Featured Reviews

Whistling Buoy 2016 ‘Kokolo’ Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, and ‘Half Acre’ Pinot Noir

17 January,2018

Whistling Buoy is the brand of the Pattinson family who run The Crater Rim Winery from Charteris Bay at the head of Lyttelton Harbour in Banks Peninsula. It is named after the original buoy making the entrance to the harbour. The Pattinsons point out they are the ‘true’ Crater Rim due to their location, and are not connected to the Crater Rim winery in Waipara. The Pattinsons have the ‘Half Acre’ vineyard planted in 2000, on Banks Peninsula, and their 4 ha ‘Kokolo’ vineyard, established to Chardonnay and Pinot Noir in 2003, at the head of Lyttelton Harbour, acquired by them in 2012. Neill and Jill Pattinson tend the vines personally with viticultural input from Cliff Woods, and the wines are made at the Muddy Water facility with input from winemaker son Chris. Here I review the 2016 Chardonnay and Pinot Noir from the ‘Kokolo’ vineyard, and the ‘Half Acre’ Pinot Noir. www.whistlingbouy.co.nz


Whistling Buoy ‘Kokolo Vineyard’ Canterbury Chardonnay 2016

Chardonnay from New Zealand – Canterbury & Waipara


Full, light golden-yellow colour with some depth. The nose is full and softly packed with deep and voluminous aromas of rich, ripe tropical fruit and citrus fruits harmoniously melded with creamy barrel-ferment and nutty oak layers and entwined with butterscotch MLF notes. Medium-full bodied, the palate is rich and lusciously fruited with up-front flavours of ripe tropical fruits entwined with creamy and nutty oak, and buttery MLF. The mouthfeel is plush with a soft-textured core and line, with bright acidity in support. The flavours carry with some underlying alcoholic drive, leading to a long, buttery finish. This is a rich, plush and up-front Chardonnay with ripe tropical fruit, creamy and nutty oak and plenty of butterscotch MLF flavours. Match with roast pork over the next 3+ years. Fruit WBP and partially indigenous yeast fermented in seasoned French oak to 14.0% alc., the wine aged 14 months in barrel with 10 months on lees and approx. 95% MLF. 17.5-/20 Jan 2018 RRP $32.00

Whistling Buoy ‘Kokolo Vineyard’ Canterbury Pinot Noir 2016

Pinot Noir from New Zealand – Canterbury & Waipara


Even, dark ruby-red colour with some youthful purple hues, lighter on the rim. This has an intense nose with good depth and elegantly concentrated aromas of dark-red berry fruit with subtle notes of blackberries entwined with dark herbs, unveiling violet florals, along with nuances of liquorice and nutty oak. Medium-full bodied, the palate has a moderately concentrated and deeply packed heart with flavours of dark-red berry fruit and raspberry liqueur notes, along with black-berried fruits and subtle dark herb and liquorice nuances. The fruit is supported by light, fine-grained tannin extraction and structure with integrated acidity. The wine carries along a fine line, leading to a lingering finish of liquorice and spices. This is a moderately concentrated Pinot Noir with well-packed flavours of dark-red berry and raspberry fruit with hints of herbs and liquorice on a fine-structured palate. Match with lamb and beef dishes over the next 5+ years. Fruit from the ‘Kokolo’ vineyard, fully destemmed and indigenous yeast fermented to 14.0% alc., the wine aged 10 months in 25% new French oak. 17.5+/20 Jan 2018 RRP $36.00

Whistling Buoy ‘Half Acre Vineyard’ Banks Peninsula Canterbury Pinot Noir 2016

Pinot Noir from New Zealand – Canterbury & Waipara


Even, purple-hued ruby-red colour, lighter on the edge. The nose is a little restrained with tightly bound and delicate fruit aromas of dark-red berry fruit entwined with hints of blackberries and black plums, along with subtle spicy oak, unfolding an amalgam of raspberry liqueur and violet florals. Medium-full bodied, the palate is elegantly proportioned with a refined and well-bound core of dark-red and black-berried fruits. Flavours of liquorice, dark herbs and violet florals add interest and detail. The palate possesses very fine-grained tannin extraction and structure, and the wine carries smoothly along a velvety line, leading to a long, lingering finish. This is an elegant and refined, concentrated Pinot Noir with ripe dark-red and black fruits with violet florals on a fine-grained, linear palate. Match with poultry and pork dishes over the next 6+ years. Fruit from the ‘Half Acre’ vineyard, fully destemmed and indigenous yeast fermented to 14.0% alc., the wine aged 10 months in 25% new French oak. 18.0+/20 Jan 2018 RRP $42.00

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