Tuesday, June 16, 2009

2006 Martinborough

2006 Palliser Estate

2006 Palliser Estate Pinot Noir, Martinborough NZ

New Zealand, far, far away in the Southern Hemisphere, but whose wines evoke such global recognition. Martinborough, the southern-most tip of North Island. Martinborough is not as well known as the South Island appellations, such as Marlborough or Central Otago, but it's certainly worth the experience to compare wines from both islands.

Light red in colour, which is what I want to see from a pinot noir. Intense, booming nose of strawberry, sour cherries, some fine green aromas, as well as a brambly, earthy root character so typical of good pinot noir. The alcohol burns the bouquet though - it's very noticeable, as I drank it only slightly chilled. On the palate, this shows as a very fruit-forward wine, showcasing lots of red fruits, aforementioned strawberry, beetroot, celery, and earthiness. Very bright fruit, good acidity. Decent complexity, on a very sweet texture and silky feel.

The finish is quite spectactular. Just an explosion of red berries right at the finish - bright fireworks, which quickly flame out. Finish drops off abruptly, with very little length. The alcohol disturbs me very much. It's a listed 14% alcohol, but I will stake my entire reputation and all the credibility I have that there is AT LEAST 14.5%. If I'm wrong, I should just stop drinking wine, period. Yes, I'm that confident - if there is really only 14% alcohol in this wine, I will eat the bottle.

A bit disappointed. A blockbuster, International style of wine. This idea that a wine has to be sweetly textured, silky, and high alcohol to be drinkable is just absurd! The overripeness completely obfuscates its ability to pair with food. Wine that makes you want to lie down after 2 glasses has no place on the table. Just another flabby bottle for the porkers who insist on "easy-drinking" wines. Grrrrrr.

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