2014 Naked Vine Marlborough Pinot Noir
2013 Nautilus Estate Pinot Noir
Finding good Pinot for under $30 is hard work. Damn tricky. It's a quest that requires us to taste absolute shedloads of wine, most of which waver between 'flavourless red cordial impersonation' and 'that's not Pinot Noir'.
But then wines like this Naked Vine Pinot Noir come along! Known as the nude Pinot here at Cracka HQ (we're inventive), it comes from Marlborough's renowned Patriarch Vineyard - a certified organic plot with an ever-growing profile.
There's talent behind the vats too, with ex-Grove Mill winemaker Josh Jackson in the winery and noted organic viticulturist Bart Arnst in the vineyard.
The duo believes that minimal intervention practices in vineyard and winery have helped make this wine special. The proof is in the pudding, and this Naked Vine Pinot Noir is a real smooth operator, carrying that classic Marlborough juiciness with no shortage of spice and depth. 100
Vibrant dark fruits such as black berry, black current (cassis), dark cherries and plums, with cinnamon spice, and a seasoning of pepper and toasty caramel toasty French oak, combine to give the wine a complex and intriguing nose.
The generous fruity palate has a round soft tannin structure which is nicely seasoned with smoky caramel oak. This wine may go well with dishes containing red meats, such as venison and beef, and cheese. Try with Italian cuisine, such a Pizza or Lasagne, and of course it will accompany a cheese board.
Wine will continue to develop over the next two years and may reward further cellaring for up to 6 years. This wine was made with a philosophy of minimal intervention and following organic winemaking practices. The resulting wine therefore showcases the terroir of the unique Patriarch vineyard site in the upper Wairau valley. In 2014 this wine is made from a selection of 70% B777 and 30% Abel clones Pinot Noir. The warm growing condition in the Patriarch vineyard ripens both these heat loving clones to perfection.
I believe the 777 Clone brings sweet berry, cassis and spice to the blend and the Abel component contributes an extra depth of colour and the dark plum stone fruit flavours to this wine.
Raymond Chan says:“
Even, light ruby-red colour, pale on the rim. This has a soft, gently fragrant nose of dark red cherry and berry fruit lifted by a little volatility. The aromatics build in depth, revealing red liquorice, spice and earthy elements and subtle herbal detail along with some cedary oak notes. Medium-bodied, the palate features soft, lifted cherry and berry fruit flavours held in a rounded core. The wine unfolds spice, cedar, earth and herb notes, all lifted by the volatile elements. The mouthfeel is soft in texture and acidity, with the flavours gently filling the palate, showing liquorice and plums, and carrying to a soft, dry finish. This is a soft, gently rounded Pinot Noir with red cherry and berry fruit, along with plum and earthy detail, lifted by some volatility. Serve with poultry, pork and Middle Easter fare over the next 2-3 years. Fruit from the ‘Patriarch’ vineyard, fermented to 13.0% alc., the wine aged in 14% new French oak barriques. Certified BioGro organic.