One of the (many) attractions to the field of Winemaking is that singular combination of art and science employed to craft each wine, every year. The Science is well defined, and the literature is continually being added to; the Art is not so easy to pin down. It is born of the individual winemaker and their Muse and exists in the heart; it finds its expression within the senses of the imbiber. This wine is the result of our Winemaker let loose to practice his Artistry on fruit from other sites within Central Otago.
Created from a single vineyard site high in the Dunstan foothills this Pinot Noir speaks with great eloquence of its origins. Very high-quality fruit and excellent physiological ripeness allowed for a generous inclusion of whole bunches in the ferment, adding spice and texture to the wine, and further complexity and harmony was encouraged with extended maturation in barrel. This wine shows a dense core of dark cherries, suggestions of star anise and cinnamon, firm yet pliable tannins and a structure defined by length and elegance. Fine tension and minerality underline the palate and indications are strong for a decade or so of cellaring should you wish; please be aware a fine deposit may occur as a result of our minimal handling philosophy.
Decanter Wine Awards 2023, London - (90/100) - Ripe berries and cherries with layers of savoury dried herbs and black pepper; structured and rich with a refreshing acidity.
Gold Medal - New Zealand International Wine Show (Nov '22)
Sam Kim, Wine Orbit - 5 Stars (97/100)
Sweetly ripe and seductively complex with dark plum, thyme, cedar, olive and rich floral aromas, it's plush and flavoursome in the mouth delivering multi-layered mouthfeel together with refined texture and fine grainy tannins, leading to a sustained brooding finish. At its best: 2024 to 2036. $99.00. www.rockburn.co.nz. Sept 2022.
Deep, moderate ruby-red, lighter on the rim. This has a lifted, elegant bouquet with aromas of hibiscus, Morello cherry, plum entwined with vanilla and whole bunch nuance. Medium-full bodied, concentrated aromas of Morello cherry plum intertwined with hibiscus, vanilla, cinnamon and savoury stalk element. The wine is well-defined, with concentrated, balanced ripe fruit, spice elements and lacy acidity. Velvety tannin extraction provides structure and perfume aromatics. This refined Pinot Noir shows well-defined layers, well-balanced flavour and structure and will benefit from cellaring. Match with roasted duck and lamb rack over the next 10 years. Fruit from Dunston foothills, clone 115, cold soaked 8 days in 7-tonne fermenter, fermented with 30% whole bunch over one week with daily plunging, post ferment maceration for 10 days, then aged 14 months in French oak, 50% new oak. RRP $99 Sept-22
5 Stars (96/100) Bob Campbell (Real Review)
Bold, rich and quite complex red with layers of cherry, berry, floral and mixed spice flavours that keep changing as the wine sits in the glass (decanting is recommended). Appealing wine that promises to evolve with bottle age. Sept-22
5 Stars (95/100) Cameron Douglas MS
Complex, elegant, lifted, sophistiscated, a wine with aromas of ripe red berry fruits, red stone fruits, plum and barrel spices. There’s a sense of place within the bouquet and this follows through to the palate with a dried herb and gravelly clay soil quality. Tannins are firm, ripe and along with the acidity lay the foundation for texture and ageing. There’s a tautness to the palate highlighting the youthful nature. Plenty of fruit and sweetbrrel spice flavours. A lovely wine with length and complexity. Well made. Sept-22
18.5/20 Joelle Thomson
Full bodied with dark, charred and smoky flavours shored up by plush notes of red and black cherries on the mid palate and a lingering, structural finish. The Art is a single vineyard, single clone (115) Pinot Noir made using a high proportion of new oak, 50%, which makes this a bold, broad shouldered wine, which will reward time in the bottle. It drinks well now and definitely benefits from decanting and also matches game and mushroom flavours. Sept-22
93/100 - Rebecca Gibb MW (Vinous.com)
The 2021 Pinot Noir The Art is a suave spiced, welcoming wine that blossoms in the mouth. This particular cuvee is a 'let-the-winemaker-loose expression. There's some lavish winemaking here: you'll find herbal spices coming from 30% whole bunches and the lower bass notes of cinnamon and toast derived from a generous 50% new oak. It's a well-built Pinot that needs time to shed its youthful vigor but will retain its structure freshness and length.
James Suckling - 92/100
This has a complex nose of cherry stones, rose hips, crushed stones, watermelon, espresso beans and spice box. Toasty elements develop on the palate. Firm and sturdy tannin frame here, with a medium to full body and compact, dark-fruited finish. Better after 2024. Screw cap.. (April 2023)