest floor, sarsparilla, incense and spring flowers that lifts from the glass. Intense and concentrated, where firm, chiselled tannins in tandem with a compelling acidity sees everything in place. Some notes of spice and savouriness make a mark – nori, mushroom, allspice and cinnamon flit across the palate. This would garner more complexity in time, but has plenty to offer right now".
18.5/20 - Joelle Thomson -"There were 12 barrels of this powerful earthy, savoury Pinot Noir made and it is gorgeously balanced by layers of red and dark cherry flavours, which sit in a complex spectrum of flavour. The grapes in this wine were grown on Rockburn winery’s Gibbston Back Road Vineyard site, situated in the Gibbston Valley. This is one of Central Otago’s smallest and coolest vineyard areas, which comes through in the wine’s distinctive flavours of earthiness with notes of dried mushroom and a balancing dry tart cherry taste, all held in a smoothly structured wine. It made entirely from clone 6 Pinot Noir grapes, which were given eight days of cold soak maceration with daily plunging during fermentation followed by 14 months in French oak, 50% new, a relatively high portion that suits this wine well".
5 Stars - Yvonne Lorkin "Wow. This is one of those wines that cause you to stop, stare into the distance and contemplate the beauty in nature, the mastery of man and the meaning of life. It also makes you wonder if winemaker Malcolm Rees-Francis isn’t some sort of warlock of wine with the way he’s managed to pick out the 12 best barrels from fruit grown in their Gibbston Back Road site, and crafted a pinot noir that is astoundingly lush and layered and lovely to drink. Scented with exotic spices, roast rhubarb, dark cherry and black guava goodness and softly smoky, savoury, gamey notes merge with black tea tannins and plush, soothing textures to finish. It’s glorious now, but in ten years? I think majestic".