It was very pleasing to attend the public release of The Elder Pinot Gris 2011 at The Museum Hotel. The vineyard that Mike and Margaret Hanson have overlooking Te Muna Road in Martinborough is a special one, and its consistency in producing quality fruit is proven, as much of it has gone into the Pinot Noir wines for Martinborough Vineyard. The fruit the Hansons bottle for themselves with their friends and business partners Nigel and Bridgit Elder under ‘The Elder Pinot’ brand shows its breeding too, even after only two vintages of the Pinot Gris, and the inaugural release of the Pinot Noir 2010 which has now had the benefit of some bottle-age.
Nigel Elder presented his 2011 Pinot Gris, noting the differences compared to the 2010, the new wine being a little less full and rich than the 2010, but benefitting from the different growing season by being a more elegant, aromatic and livelier style. Nigel noted that his winemaker Paul Mason of Martinborough Vineyard made the two wines in an identical fashion, and that the differences in style are purely a representation of the growing season. He reminded us that wines made in edgier growing regions exhibit such variation, and are celebrated. Just ask the Bugundians and the Bordelais. After all, we don’t need the consistency of Coca Cola, someone remarked!
I have recently reviewed The Elder Pinot Gris 2011 (click here to see), and can say the wine looks very good. It seems to have settled a little more and is showing an extra degree of harmony. It should develop well and could deserve a better rating in the coming months. I personally prefer the elegance of the 2011 over the rounder 2010 as a wine to match with the Chinese cuisine that I seem to eat a lot of! To taste The Elder Pinot Noir 2010 again was very satisfying. (See my review of it here.) It has become more vibrant and defined in fruit clarity, and it looked impressive with excellent structure. Nigel Elder has the 2011 vintage Pinot Noir waiting in the wings, ready to release when the 2010 runs out, which isn’t too far away. He says it will reflect the growing season, as the Pinot Gris wines have, but I’ll be sure it’ll be a very smart wine too. Look out for my review soon. www.theelderpinot.co.nz