Domaine-Thomson 2013 Explorer and 2011 Surveyor Thomson Pinot Noir
To represent David Hall-Jones and Pui Mun Chan’s new status as Pinot Noir growers in two hemispheres, ‘Domaine-Thomson’ has been created, with new livery and website. The labelling features a symbol that combines elements that represent both countries; the cockerel and kiwi for France and New Zealand respectively, a theodolite for the equipment used by Surveyor Thomson, and a scallop shell which comes from the stone fireplace of their home, which lies on one of the pilgrim routes of El Camino de Santiago, where the scallop is significant.
Here, I review the new 2013 ‘Explorer’ Pinot Noir and revisit the 2011 ‘Surveyor Thomson Pinot Noir, both these wines made by their winemaker from the start, Dean Shaw, and both under the new ‘Domaine-Thomson’ labels. www.domainethomsonwines.com
FEATURED WINES IN THIS REVIEW
Domaine-Thomson ‘Explorer’ Central Otago Pinot Noir 2013Pinot Noir from New Zealand - OtagoReview Date : 26-May-2015Full, even, dark ruby-red colour with slight purple hues, lighter on rim. This has a tightly bound, elegantly proportioned nose with complex aromas of dark red cherry and berry fruit melded with earthy and savoury dried herb elements, dusty seasoned oak, whole cluster detail and a hint of minerally reduction. The nose has a steely freshness to the expression. Medium-full bodied, the palate is elegant and tightly bound with savoury earth and dried herbal notes infused with cherry fruit and nutty, seasoned oak. The palate follows a fine-grained, dry tannin line, with balanced acidity lending good vitality. The freshness and youthfulness grows carries the sinewy, concentrated palate to a moderately long and sustained finish. This is an elegant, tight, cherry fruited and earthy Pinot Noir with a fine, sinewy palate. Match with lamb, beef and hard cheeses over the next 4-5+ years. Fruit from the 295 m ‘Moonblock’ vineyard from vines planted 2003, indigenous yeast fermented to 13.5% alc. with 15% whole bunches, 60% of the wine aged 10 months in second fill barrels. 16.5/20 May 2015 RRP $29.00
Domaine-Thomson ‘Surveyor Thomson’ Central Otago Pinot Noir 2011Pinot Noir from New Zealand - OtagoReview Date : 26-May-2015Even ruby-red colour with garnet hues, lighter edged. The bouquet is full and voluminous with layers of savoury red berry fruits entwined with dried herb and whole bunch stalk notes, undergrowth and hints of mushroom. This is showing complex secondary development and smoky oak nuances, the nose growing in depth and concentration in the glass. Medium-full bodied, softly concentrated and well integrated flavours of red berry fruits, earth, dried herbs, undergrowth are melded with complexing whole bunch stalk elements, smoke and cedar. The palate is underlined by very fine-grained tannins forming a concentrated core, good structure, with balancing acidity adding to the drive and line. The wine leads to a dry, detailed finish with earth, smoke and cedary notes. This is an elegantly concentrated, finely structured, savoury Pinot Noir with secondary complexities. Serve with coq au vin and casseoles over the next 5+ years. Pommard and Dijon clone fruit from the ‘Surveyor Thomson' site at Lowburn, given a cold soak and indigenous yeast fermented with less than 20% whole bunches to 13.5% alc., the wine spending approx. 25 days on skins and aged 10 months in 33% new French oak barriques. 18.0/20 May 2015 RRP $45.00 Moderately deep, dark garnet-red colour, lighter on rim. This has a soft, rich and aromatically lifted bouquet with an array of savoury red berry fruits intermingling with dried herb, mushroom and game notes showing whole cluster inclusion and some complexing secondary development. Medium-full bodied, complex flavours of savoury red fruits, dried herbs, undergrowth and game are the feature on the palate. The mouthfeel is bright, juicy and lively from fresh, lacy acidity, and the flavours are supported by fine, grainy tannin extraction and structure. The palate has drive, with good power and line, carrying the savoury flavours to a dry-textured, long, lingering finish. This is a grainy, sinewy Pinot Noir with complex secondary and whole bunch flavours and a fresh, lively mouthfeel. Serve with coq au vin and casseroles over the next 5+ years. Pommard and Dijon clone fruit from the ‘Surveyor Thomson' site at Lowburn, given a cold soak and indigenous yeast fermented with less than 20% whole bunches to 13.5% alc., the wine spending approx. 25 days on skins and aged 10 months in 33% new French oak barriques. 18.0-/20 Aug 2014 RRP $44.50