Forager North Canterbury Pinot Noir 2017


Dominic Maxwell, winemaker at Greystone and Muddy Water, has been pursuing his own path with his ‘Forager’ label with Pinot Noir. It’s not too different to that taken by his work especially at Greystone, probably better described as ‘parallel’, though, he can push the envelope further with the technique of indigenous yeast vineyard fermentation with his own brand. Dom’s first release of the Forager Pinot Noir was with the 2012 vintage, using Greystone Vineyard fruit, which was followed by a beautifully rich and complex 2013. Only one barrel each of the 2014 and 2015 vintages were made. The 2016 was another step further in the development of Forager, this employing fruit from the ‘Blacks Ave’ vineyard rather than Greystone (click here to see my review). It was instructive to compare this wine with the 2016 Greystone ‘Vineyard Ferment’ wine, his wine seemingly more robust and the latter wine more ethereal to me.

The 2017 Forager Pinot Noir is Dom’s sixth release, and this time he has used fruit from a different site again – the ‘Isolated Hill’ vineyard on Amuri Limestone Quarry Hill in the Waiau district tended by the Black family. The vineyard is 40 km inland and is at 210 m altitude. The particularly interesting facet here is the high limestone content in the soil. The 2017 growing season shows its influence too, fine to begin with but wet at the end, resulting in low cropping, around 4 tonnes/ha. With the vineyard ferment, the temperature fluctuations, prolonged maceration and cooler-than-winery soaking temperatures came into play. I review the wine here. I see the wine with an array of detail, but with an elegant vintage expression. It has complexity. www.foragerwine.co.nz


  • Forager North Canterbury Pinot Noir 2017

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