Brennan Gibbston Pinot Noir 2012 Revisited

It is very difficult to grasp an understanding of what a vigneron is trying to achieve on tasting only one vintage of his wine, and without his input and explanation. There are many supremely confident and experienced tasters who have tasted so widely over decades, that they have the ability to deduce and understand the style and nuance of a new wine presented on one occasion. They have the repertoire of a tasting library in their minds and palates to make a correct assessment of a wine first up. Unfortunately, I’m not one of those gifted people, so if I get the chance to taste a wine with an understanding of its background of philosophy and production, it really helps me come to grips with appreciating it.

In February earlier this year, I was provided with a sample of the 2012 Brennan Central Otago Pinot Noir by winemaker Sarah Burton, who had recently joined Sean Brennan at his Gibbston Valley vineyard and winery. On tasting the wine, I found it impressively tasty with a full range of interesting flavours and a vigorous mouthfeel. Against most other Pinot Noirs I was tasting at the time, it was on the very strong end of the scale, and indeed amongst the other Pinot Noirs, it was extremely bold. Playing safe, I marked it conservatively at 17.5+/20.

Last month I was sent the 2011 vintage Brennan Pinot Noir by marketing manager Rebecca Potez. This wine was of a very similar ilk to the 2012, and it dawned upon me this was the house style of the wines. I particularly liked the complete package of the 2011, marking it 18.5-/20. I only felt it fair to reassess the 2012 in the light of having tasted the 2011. Rebecca Potez obliged with another sample. Here is my revised review of the wine. The 2011 is the current release, and the 2012 is to follow in the future.


  • Brennan Gibbston Central Otago Pinot Noir 2012

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