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, Pisa Range Estate Black Poplar Block Pisa 2010
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Pisa Range Estate, Black Poplar Block, Pisa 2010
Decanter average score
: 18.75pts/20 (95+/100pts)
Individual judges’ scores: Melanie Brown 18.5 Roger Jones 18.5 Philip Tuck 19
Price £49.92 Charles Mitchell
For many, this is a Pinot Noir that sums up all that is best about Central Otago. Vine age approaching 20 years has contributed to the pungent aroma and impressively dense and sumptuous texture. The vineyard is in Pisa, adjacent to the Cromwell Basin – the heartland of the Central Otago wine region. Each clone of Pinot Noir is harvested separately for optimum ripeness. The wine was aged in French oak barriques. For a long time after the first vintage of the Pinot Noir was released in 2000, owners Warwick and Jenny Hawker produced only Pinot Noir, although they have recently released a Riesling and Pinot Gris.
Melanie Brown This is rich with very pretty aromatics and then juicy berries and an intense floral flavour. A good backbone makes this vibrant and it has a lovely finish.
Roger Jones A touch of liquorice on the nose is nice with the intense fruit flavours. This is rich with a touch of confection and is a very pleasant wine to drink.
Philip Tuck Lovely nose with real complexity and style, especially regarding the use of oak. It has a fabulous silky texture and perfect tannic grip. This is superb, albeit in a rich and overt style
Drink 2014–2016
Alc 14%

Central Otago Pinot Noir, Gibbston Valley 2012
Central Otago Pinot Noir, Pisa Range Estate Black Poplar Block Pisa 2010
Central Otago Pinot Noir, Gibbston Valley China Terrace Bendigo 2012
Central Otago Pinot Noir, Kalex Wines 2011