2021 High Garden Vineyard Pinot Noir - Central Otago NZ
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Situated at between 420 and 490 metres of altitude High Garden is the highest vineyard in Gibbston, Central Otago’s coolest sub region. It has great exposure to long sunshine hours. During the critical ripening month of April, sunshine hours are roughly 90 minutes longer than at the bottom of the valley. The vineyard slopes down towards the north allowing for the free draining of both air, which minimizes frost risk, and water; although the vines are now dry land farmed.
Planted twenty years ago with a combination of clones on low vigour rootstock, the vineyard is hand tended with great attention paid to canopy management and individual vine health in order to focus purely on grape quality.
The High Garden Pinot Noir vineyard is owned and the fruit grown by Robin Tedder. Robin has been growing grapes and making wine since 1993. He became a Master of Wine in 1997. The Viticulturist is Gary Crabbe, a highly experienced Viticulturist and a graduate of Lincoln. The Winemaker is Jennifer Parr, NZ Winemaker of the Year 2020.
"I’ve got a little secret to tell – I am not always a big fan of Central Otago Pinot Noir. Pinot is all about delicacy and finesse rather than sheer power and often I find the wines a little bit too big. But that’s just me. It is an incredibly diverse region which has over the years gained legions of passionate fans around the world.
This inaugural vintage of the High Garden Vineyard also comes with a hell of a lot of street credibility. It’s the personal project of Robin Tedder MW and is the highest vineyard in Gibston, Central Otago’s coolest region. It’s planted on a steep north facing slope which was planted twenty years ago with a range of clones and was made by Jen Parr, who is also the acclaimed and award winning winemaker at Valli. Enough said really.
Mid cherry red in colour it opens with beautifully seductive aromas. Powerful sweet dark cherry fruit with prominent young oak are lifted by savoury mushroom consommé, and truffle with a dusting of spice. It’s then dry, finely balanced and quite light weight for Otago thanks to that vineyard altitude, yet still carries a powerful core of fleshy, gamey fruits with bright acidity and mouthcoating tannins. The finish is long and strong, with a classic peacock’s tail gaining more floral and spicy complexity as it lingers till the very end. It’s seriously impressive and an outstanding first release. It might not be cheap, but it is worth every cent, and more."
97 points - Angus Hughson - Wine Pilot
"Medium crimson. Beautiful intense black cherry, strawberry and dried roses aromas with underlying roasted chestnut, herb garden notes. Round and supple with abundant black cherry, strawberry, apricot fruits, fine persistent chalky/lacy textures, superb mid-palate viscosity and perfectly integrated vanilla oak. Finishes with a lovely long feathery plume. A brilliant debut wine with lovely complexity, volume and mineral length.
13.5% alc Drink now – 2028+"
97 points - Andrew Caillard MW - Wine Pilot