Tuesday, August 4, 2009

2004 Central Otago

2004 Nevis Bluff

2004 Nevis Bluff Pinot Noir, Central Otago

Another Central Otago, New Zealand wine came up recently, and of course, I wasn't ready to give up on this region. The examples I've drank so far have been disappointing. Quite expensive, without the intensity and elegance I'd like in a pinot noir. It's even more upsetting when I drink $20 Niagara pinot noirs that are much more profound wines. But this wine changed the perception of what New Zealand can produce.

This is, of course, bottled under a screwcap, and is one of the older wines under this kind of closure that I've tasted. I have no doubt that the screwcap is a more airtight closure than cork, but there is no emperical data on how they age. Until we're able to see wines bottled this way after 10 or 20 years, it is absolutely ridiculous that people are proclaiming screwcap to be better than cork.

The wine has a light red robe, very typical of pinot noir. What's odd is that the colour lacks luminosity. I don't want to describe it as browning, but there is a somewhat dull sheen to it. Very intense nose of red fruits (cranberry, cherry), herbs, brambles, and an excellent pinot noir character. In the mouth, there's lots of sour red fruit, but with a sweetness that's very succulent. Excellent acidity and balance - the alcohol is undetectable, which is a very pleasant surprise. Lingering finish. What a fantastically balanced, nuanced wine.

What's the greatest surprise for this wine is how well integrated all the components are. The alcohol, the acidity, the very fine tannins. Beautiful. So wonderful. Maybe it's because it has a few years of age, and the other wines I've drank are very young. But this is an absolutely delicious wine.

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