Grasshopper Rock Earnscleugh Pinot Noir 2015

Phil Handford heads a consortium of owners which operates Grasshopper Rock in the Earnscleugh district of Alexandra, Central Otago. There are 7.8 ha of Pinot Noir vines planted in 2003, to clones 115, 667, 777, Abel. 5 and 114, the clones and rootstock matched to the different blocks and soils. The wine produced is a true single vineyard expression employing fruit from the whole contiguous site, though a single block wine was produced in 2014. Mike Moffitt tends to the viticulture, and the wine made by Pete Bartle of VinPro since 2009, taking over from Carol Bunn who made the 2009 back to the inaugural 2006 vintage. The wine is one of the most consistently highly awarded Central Otago Pinot Noirs. I recently tasted the 2015 vintage at the recent Pinot Noir 2017 event (click here to see my report). The 2015 growing season started off cooler than normal which retarded flower development, but a warm December gave good flowering conditions. Smaller and more open bunches resulted, and a warm autumn led to earlier picking than normal. It appears the season gave excellent fruit in good quantity. Here is my ‘Feature Review’ of the wine tasted under more controlled conditions.


  • Grasshopper Rock ‘Earnscleugh Vineyard’ Central Otago Pinot Noir 2015

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