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Featured Reviews

Maori Point 2017 Gold Digger and 2015 Central Otago Pinot Noir

30 May,2018

John Harris and Marylyn Duxson established Maori Point Vineyard in 2002, planting 6.5 ha of Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris vines on a bend of the Clutha River north of Bendigo, near Tarras. Matt Evans from California began working at Maori Point in 2011, and in 2014, he and his partner Maggie joined John and Marilyn in business. John, Marilyn and Maggie have strong academic backgrounds, and this is behind the winegrowing philosophy at the operation, with Matt maybe a bit more susceptible to trialling interesting things (mention biodynamics and you'll have an in-depth and serious discussion!). All partners are involved in a hands-on way, though Maggie has just given birth to Matt and her first child. John and Matt make the wines on-site, which they regard is an important factor in their style and quality. One of the more important challenges is the branding, marketing and sales, and the owners have introduced a number of more accessible fun products, as well as a ‘Reserve’ range of bottlings. All the wines are made with much thought. Here, I review two new Pinot Noir wines, a 2017 ‘Gold Digger’ Pinot Noir and the estate 2015 Maori Point Central Otago Pinot Noir. Matt tells me they have worked especially hard to ensure the ‘Gold Digger’ is a "truly hand-crafted, single-vineyard wine that is more affordable, but made without compromises or cutting corners”.


Maori Point ‘Gold Digger’ Central Otago Pinot Noir 2017

Pinot Noir from New Zealand – Otago


Dark, deep, black-hued ruby-red colour, a little lighter on the rim with slight purple hues. The nose is full with well-packed and up-front aromas of ripe, dark-red berry fruit with dark plums, lifted by dark-red florals and underlined by subtle dark herb nuances. This is plush and fruit-expressive with good depth. Medium-full bodied, the palate has plush and juicy, sweetly rich flavours of ripe dark-red berry fruit with notes of dark plums. The fruit possesses lusciousness and is underlined by soft, fine-grained tannin extraction lending a supple palate, with balanced acidity. Nuances of dark herbs, liquorice and red florals emerge, and the wine carries to a lingering, sweet finish. This is a rich, plush and juicy, sweet-fruited Pinot Noir with dark-red berry and plum flavours on a supple, fine-textured palate. Match with pasta, barbecued and roasted duck, pork, lamb and beef dishes over the next 4 years. A barrel selection wine, the fruit fully destemmed and indigenous yeast fermented to 13.5% alc., the wine aged 11 months in 18% new oak. 18.0+/20 May 2018 RRP $29.95

Maori Point Central Otago Pinot Noir 2015

Pinot Noir from New Zealand – Otago


Even, light ruby-red colour with some depth, paler on the edge with some garnet tints. The nose is very elegant and slender in expression, with tightly bound aromas of red cherry and berry fruit, along with a subtle amalgam of savoury dried herbs and earthy nuances, revealing a little nutty oak and lifted red florals. Medium-full bodied, the palate shows finesse and refinement, with a tightly bound and elegantly concentrated core and line of soft red cherry and berry fruits melded with a complexing layer of dark and dried herbs, subtle nutty and earthy detail, unveiling fragrant red florals. The fruit is supported by very fine-grained, flowery tannins providing considerable structure and linearity. A little alcohol power and acid cut provides freshness and drive, and the wine carries to a lingering finish. This is a taut and concentrated, elegant and refined Pinot Noir with red cherry and berry fruit flavours along with herb and earthy nuances on a very fine-structured palate. Match with coq au vin and casseroles, and semi-hard cheeses over the next 6 years. A blend of clones 777, 10/5, 5, 115 and Abel, indigenous yeast fermented with on average 5% whole bunches to 13.9% alc., the wine aged 11 months in 22% new French oak. 18.0+/20 May 2018 RRP $36.95

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