Central Otago Pinot Noir: panel tasting results

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Based on the statistics, New Zealand’s star Pinot Noir region again excelled, but our expert judges were left wanting more fireworks. Nevertheless 37 wines were rated Highly Recommended or above. See them all here...
Central Otago Pinot Noir, Gibbston Valley 2012
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Gibbston Valley 2012
Decanter average score:
18.75pts/20 (95+/100pts)
Individual judges’ scores: Melanie Brown 19 Roger Jones 19 Philip Tuck 18.5
Price £26.99 (2009) Hard to Find Wines
Gibbston Valley is one of Central Otago’s oldest wine producers, with its first commercial release in 1987. It has seven vineyards: two in the Gibbston sub-region and five in the Bendigo sub-region. This wine is a blend, with 70% of the grapes from warmer Bendigo and 30% from Gibbston. The favourable 2012 vintage produced a wine with slightly lower alcohol than the normal 14%. That may have contributed to a style with more restrained fruit and more obvious mineral and savoury character. The wine was allowed five to six weeks’ maceration on the skins and was aged for 11 months in French barriques, 25% new.
Melanie Brown The nose is full of crushed berries with warm spices, which follow through on to the palate, along with nice tannins. The finish is seamless with aromatic floral notes. This is fresh, gripping, stalky goodness.
Roger Jones Savoury on the nose with hints of stalk and lovely perfume, which evolves into a stunning, delicate and feminine wine. You just want to drink this!
Philip Tuck Lifted concentration on the nose, which is clean and pure. Lovely fruit flavours on the palate with real concentration and balance without being heavy. Fresh grip on the finish adds a touch of class. This is a
very long and elegant wine.
Drink 2014–2018
Alc 13.5%

Central Otago Pinot Noir, Gibbston Valley 2012
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Central Otago Pinot Noir, Gibbston Valley China Terrace Bendigo 2012