And I don’t mean Sam Neill, but the wines he and other wine producers of the region make, are they age worthy like a good Burgundy, personally I believe they are, this region shows great potential for aged pinot Noir. It’s something that will take a while to truly discover as the vines are relatively young and I have only started cellaring their wines. Through a bit of luck, La Vigna (best and most helpful wine store in Perth) had a bottle of Felton Road Block 3 2001, purchased it and drank in very short order, this wine has evolved into something greater than what it started life as. My notes were brief;
Felton Road Block 3 2001
Colour of brick on the edge with purple in the centre, the nose opened up after about five minutes to give mushroom earth aromas with hints of animal and dark dry berry fruits, the palate was a cacophony of deep dark brooding aged fruits, more like an aged burgundy, top drink.
This compares with a Grand Cru Burgundy drunk the week before, notes below;
Mongeard Mugneret Echezeaux Grand Cru Vieilles Vignes 1999
Edged with dark brick (I do use this term a lot, may need to check the paint palate to find some other colour descriptions) with deep burgundy colour. Mushroom earthy nose with dark cherry and a hint of indian spice (soft notes of coriander). Dry fine tannins give a smooth and pleasant mouth feel. Next day, more Indian spices on the nose now following into the palate and wrapped in those silky smooth tannins.
On top of this the levels of acidity in the Mt Difficulty consumed a few days ago suggests it has the ability to age and if it is anything like the Felton Road, the song it will sing will be a different bird to what it is today.
Now this leaves a dilemma, drink now or cellar my Central Otagos for a few more years or even longer.
Easy answer, do all three, will need to buy larger quantities to achieve this, but that’s no great impost as they will get drunk in the end, just have to keep those friends who like these wines away from my cellar, now that’s a much harder task. Also Langtons has a few older vintages on their exchange and auction site, will need to keep a lookout for the good ones and grab a few when they crop up.
To finish, these are my four favorite Central Otago Pinots all can be drunk young and I believe will age well.
I look forward to visiting these and other New Zealand wineries during the 2011 RWC.