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Featured Reviews

TOSQ Central Otago 2016 Rosé, 2014 Pinot Gris and 2012 Pinot Noir

04 May,2017
TOSQ is the brand of the Thompson family who own 15 ha of land in the Pisa region of Central Otago. The first letter of the first names of the family members make up the brand name: ‘T’ for father Carl, who is known as Thomo, ‘O’ for son Oscar, ‘S’ for mother Sue and ‘Q’ for son Quinn. The vines were established in 2001, and following a period of contracting their fruit out, they developed their own label with their first vintage in 2009. Pinot Noir is grown on the 3 ha ‘Terrace’ vineyard, certified BioGro organic in March 2016, and Pinot Gris plus a little Flora on the 1 ha ‘Roadside’ vineyard, which is in conversion to organic certification. Sue tends to the viticulture, and also employs biodynamic practices. The TOSQ wines are made at the Maude facility by Sarah-Kate and Dan Dineen and their team. Here, I review the 2016 Rosé, 2014 Pinot Gris and 2012 Pinot Noir.


TOSQ Central Otago Pinot Noir Rosé 2016

Rose from New Zealand – Otago

Bright strawberry pink colour with purple hues and good depth, lighter on the edge. The nose is rounded but with good depth and a core of bright cherry, raspberry and strawberries and cream aromas, along with lifted red florals and soft notes of confectionary. Dry to taste and medium-bodied, the palate has bright, lively and aromatic flavours of juicy dark-red cherries, raspberries and strawberries, lifted by fragrant red florals, some confectionary and fresh ferment esters notes. The fruit has good depth and is mouthfilling, and is underlined by light mouthwatering dry phenolic textures and brisk acidity. The fresh fruit flavours carry with plenty of energy to a vibrant, thirst-quenching finish. This is an up-front, bright and juicy rosé with cherry, raspberry and strawberry fruit flavours, fragrant confectionary notes and a fine-textured, mouthwatering palate. Serve as an aperitif, with antipasto or Asian fare over the next 2 years. Clones 115, 5, 777 and 667 Pinot Noir fruit from the ‘Terrace’ vineyard, hand-picked, destemmed and given 24 hours skin contact and cool-fermented in stainless-steel to 13.5% alc. and 1.8 g/L RS. Cerified BioGro organic. 17.5+/20 May 2017 RRP $26.00

TOSQ Central Otago Pinot Gris 2014

Pinot Gris from New Zealand – Otago

Bright, light straw-yellow colour, paler on the rim. The nose is evenly presented with a tight core of fresh white stonefruit aromas entwined with subtle layers of nuts and minerally lees, unfolding nuances of exotic white florals with aeration. Dry to taste and medium-full bodied, the palate has a tight core of white stonefruits intermixed with subtle nutty notes and minerals, with white floral elements. The wine flows along a firm, but fine-textured line with lacy acidity leading to a taut, nuanced finish of stonefruits and florals. This is a firm and taut, dry Pinot Gris with white stonefruit, nutty and floral flavours, and a fine, fresh mouthfeel. Match with seafood and poultry dishes over the next 3+ years. Fruit from the ‘Roadside’ vineyard, vines planted 2001, WBP and fermented in tank with a small portion by indigenous yeasts in seasoned French oak to 13.5% alc. and 4.3 g/L RS. 17.5/20 May 2017 RRP $26.00

TOSQ Central Otago Pinot Noir 2012

Pinot Noir from New Zealand – Otago

Dark, moderately deep ruby-red colour with garnet hues, a little lighter on the rim. The nose is firmly concentrated and packed with aromas of dark-red berry and black cherry fruit entwined with a subtle layering of thyme herbs. The nose is fresh and vibrant and just beginning to show some secondary mineral and earthy suggestions. Medium-full bodied, the palate has a rich and concentrated core of ripe black cherry and dark-red berry fruit along with a subtle layer of herbs, earth and minerals. The mouthfeel is enlivened by refreshing lacy acidity, and the wine flows along a fine-textured, structural line that leads to a dry, lingering finish of dark-red fruits and dark herbs. This is a concentrated, lively Pinot Noir with flavours of dark-red berry and black cherry fruit, along with complexing herb notes, and a fine-textured structure and line. Match with lamb, beef and venison, and semi-hard cheeses over the next 5-6+ years. Clones 115, 5, Abel, 777 and 667 from the ‘Terrace’ vineyard, vines planted 2001, fermented to 14.2% alc., the wine aged 12 months in 30% new French oak barrels. 18.0+/20 May 2017 RRP $34.00

Moderately deep, dark ruby-red colour with lighter purple hues on edge. This has a soft and broad nose with lifted and piquant red berry fruit aromas, along with soft layers of savoury dried thyme herbs and dusty earthy notes, and some resinous oak nuances. Medium-full bodied, the flavours of savoury red fruits are tightly bound, with a dense core providing good weight and presence. The fruit is softly sweet and is encased in a dry-textured, chalky, tannin structure. The acidity is soft, allowing the solid, soft and dry mouthfeel to feature. The extraction becomes more prominent and leads to a dry finish with ethereal red fruit notes. This is a red-fruited, chalky-textured, dry Pinot Noir with the structure to age well. Serve with slow-cooked wild duck and pork dishes over the next 6-7+ years. Fruit from the TOSQ vineyard, Pisa, fermented to 14.2% alc., aged approx. 12 months in one-third new French oak. 18.0-/20 Jul 2014 RRP $35.00 TBC
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