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2013 Mt Difficulty Long Gully Pinot Noir

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Winemaker's Notes

Long Gully Pinot Noir is hand crafted in very limited quantities and only released in outstanding vintages. Crisp blackberry and Bing cherry interplay with baronial floral notes alongside an assemblage of sweet brown spices. These same lifted dark cherry and berry notes dominate the entry onto the palate; there’s a classic Long Gully dense mid-palate with flow and texture. The wine finishes strongly with a lovely tension present right through the fine-grained tannins and spicy dark berry fruit.

Cellaring potential: Mt Difficulty Long Gully Pinot Noir will improve for 10 – 15 years given optimal cellaring conditions.

Vintage 2013: The growing season in 2013 kicked off with a cool spring. Frosts in early November reduced production from Station Block, at the top of the Cromwell basin, but Bannockburn was untouched. Although the cool spring continued after that, temperatures warmed just before Christmas in time to make for a very successful flowering. January was cooler and wetter than average and then February onwards was very warm and dry. We experienced a protracted veraison (the point at which the grapes stop growing and start to ripen, characterised by colour change) leading to increased variability in ripeness. To counter this we introduced a late colour thin to ensure fruit arrived in optimal condition at harvest. Early autumn returned to more classic settled Central autumnal conditions, and harvest started on the 3rd of April, continuing through until the 3rd of May. It was a normal yielding year, with nice focused acidity and interesting flavour profiles reflecting, to some degree, the variability of the season.

Vineyards: The grapes for the wines that carry the Mt Difficulty label are subject to two strict criteria: they are managed under the umbrella of the Mt Difficulty viticultural team and must be sourced from vineyards situated in a very specific area - the South side of the Kawarau River at Bannockburn. Mt Difficulty Single Vineyard wines are even more site specific, created to express the terroir from which they come, and thus Mt Difficulty Long Gully Pinot Noir is the essence of the vineyard itself. Long Gully has Lochar soils with thin and wavy clay pans which are deep enough to cause no impediment to roots or drainage. These are well-drained, high pH soils ideally suited to viticulture. They generally have a 30 cm depth of top soil over fine to moderately coarse gravels. The majority of the fruit in the Long Gully Pinot Noir is from vines that are 18-21 years old with a smattering from vines that are 15 years old.

Winemaking considerations: The fruit for this wine was harvested from our Long Gully vineyard on the 8th and 15th of April. Two thirds of the grapes were destemmed with 25% whole clusters were retained, the balance was fully destemmed. The ferments typically underwent a period of 8 days pre-fermentation maceration at about 90C. Fermentation took a period of 10-14 days with a maximum temperature of 300C; the wine sat on skins for a further 7 to 8 days until it tasted in harmony. The wine was punched down a maximum of once daily right through its maceration on skins. The wine was settled overnight after pressing, and racked to barrel for 16 months. The wine underwent natural malolactic fermentation in the spring and was racked out of barrel in late August. The wine was not filtered or fined before bottling in December 2014.

