Scott Base 2015 Central Otago Pinot Noir and Reserve Pinot Noir

Allan and Cathy Scott and their family of Marlborough call ‘Scott Base’ their "little slice of Paradise in Central Otago”. It is the former Mount Michael vineyard situated on a terrace on McNab Road overlooking Cromwell with views of Lake Dunstan, the Nevis and Pisa ranges to the south and north-east respectively. The vineyard has just over 6 ha of vines, most of it sloping perfectly, facing the north. It was originally established by Martin and Sue Anderson in 1994 who planted Pinot Noir, mostly clones 777 and 667 with some clone 5 and 10/5, ungrafted, and Chardonnay to clones 6 and 95.

The Scotts were part of a syndicate that purchased the vineyard in 2004, with the family taking total ownership in 2008, but without the rights to the Mount Michael brand. With wines being made from the property, the ‘Scott Base’ label came about as the family referred to the vineyard as the Scott family’s base in Central Otago. In adopting the name of an actual place as a brand, the Scott family donate a portion of the sales of the wines to the Antarctic Heritage Trust which maintains the Scott, Shackleton and Hillary Huts.

Allan and Cathy have been enamoured with the wines from the property from the start, and continue the style, with improvements. The Scotts have invested in keeping the vines and vineyard in the best possible condition with a programme of upgrading trellising, irrigation and better land flow. The viticulture is managed by Don Pannett. The fruit for the vines is transported to the Allan Scott winery in Marlborough for vinification, but there may be a winery built on site in the future. Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Methode Tradionnelle wines are made by the Allan Scott team. Carolyn Murray operates a cellar door on the property called ‘Space at the Base’, selling the Scott Base and Allan Scott wines as well as Moa Beer. There are plans to upgrade the Scott Base labelling and create a dedicated website to emphasise the brand’s special identity.

Here, I review the new 2015 Pinot Noir and ‘Reserve’ Pinot Noir. Their differentiation is based on both vineyard and barrel selection.


  • Scott Base Central Otago Pinot Noir 2015
  • Scott Base ‘Reserve’ Central Otago Pinot Noir 2015

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