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Featured Reviews




Quartz Reef Methode NV and Vintage, Pinot Gris and Noir 2016, and Estate Pinot Noir 2015

02 October,2017
As one of the most experienced Central Otago winemakers, Rudi Bauer has earned considerable respect. Originally working with Rolfe and Lois Mills at Rippon in Wanaka at the start of the 1990s, Rudi went on to establish Quartz Reef in the Bendigo sub-region in 1996, in partnership with Trevor Scott and John Perriam. A pioneer in that district, Rudi recognised the attributes of soils and aspect, as well as the region being the warmest in Central Otago. Pinot Noir is the focus, and the Quartz Reef wines are regarded as among the best in Central Otago, reflecting the Bendigo regionality. But method traditionnelle wines, based on Pinot Noir and Chardonnay have also proven to be of wonderful style and quality. These stars are supported by excellent Pinot Gris and Rosé. There are tiny amounts of Gruner Veltliner made from vines planted in 2008, no doubt a nod to Rudi’s Austrian homeland. The Quartz Reef estate is organic and Demeter biodynamic certified. Here, I review the new Methode NV and Vintage 2012, the 2016 Pinot Gris and Pinot Noir, and 2015 ‘Bendigo Estate – Single Ferment’ Pinot Noir. www.quartzreef.co.nz

FEATURED WINES IN THIS REVIEW



Quartz Reef Central Otago Methode Traditionnelle Brut NV

Sparkling Wine from New Zealand – Otago

18+/20
Bright straw-yellow colour with a suggestion of light gold, pale edged, the bubbles are very fine with good persistence. The nose is softly full and voluminous with fresh aromas of yellow stonefruits, citrus fruit and white florals, harmoniously entwined with soft bready-yeasty autolysis. The nose has good depth and a tight core. Dry to taste, the palate has soft, rich flavours of white stonefruits and florals interwoven with bready-yeasty autolysis. The mouthfeel is gently full and creamy with fine mousse, and is balanced by refreshing acidity. The flavours form an elegant core with good drive, carrying the wine to a long, lingering, concentrated finish of stonefruits and yeast. This is a softly rich, fresh and creamy methode traditionnelle with stonefruit and yeasty flavours, and a tight core and line. Serve as an aperitif and with white meat dishes over the next 3+ years. Hand-picked fruit, in March 2015, a blend of 63% Pinot Noir and 37% Chardonnay, fermented in bottle to 12.5% alc., with 6 g/L RS, the wine aged on less with disgorging from autumn 2017. Lot 2015. Certified Demeter biodynamic. 18.0+/20 Oct 2017 RRP $33.00

Full, bright light-golden hued straw-yellow colour with a suggestion of blush, and persistent, vigorous bubbles. The bouquet is gently full with soft and delicately interwoven aromas of white and yellow fruits, lifted florals, and very fine, subtle bready autolysis, the aromatics refreshing and steely. Dry to taste and medium-bodied, tight and cutting flavours of white stonefruits are entwined with delicate yeasty autolysis notes, and build in intensity. The mouthfeel is crisp and racy, with refined effervescence. The palate follows a very subtle, dry phenolic line, carrying the wine to a long, mouthwatering, dry finish. This is an elegant, refined, refreshingly racy and dry methode traditionnelle with subtle autolysis. Serve as an aperitif over the next 3+ years. Hand-picked fruit, 65% Pinot Noir and 35% Chardonnay, fermented to 12.5% alc., with 7 g/L dosage, the wine aged a minimum of 24 months on lees. Lot L2011. 18.0+/20 Apr 2014 RRP$32.00

Quartz Reef Central Otago Methode Traditionnelle Vintage 2012

Sparkling Wine from New Zealand – Otago

18.5+/20
Bright, pale straw-yellow colour, lighter on the edge, with very fine, moderately persistent bead. This has a very fresh and intense, deep nose of white and yellow stonefruits melded into a concentrated core of complex bread and yeasty autolysis along with nutty elements and minerals. This has depth and opens in volume with aeration. Dry to taste, the palate is elegantly concentrated with a fine and firm heart of white stonefruits and florals, intermixed with subtle notes of citrus fruit, yeasty autolysis and nutty interest. The mouthfeel features soft effervescence and the wine flows seamlessly, carrying to an elegant and slender finish with lingering notes of bread and yeasty autolysis. This is a refined and intense Chardonnay-based methode with soft and seamless flow and complex bready, yeasty and nutty nuances. Serve as an aperitif and with shellfish over the next 3-4 years. Hand-picked fruit on 22 March 2012, a blend of 91% Chardonnay and 9% Pinot Noir, fermented in bottle to 12.5% alc. and 6 g/L RS, the wine aged 46 months on lees with disgorging from spring 2016. Lot 20212. Certified Demeter biodynamic. 330 dozen made. 18.5+/20 Oct 2017 RRP $49.00

