Grasshopper Rock Pinot Noir 2010


The Alexandra Basin has been home to some of the earliest plantings in modern winegrowing times for Central Otago. The district has some of New Zealand's hottest summers, but the large diurnal range moderated the temperatures. Along with the schist-influenced soils, Alexandra is particularly suited to grapegrowing. Although the other sub-regions of Central Otago have garnered the spotlight over recent times, Alexandra is gaining much attention with the continued work of pioneer Black Ridge, and the social media and marketing acumen of Sam Neill of Two Paddocks. Of the up-and-coming names, Grasshopper Rock is notable for its consistency at the highest level. (Click here to see my review of the 2006-2009 vintages.) It is an operation devoted to Pinot Noir, owned by five families involved in agriculture, headed by Phil Handford. Mike Moffitt is the vineyard manager who saw the development of the vineyard from a bare paddock, and his brother Steve has the viticultural expertise. The wines are made at VinPro, the 2006-2009 wines by Carol Bunn, and the new release 2010 by Peter Bartle. The 2010 release consolidates the achievements to date and continues the rise in quality. www.grasshopperrock.co.nz

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