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Featured Reviews

Lowburn Ferry ‘Skeleton Creek’ Central Otago Pinot Noir 2016

24 October,2018

Lowburn Ferry along with Pyramid Valley were the two high profile and high performing wine producers purchased by Steve Smith MW and Brian Sheth under Aotearoa New Zealand Fine Wine Estates last year. The Lowburn Ferry vineyard near Cromwell in Central Otago of Roger and Jean Gibson had been making first-class Pinot Noirs from their inaugural vintage in 2003, showing their site to be special in terroir and quality. No doubt this attracted Smith and Sheth, and it will be interesting to see how they approach the viticulture and winemaking, the site and wines already proven. I suspect it will be fine-tuning rather than any drastic changes. Here, I review the Lowburn Ferry ‘Skeleton Creek’ Pinot Noir 2016, the most ‘accessible’ of the wines under the brand, made by Peter Bartle. Though based on estate fruit, some vintages have included fruit from the ‘Avalon’ vineyard, Queensberry in the final blend. For availability, contact Aotearoa Fine Wine Estates general manager Michael Henley at email:


Lowburn Ferry ‘Skeleton Creek’ Central Otago Pinot Noir 2016

Pinot Noir from New Zealand – Otago


Moderately dark, ruby-red colour with some depth, lighter on the rim with slight purple hues. The nose is softly full and broad with good volume and depth of dark-red berry and black cherry fruit entwined with thyme herb and dark herb notes, a little stalk interest, unfolding dark-red floral elements. Medium-full bodied, the palate has rich and vibrant flavours of dark-red berry fruit and black cherries along with savoury herbal elements and a little stalk and earth. The palate has good vigour and energy, and the fruit is supported by light, grainy tannins providing balanced structure and grip, with a fine thread of acidity lending energy. This carries to an elegant, light finish. This is a rich and vibrant, up-front Pinot Noir with dark-red and black fruits along with herb, earth and stalk notes and a vigorous mouthfeel with balanced extraction. Match with pork, lamb and beef over the next 5 years. Hand-picked fruit from the ‘Lowburn Ferry’ vineyard including a portion of Abel clone, destemmed and fermented to 13.0% alc., the wine aged 10 months in approx. 20% new oak. 18.0-/20 Oct 2018 RRP $45.00

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