Featured Reviews

Coal Pit Central Otago 2017 Sauvignon Blanc and 2016 ‘Tiwha’ Pinot Noir

23 March,2018

Coal Pit Wines is the boutique Gibbston Valley Central Otago winegrowing venture of Rosie Dunphy who in 2001 purchased a vineyard that was established in 1994 on the site of a historical coal pit. She immediately embarked on a programme of revitalising the vineyard, which has 5.5 ha of Pinot Noir and 2.0 ha of Sauvignon Blanc. A new 30 tonne capacity winery was built on site in 2007. Gary Crabbe tends to the viticulture, and his wife Lynn Horton is the winemaker. The Pinot Noir wines, particularly the flagship ‘Tiwha’ named in tribute to Rosie’s father. Here, I review the new release 2017 Sauvignon Blanc and 2016 ‘Tiwha’ Pinot Noir. www.coalpitwine.com


Coal Pit Central Otago Sauvignon Blanc 2017

Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand – Otago


Light, golden-hued straw-yellow colour with some depth, paler on the rim. The nose is taut and sleek in presentation with edgy cool-spectrum aromas of nettles, cut grass, fresh herbs and green capsicums, along with white florals and mineral nuances. Dry to taste and medium-bodied, the palate is tightly bound and slender with a core of nettles, cut-grass, green stonefruits and flavours of fresh herbs. The fruit is in the cool spectrum and unfolds suggestions of green beans. The mouthfeel is brisk and racy with crisp acidity, and the wine flows along a light, grainy-textured phenolic line that carries to a dry, thirst-quenching finish. This is a slender, taut, cool-spectrum Sauvignon Blanc with nettle, cut-grass and herb flavours on a zesty palate with some grip. Serve as an aperitif, with shellfish, and salads and vegetables over the next 2 years. Hand-picked fruit, cool-fermented in stainless-steel with 10% in barrel to 13.0% alc. and 6.0 g/L RS, the barrel portion undergoing batonnage and the tank portion given extended lees contact. 200 dozen made. 16.0+/20 Mar 2018 RRP $24.95

Coal Pit ‘Tiwha’ Central Otago Pinot Noir 2016

Pinot Noir from New Zealand – Otago


Very dark, black-hued ruby-red colour, a little lighter on the rim with slight purple tints, youthful in appearance. The nose is full and voluminous with well-concentrated aromas of very ripe black cherry, blackberry and plum aromas along with nuances of spice, unfolding black floral and dark herbal detail, with some nutty oak. Medium-full bodied, the palate is elegant in proportion, with ethereal and aromatic, mouthfilling flavours of ripe blackberries, black cherries and black plums that build to form a fine heart. The fruit is sweet and lush, unfolding floral and herb elements. The mouthfeel possesses soft acidity and the wine is vibrant with fragrant berry notes and a little nutty oak. The palate has very fine-grained tannin extraction which carries the flavours to a delicate, lingering finish. This Pinot Noir is voluminous on the nose, but refined and elegant on palate with very ripe blackberry, cherry and plum flavours. Match with lamb, beef and venison dishes over the next 5 years. Hand-picked fruit, clones 115, 10/5, 777 and 5, fully destemmed and fermented to 14.0% alc., the wine aged 12 months in 40% new French oak. 928 dozen made. 18.5/20 Mar 2018 RRP $49.00

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