Featured Reviews

Ceres 2017 ‘Swansong’ Pinot Gris and 2016 ‘Composition’ Pinot Noir

14 March,2018

‘Ceres’ is the Central Otago wine brand of the Dicey family who play a very influential role in the industry in the region. Father Robin Dicey has been responsible for identifying and planting many of the best vineyards in Central Otago. His son James has taken over his father’s role in viticultural work and consultation throughout the region, and other son Matt is the winemaker at Mt Difficulty, making the wines there and many others for contract clients. Ceres is the produce from their own Bannockburn vineyards, these being the ‘Inlet’, ‘Black Rabbit’, ‘Full Circle’ and ‘Swansong’ sites. In the early stages of development, the Ceres wines were blends of fruit from these vineyards, but as the vines and sites have matured, the Diceys have released single site wines which are crafted to reflect terroir. Here, I review the 2017 ‘Swansong’ Pinot Gris, and the 2016 ‘Composition’ Pinot Noir, the latter made from fruit blended from two vineyards. www.cereswines.co.nz


Ceres ‘Swansong’ Bannockburn Central Otago Pinot Gris 2017

Pinot Gris from New Zealand – Otago


Bright, light straw-yellow colour, paler on the rim. The nose is taut and finely concentrated with aromas of white stonefruits entwined with exotic florals along with honeysuckle intermixed with lifted fermentation esters. Some chalky minerals unfold with aeration. Dry to taste and medium-full bodied, the palate has intense and concentrated flavours of white stonefruits, acacia and exotic florals, along with nuances of honeysuckle. This has very good depth, and the mouthfeel follows a very fine, textural, phenolic line with soft and balanced acidity. The palate flows with good drive to a lingering finish. This is a tightly bound, exotic fruited dry Pinot Gris with palate weight and texture, and good drive. Match with Thai, Vietnamese and Japanese cuisine over the next 3-4 years. Fruit from the ‘Swansong’ vineyard, vines 9 y.o., fermented in tank to 14.1% alc. and 3 g/L RS, the wine undergoing 4 months batonnage. 18.5/20 Mar 2018 RRP $27.95

Ceres ‘Composition’ Bannockburn Central Otago Pinot Noir 2016

Pinot Noir from New Zealand – Otago


Light ruby-red colour with some depth and paler garnet hues on the edge. The nose is fresh and vibrant with voluminous aromas of red cherry and berry fruit along with subtle notes of spicy oak, nuanced of dried herbs, unfolding lifted red florals. Medium-bodied, the palate has softly rich flavours of strawberries and red cherries, intermixed with lifted red florals, spicy oak and dried herbal complexities. The fruit is sweetly luscious and juicy, and is enlivened by lacy acidity, and underlined by fine-grained, supple tannin extraction. This carries with good richness to a bright and spicy, lingering finish. This is a softly rich and vibrant Pinot Noir with strawberry and cherry fruit, with spicy oak notes on a fine-structured palate. Match with wild duck and pork over the next 6 years. A mix of 52% clone 777, 30% clone 5, 15% 115 and 3% clone 6, the fruit 60% from the ‘Inlet’ vineyard and 40% from the ‘Black Rabbit’ site, vines planted 2002, indigenous yeast fermented with 7% whole bunches to 14.0% alc., the wine aged 12 months in 27% new oak. 18.0+/20 Mar 2018 RRP $39.95

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