Rippon Mature Vine Pinot Noir 2009, Lake Wanaka

Rippon Mature Vine Pinot Noir 2008“Keep some room in your heart for the unimaginable.” ~ Mary Oliver.

Cate was right – this bottle needed time for the essential transformation into something elegant and somewhat restrained. One of the very very few Central Otago Pinot Noir that had left an impression (thus far). No tasting notes here unfortunately, but if you’re cracking it open for the Rugby game this coming weekend, do that first thing in the morning on Sunday, or better still, the night before and seal the bottle with the original diam cork loosely. Oh, and get some food too đŸ™‚

2009 Chard Farm The Tiger, Central Otago, New Zealand

Chard Farm The Tiger Pinot Noir, Central Otago 2009Bright alluring ruby red with a pale meniscus. Sweet cherries, mandarin peel, leafy, tones of coconut aromas on the nose with a tiny touch of Brett; cranberries and plenty of tart red fruits on the palate; med+ acidity and med+ finish with a slightly spicy aftertaste. Firm muscular tannins.

I didn’t think I would drink it this soon but I guess I didn’t want to brave the snow and chilly wind to get more reds yesterday? đŸ˜‰ Thank God the sun is shining brightly this morning!

South Island vs. North Island Chardonnay, New Zealand

Felton Road vs Kumeu River Chardonnay
Felton Road Block 2 Chardonnay 2009, Central Otago, NZ.
Pale straw yellow core. Mineral nose reminiscent of a good white burgundy, nutty (think hazelnut), cream and strong corn ice-cream (ais krim jagung anyone?) aromas. Similar taste on the palate with a touch of lemon. I can’t help but think that the primary fruit aromas/flavours were masked at this juncture and the wine appeared to be a little disjointed. Med to med+ finish. Good acidity. Elegant. Needs time? Compare the notes from the winery here. Quite a stark difference ae?

Kumeu River Mate’s Vineyard Chard 2008, Kumeu, NZ.
Light golden yellow core. A different animal compared to Felton Road’s rendition. Dense, fresh and bright on the nose with pronounced oak/vanilla, and plenty of citrus flavours.  Hints of ripe pineapple aftertaste but ended on a somewhat persistent bitter finish (which mellowed significantly with a helping of some salty green peppercorn salami). Med acidity. Med to med- length. Brash and young. You can read about the product description here.

There you go. A comparison made between two famous producers in New Zealand – one from the southern most end (as far as viticultural areas are concerned) of the South Island, and the other from the north of Auckland. If you want to talk about terroir, I think there’s plenty of room for discussion, or debate, if you will. I think both of these wines were beautifully made and I can see the burgundian influence in their winemaking approach – after all, how many NZ Chardonnays are capable of giving you that characteristic matchstick aroma the moment you uncork unscrew the cork cap? Btw, many thanks to AL who generously shared the wines with me!

Felton Road Block 1 Riesling 2010, Bannockburn, New Zealand

Lifted aromas of fresh, ripe apricots, ripe granny smith with a light touch of honey which were immediately pleasing and likeable. Good balance on acidity and sugar here even though it’s a 2010 vintage. The finish, however, was a tad short. But it still made a perfectly wonderful drink on a late Friday night (with a friend who brought me the bottle).

Edited: Found out that there was 65g/l of sugar in the wine. Didn’t think there was so much residual sugar (as anything less than 2g/l is perceived to be “dry” on our olfactory system). But it goes to show that they got the TA/RS levels right!