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Trinity Hill Hawke’s Bay Chardonnay 2016
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Smith and Sheth ‘CRU’ Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay and Syrah Releases
Palliser Estate Martinborough Pinot Gris 2017
Karikari Estates 2014 ‘Calypso’ and 2015 Chardonnays, 2016 Viognier and 2015 Syrah and Pinotage
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The Crossings ‘Wild’ Awatere Sauvignon Blanc 2016
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Grava Wines 2016 Martinborough Sauvignon, Rosé, Riesling and Pinot Noir
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Featured Reviews

Bannock Brae Central Otago Pinot Noir 2015

14 November,2017

Bannock Brae is the Central Otago wine venture of Crawford and Catherine Brown who purchased 8 ha of land on Cairnmuir Road in Bannockburn, planting Pinot Noir and Riesling in 1998. The first commercial vintage was in 2001, and it did not take long to establish the pedigree of their vineyard with gold medals and top awards for the Pinot Noirs that continue to come to this day. I attended a vertical tasting organised by Joelle Thomson, of the Pinot Noirs earlier this year, and was very pleased to see their aging ability (click here to see my report). The Browns have had a number of contract winemakers and the quality of the wines comes through regardless of winemaker ‘signature’. Jen Parr is their winemaker now, and they consider her a ‘star’. The Browns have downsized their vineyard progressively over time to ensure the proper manageability for them, and have approx. 2 ha which includes some Gruner Veltliner. The Pinot Noirs come in the secondary ‘Golfdfields’ label, and the flagship, formerly called the ‘Barrel Selection’, is now simply called Central Otago Pinot Noir. Here, I review the new release Central Otago Pinot Noir 2015.


Bannock Brae Central Otago Pinot Noir 2015

Pinot Noir from New Zealand – Otago


Even, light ruby-red colour with slight purple hues, very pale on the rim. The nose is gently full and voluminous with elegantly presented aromas of dark-red cherry and berry fruit interwoven with subtle thyme and herb notes and red florals with nuances of spice and earth. The aromatics are fragrant and comp[lex in detail. Medium-full bodied, the palate has bright and vibrant, sweetly rich and luscious fruit flavours of dark-red cherry and berry fruit. Notes of thyme herbs and some spice and pepper add interest. The fruit is enlivened by fresh acidity, and the wine carries along a very fine-textured line, the structure in balance, supporting the fruit. The flavours carry to a long, lingering finish. This is a bright and vibrant, lusciously sweet red cherry and berry fruited Pinot Noir with herb and spice notes on a lively, fine-structured palate. Match with duck, pork, beef and lamb over the next 6-8 years. Fruit from the ‘Bannock Brae’ vineyard, fully destemmed and fermented to 13.5% alc., the wine aged 11 months in 25% new French oak. 18.5+/20 Nov 2017 RRP $60.00

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