Quartz Reef ‘Bendigo Single Vineyard’ Central Otago Pinot Gris 2016

Pinot Gris from New Zealand – Otago

18/20
Brilliant, even straw-yellow colour with lemon-gold hues. The nose is fresh and fine in expression with a softly concentrated core of white stonefruits, florals and subtle nutty and mineral notes. Dry to taste and medium-bodied, the palate possesses rich and vibrant flavours of white stonefruits with white florals and nutty elements. The fruit richness is enlivened by light, lacy acidity and the wine flows along a very fine-textured line. The richness blossoms as the wine carries to a full finish with aromatic stonefruit, floral and nutty flavours. This is a dry Pinot Gris with rich and bright flavours of stonefruits, nuts and florals on a fine-textured palate that blossoms on the finish. Serve with poultry and pork over the next 3-4 years. Hand-picked fruit, WBP and indigenous yeast fermented to 13.4% alc. and 3 g/L RS, the wine aged 10 months on lees. Certified Demeter biodynamic. 18.0/20 Oct 2017 RRP $32.00

Quartz Reef ‘Bendigo Single Vineyard’ Central Otago Pinot Noir 2016

Pinot Noir from New Zealand – Otago

18.5+/20
Moderately deep ruby-red colour with slight purple hues, lighter on the rim. The nose is firmly concentrated with a fine and intense core of dark-red cherry and berry fruit, entwined with raspberry notes, red florals, dark herbs and notes of liquorice and minerals. Medium-full bodied, the palate has rich and sweet flavour of dark-red cherries and berry fruit with nuances of raspberry liqueur., unfolding subtle floral and thyme herb elements. The palate has excellent depth, concentration and extraction, with considerable fine-grained tannin textures forming a strong backbone and line. The acidity is fresh and lacy, contributing to the drive and vitality, and the wine carries to a long and sustained finish of raspberry liqueur, liquorice and herbs. This is a rich and sweet-fruited Pinot Noir with dark-red cherry, berry and raspberry flavours, a concentrated palate and plenty of fine-grained tannin extraction with a vibrant finish. Serve with wild duck and pork dishes over the next 7-8+ years. Hand-picked fruit, clones 10/5, 5, 115, 667, 777 and Abel, from the ‘Bendigo Estate’, vines 16-19 y.o., indigenous yeast fermented with 7% whole bunches to 14.0% alc., the wine aged 12 months in 28% new oak. Certified Demeter biodynamic. 18.5+/20 Oct 2017 RRP $49.00

Quartz Reef ‘Bendigo Estate – Single Ferment’ Central Otago Pinot Noir 2015

Pinot Noir from New Zealand – Otago

19.5/20
Even ruby-red colour with slight garnet hues, a little paler on the edge. This has a powerfully concentrated and bold nose with aromas of ripe black cherry and berry fruits along with subtle notes of dark herbs and black mineral elements, unfolding violet and black-red florals. This has considerable depth, concentration ad intensity. Medium-full bodied, the palate has rich and vibrant, mouthfilling flavours of ripe black berries and blackberry fruit entwined with dark herbs and complexing whole bunch stalk notes, and mineral nuances. The fruit is deeply packed, but exudes sweetness and richness, filling the palate with breadth. The fruit sweetness is balanced by plenty of fine-grained tannins and structure, with integrated acidity. The wine has real drive, leading to a long and sustained finish blossoming in flavour and richness. This is a very powerfully concentrated and richly mouthfilling, black-fruited Pinot Noir with plenty of structure and balancing grip. Match with casseroles, slow-cooked game meat dishes and semi-hard cheeses over the next 10 years. A single ferment, named ‘Titi’, selected to best express the ‘Bendigo Estate’ vineyard. Hand-picked 115 clone fruit, from the mid-section of the vineyard, vines 16 y.o., indigenous yeast fermented with 20% whole bunches to 14.0% alc., the wine aged 15 months in 16% new oak. Certified Demeter biodynamic. 125 dozen made. 19.5/20 Oct 2017 RRP $85.00
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