Terrace Edge Waipara Pinot Noir 2012 and 2011

The Chapman family can be excused for their many ‘high fives’ at present. Their 2012 Terrace Edge Waipara Pinot Noir has now taken three gold medals and a trophy, the golds at the Bragato Wine Awards, China Wine & Spirits and the N.Z. International Wine Show, with the trophy for Champion Pinot Noir at the latter judging. The Pinot Noir has always been well-regarded as an excellent example from the Waipara Valley, and with Dom Maxwell taking over the winemaking from Belinda Gould from the 2011 vintage, the wine seems to have taken a more pure aromatic expression. The stylistic change is subtle, but definite, though followers of the label seem to be able appreciate both winemaking approaches.

A balanced view regarding vintage character can also be taken with the multi-award winning 2012, and the 2011. The latter vintage is seen in the district as the better one in terms of ripeness, whereas 2012 is the cooler growing season. The riper year wines have darker, sweeter fruit and more substantial and firmer tannin structure, as well as more richness and body. A cooler year lends more elegance, aromatics, finesse and lower alcohols. It’s personal choice which is the preferred.

Here, I compare the new 2012 Terrace Edge Pinot Noir with the 2011 vintage, released not too long ago. Tasting the wines alongside each other puts things into a better perspective. In the time since I last saw the 2011 Terrace Edge Pinot Noir, in June this year, it has developed greater fruit expression, especially in the riper plum spectrum, and it now merits a rating equal to the 2012, and it may even outdo and outlast the 2012 in the final analysis! www.terraceedge.co.nz


  • Terrace Edge Waipara Valley Pinot Noir 2012
  • Terrace Edge Waipara Valley Pinot Noir 2011

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