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Featured Reviews

Wooing Tree ‘Beetle Juice’ Central Otago Pinot Noir 2016

04 September,2017
‘Beetle Juice’ is the secondary Pinot Noir brand of the well-known Wooing Tree Vineyard at Cromwell in Central Otago. It is named after the critically endangered Cromwell Chafer Beetle found only in one site in Cromwell. An 81 ha area of windblown sand dunes has been set aside to preserve its habitat. The ‘Beetle Juice’ wine is a single vineyard wine, and made as a selection from fruit not employed in the ‘estate’ label. Wooing Tree proprietor tells me that due to the demand for this wine, much of the fruit destined for the ‘estate’ label is diverted to the making of the ‘Beetlejuice’. Peter Bartle of VinPro is the Wooing Tree winemaker. My most recent tasting of Wooing Tree Pinot Noirs (click here to see my reviews) suggested a vineyard character of fruit with more savoury flavours and greater textures. My review of this 2016 ‘Beetle Juice’ shows a more primary-fruit focussed wine, indicating the site character may need some bottle age to be exhibited clearly. Here is my review.


Wooing Tree ‘Beetle Juice’ Central Otago Pinot Noir 2016

Pinot Noir from New Zealand – Otago

Dark, deep, ruby-red colour with slight purple hues, lighter edged. The nose is elegant in proportion and softly packed with aroma of fragrantly ripe, dark-red very and cherry fruit with subtle notes of herb and earth, spices and suggestions of liquorice, and lifted violet florals. This has finesse and perfumes. Medium-full bodied, the palate has a fine and softly concentrated core of ripe, dark-red cherry and berry fruit flavours entwined with subtle notes of dark herbs, unfolding some spice, liquorice and floral elements. The fruit has freshness and richness, and is supported by supple, fine-grained tannin extraction and integrated acidity. The flavours carry to a long and sustained, aromatic finish of fresh, dark-red fruits. This is an elegant and softly concentrated, aromatic Pinot Noir with sweet red cherry and berry fruit, with notes of herbs and spices on a supple, fine palate. Match with poultry and pork, and Asian cuisine over the next 4+ years. Clones 115, 6, 667, 777 and Abel, the fruit hand-picked and fermented with 7% whole bunches to 13.4% alc., the wine aged 9 months in 34% new French oak. 17.5+/20 Sep 2017 RRP $28.00
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