Mt Difficulty Bannockburn Pinot Noir 2014

With beginnings in the early 1990s, Mt Difficulty is one of the leading names of Central Otago making wines that wonderfully represent the region, and in particular the Bannockburn district. The company draws from its six prime estate vineyards: Templars Hill, Pipeclay Terrace, Menzies Terrace, Mansons Farm, Target Gully and Long Gully, totalling 40 ha, and these are supplemented with fruit from company-managed contract vineyards. While the single vineyard Pinot Noirs, introduced in 2001 are the flagships, it is the ‘Bannockburn’ Pinot Noir, first vintaged in 1998 that is the most important wine. Winemaker Matt Dicey has been developing the style over the years, moving away from the stereotypical ‘Central Otago fruit-bomb’ expression to that with "texture, flow and structure”. It’s a laudable evolution, in tune with what the sophisticated top-end Pinot Noir market desires. Here, I review the current 2014 release, a vintage that tended towards higher crops of bigger berries, with a warm finish, requiring considerable viticultural work to provide fruit within ideal picking parameters. Matt is very pleased with the result, describing the wine as "perfumed, plush, textural, exciting”. I also review the 2009 Pinot Noir, provided as a counterpoint, from a slightly cooler, lower yield harvest, showing the ability for the wine to age.


  • Mt Difficulty Bannockburn Central Otago Pinot Noir 2014
  • Mt Difficulty Central Otago Pinot Noir 2009

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