Quartz Reef Bendigo Pinot Noir 2008 vs. Domaine de l’Arlot NSG Les Petits Plets 1er Cru 2008

These two bottles shared the same variety (most likely different clones) and the same vintage, but the difference in “terroir”, climate, soil and winemaking techniques (I’m pretty sure the recipe is different) produced two distinctively different wines. I didn’t jot down any tasting notes at all but suffice to say I found the NSG a lot easier to drink without food, and not overly extracted though the influence of oak was definitely pronounced in a more elegant way. What stood out for me were the lifted aromas and brighter red fruit profile on the NSG compared to the Central Otago Pinot. Surprisingly, the Quartz Reef’s Pinot opened up after more than a day and transformed its grainy tannins into something as soft as the NSG, making it far more likeable than when it was first unscrewed. Chemically, the burgundy didn’t stand up to the test by having high levels of detectable VA the following morning (I left some wine in the glass overnight) but the fruit flies didn’t seem to mind a single bit!

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