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Featured Reviews

Eon of Bendigo Central Otago Pinot Noir 2013

01 September,2017
The ‘Eon of Bendigo’ project began in 2010 when Accolade Wines committed to making a stand-alone wine from the ‘Claim 431’ vineyard in Bendigo Central Otago. The vineyard had already built up a reputation for top quality fruit and wine, and ‘Eon of Bendigo’ was created to explore the fine points of expression of the vineyard and the Bendigo sub-region. Bendigo is the warmest sub-region of Central Otago, and it is generally agreed that the wines show considerable structure. The inaugural release of the ‘Eon of Bendigo’ wine was in May 2016, with three vintages offered simultaneously. These were the 2012, 2013 and 2014.

Unfortunately I did not attend the release, so cannot comment on all three wines as a comparison. However, I understand is the 2012 was from a ‘big year’, producing a riper fruited and firmer wine with excellent acidity and chalky tannins. Clone 113 made up 50% of the blend, and is deemed to have a significant contribution to the style. 2013 was a frost-prone season which affected the clone 113, but allowed clone 777 to perform well, this making 40% of the wine. It is described in terms of aromatic high notes and is noted as ‘cerebral’. In 2014, the wine was 100% clone 777, and the winemaking involved greater whole bunch proportion. This wine is seen as structured, but supple. There is a 2015 wine in the works, and not yet released. It will be an interesting project to continue, to understand the detail of the ‘Claim 431’ vineyard, and in particular, the ‘Terrace’ section which has proved favourable for these wines. Here, I review the 2013 vintage, which will be released as a single bottling on 1 September.


Eon of Bendigo Central Otago Pinot Noir 2013

Pinot Noir from New Zealand – Otago

Deep ruby-red colour, a little lighter on the rim with garnet hues. The bouquet is soft and ethereal with complex layers of savoury dark-red berry and cherry fruit with subtle notes of dried herbs and nuances of whole bunch stalky perfumes, unfolding red florals and suggestions of liquorice. The aromatics build in depth with aeration. Medium-full bodied, the palate has good presence with gently mouthfilling flavours of savoury red berry and cherry fruit entwined with subtle notes of dried herbs, whole bunch stalk aromatics and red florals. The flavours form a finely concentrated heart and the fruit is supported by chalky, fine-grained tannins, and the mouthfeel is enlivened by fresh, lacy acidity. Nuances of thyme herb, spice and liquorice emerge to add to the interest. The wine flows with fine linearity to a lingering, nuanced finish. This is a complex, ethereal, nuanced Pinot Noir with savoury red fruits, dried herbs and whole bunch notes on a fine-structured, refreshing palate. Serve with wild duck and pork dishes over the next 5-6+ years. A blend of 40% clone 777, 34% 0277, 13% 113 and 7% 115, hand-picked from the ‘Home Block’ of the ‘Claim 431’ vineyard, fermented partially with indigenous yeasts and 25% whole bunches to 13.5% alc., the wine aged 10 months in new and seasoned French oak barriques and puncheons. 3,913 bottles made. 18.5/20 Sep 2017 RRP $39.99
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