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Neck of the Woods Central Otago Pinot Noir 2016

04 April,2018

‘Neck of the Woods’ is the wine brand of AJ Johnson, a television industry man who started his wine journey in the vineyard and working with the wine at Mountford in North Canterbury. AJ flitted between wine and television for around 15 years, before he decided to start his own brand. His model is as a negociant as AJ does not own vineyards, but has good relationships with specialty growers in Central Otago, Hawke’s Bay and Marlborough. He has engaged James McElrea (who makes his own Black Peak wines, and was with Maude previously) to make the wine. The first release is the 2016 Gibbston Pinot Noir, which I review here. There will be a 2017 rosé and Chardonnay, to be bottled soon, and AJ is working in Bendigo for 2018. www.neckofthewoodswines.com

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Neck of the Woods Gibbston Central Otago Pinot Noir 2016

Pinot Noir from New Zealand – Otago

18.5-/20

Dark, deep ruby-red colour with some depth, a little lighter on the rim. The nose is full and voluminous with deep and well-concentrated aromas of ripe black cherry and black berried fruits entwined with a layering of savoury dried herbs and complexing whole bunch stalk perfumes. This has a firm and deep core. Medium-full bodied, the palate is elegant in proportion with rich and juicy fruit flavours of savoury dark-red and black cherry and berry fruit harmoniously melded with subtle notes of dried herbs and whole bunch stalk elements. The flavours show good depth and intensity forming a fine core, and the fruit is supported by fine-grained, flowery tannin extraction with soft, balanced acidity. The structure carries the wine to a lingering, fine-textured, dry finish. This Pinot Noir has voluminous fruit aromatics and an elegant, finely concentrated, sweet fruit with complex savoury detail and a fine-structured palate. Match with casseroles and coq au vin over the next 6+ years. A blend of clones 5. 115 and Abel from Gibbston, vines planted 2002, fermented with 35% whole bunches to 13.5% alc., the wine aged 13 months in 25% new French oak. 200 dozen made. 18.5-/20 Apr 2018 RRP $35.00

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