The Writer’s Block
The Writer’s Block is the personal project of Brendan Seal who is making tiny volumes of single vineyard wines from Central Otago. A winemaker with extensive experience in the region making wine there since 1999, including roles at Chard Farm, Mt Difficulty and Mount Edward, Brendan has made Pinot Noir in Oregon and California, in addition to work in Alsace, Cyprus and the U.K. In 2013, Brendan set up the Packspur Wine Studio, a small-scale contract facility to produce wines for himself and small-volume premium clients such as Georgetown Vineyard and Kalex.
His Writer’s Block label is a vehicle to produce distinctive wines from unique vineyard sites and often involve some experimentation with winemaking techniques. Like an author, Brendan only intends to release when he feels the vineyard and winemaking has "something worthwhile to say”. The analogy continues "authors write all the time, but they don’t release everything they write”.
In 2016, Brendan established URBN VINO, an urban winery in a heritage building in Dunedin where her transported fruit from Central Otago to vinify. This is a concept that has proven very successful overseas, and can also be seen in the proliferation of craft breweries in cities. He has continued to expand the venture with the assistance of crowd funding. He plans to move his base of operation to Dunedin for the 2018 vintage and will offer an interactive wine experience in winemaking for groups visiting his urban winery. The wines made will be under the Urbn Vino Dunedin label. www.urbnvino.nz
Archived tasting notes on wines no longer commercially available can be seen by clicking here
FEATURED WINES IN THIS REVIEW
Urbn Vino Dunedin Pinot Noir 2018, Central OtagoPinot Noir from New Zealand - OtagoReview Date : 03-Sep-2020Deep, ruby-red with a dark-purple hue and some transparency, even colour throughout. The nose is softly-full and fragrant, aromas of violet, melded with dark herbs, aromatic black cherries, blackberries, along with a light dusting of spices. Medium-full bodied, the palate is rich with a savoury tone of black cherries, blackberries; dark herbs also contribute to the weight, lingers with subtle spices to a linear finish. The fruit is dense with good intensity of ripe fruit, elevated by savoury elements, broaden the palate with weight. Tannin is finely extracted, velvety and ripe; flows with lacy acidity to a lengthy finish. This is an elegantly-rich Pinot Noir with aromas of black fruit, violet on a ripe and velvety tannin line. Match with lamb and venison over the next 3-4 years. 60% fruit from Bendigo, all clone 114, destemmed. 40% fruit from Gibbston, 30% whole bunches. Aged 12 months in barrels, 15% new. Unfiltered. 18.5/20 pts Sept 2020 RRP $42