Alc/vol: 14.0%

expert reviews about

2013 Mt Difficulty Long Gully Pinot Noir

Expert Reviews

WINESTATE (2011 Vintage) says
80
Nick Stock (2010 Vintage) says
This single-site Bannockburn pinot noir has plenty of colour and depth, and is more understated than its Pipeclay Terrace sibling, offering plenty of ripe cherry and plum fruits with some red berries too, spicy oak and a sappy edge. The palate is smooth and swirling, delivering plenty of weight and flavour amid long, silky tannins that are really drenched in fleshy fruit; really neatly balanced and approachable.
Good Wine Guide 2013
93
Tyson Stelzer (2010 Vintage) says
It’s easy to misjudge Mt Difficulty’s pinots on first impressions. These are not flamboyant crowd pleasers, but rather tightly-coiled, structural wines, engineered for the long-haul, with aspirations that many New World pinots can but dream of. Target Gully leads out with a wonderful assemblage of fragrant morello cherry fruit of beautiful precision and outstanding persistence. Then its rigid oak chassis shows its form in excellent, firm, fine tannins and more than a touch of wood spice. The fruit always remains the focus, layered with black and red cherries, underlined by tangy acidity. This is an excellent vintage for Target Gully, and one that will live long indeed.
Wine Taste Edition 103 2013
95
Nick Stock (2009 Vintage) says
The single-site Long Gully pinot noir has brambly ripe summer berry fruits, some sweet cassia bark spice, fragrant lift and sweet, sappy notes. The palate's smooth, linear and packed with deceptively firm tannins that run straight length-wise, forming a reliable spinal cord. Should age neatly.
The Good Wine Guide 2012
95
Tyson Stelzer (2009 Vintage) says
My score changed three times over 48 hours as I tasted this wine, ever upward. On opening, the palate showed assertive structure of firm, fine, savoury tannins of near Burgundian proportions, its oak and fruit tussling in structural tension. In time, a core of red cherry fruit burst from its brittle shell, blossoming into a palate of wonderful rose petal fragrance, laced with sour morello cherries, plum skin, dried herbs and pink pepper. Greater things are yet to come.
95
Michael Cooper (2009 Vintage) says
From a vineyard that supplies core fruit for the Mt Difficulty Central Otago Pinot Noir label, this is promoted as a more 'feminine' style than its Pipe clay Terrace stablemate. The 2009 vintage, matured for 14 months in French oak barriques, is dark and highly concentrated, with a savoury, complex bouquet, very youthful cherry, plum and spice flavours, and firm tannins beneath. Drink 2013+.
Buyer's Guide to New Zealand Wines
Nick Stock (2008 Vintage) says
Always a highlight of the Otago pinot offering, the '08 Long Gully has plenty of ripeness and innate terroir-driven complexity at hand. The aromas sit in the red-cherry and plum spectrum, with stony, musky fragrance here too. There's a brambly, fresh-trodden forest floor element building, some cola as well, and spicy, dark toasty oak - really complex! The palate's supple and silky, with a fine bed of tannin carving a lithe, complete and nicely shaped flavoursome impression. Bright cherry and fine, fluffy, close-packed tannins run deep.
The Good Wine Guide 2011
Nick Stock (2007 Vintage) says
Lighter, brighter, more feminine fruits in this Long Gully vineyard cuvée, showing some more gravelly nuances and fragrant, refined aromas. Superb, precise palate with impressive arching lift across the middle that lands right in the red cherry flavour spectrum. Fine acidity and fine tannins start and finish on point. Very, very tidy.
The Penguin Good Australian Wine Guide 2010 2009
96
Michael Cooper (2000 Vintage) says
Grown at Bannockburn, in Central Otago, the finely balanced, full-flavoured 2000 vintage is a lively wine with sweet fruit characters, integrated oak, some nutty complexity, supple tannins and good length. The fruit-packed 2001 vintage is a gendy oaked style with fragrant cherry and red berry aromas. Full-coloured, it's a mouthfilling wine with lush, vibrant berry fruit and plum flavours and supple tannins in an instantly appealing style.
Buyer's Guide to New Zealand Wines
Michael Cooper (1999 Vintage) says
This looks like a top Central Otago red on the rise. The 1998 vintage is a concentrated Bannockburn wine, complex, nutty and firmly structured, with sweet, ripe fruit wrapped in charry, toasty oak. The 1999, matured in French oak barriques (45 per cent new), is highly refined. Fresh, fruity and vibrant, with warm, deep cherry and spice flavours, it's mouthfilling and still very youthful, with intense, sweet fruit characters and a strong seasoning of nutty oak. One for the cellar.
Buyer's Guide to New Zealand Wines
Michael Cooper (1998 Vintage) says
This looks like a top Central Otago red on the rise. The 1998 vintage is a concentrated Bannockburn wine, complex, nutty and firmly structured, with sweet, ripe fruit wrapped in charry, toasty oak. The 1999, matured in French oak barriques (45 per cent new), is highly refined. Fresh, fruity and vibrant, with warm, deep cherry and spice flavours, it's mouthfilling and still very youthful, with intense, sweet fruit characters and a strong seasoning of nutty oak. One for the cellar.
Buyer's Guide to New Zealand Wines

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