The Otago Pinot is sourced from the mature Lowburn Ferry vineyard in Lowburn. Since 2018, this site has been owned by Pyramid Valley and has been renamed Manata Estate. Blessed with some of the oldest vines in Central Otago, the vineyard was founded by Roger and Jean Gibson, and is currently well on its way to organic/biodynamic certification. The site is on a gentle north-facing slope with a mix of clones and 30% own-rooted vines. Soils are predominately loess over deep silts that have developed lime deposits.
Like the North Canterbury Pinot Noir, the fruit was hand-harvested and fermented with natural yeasts in open-top fermenters and wooden cuves, this time with 20% whole bunches. The 2019 was aged in French oak barriques and cuves for around 11 months (of which 20% was new oak).
Pure, lifted aromas of thyme and red cherries waft from the glass, underscored by an alluring spice-like complexity. Beautifully weighted, the wine’s soft, silky texture and wispy, fine-grained tannins surround bright red fruits, while crunchy acidity gifts freshness and length.
“Attractive, seamless and silken pinot noir with violet, red rose and ripe cherry flavours together with a hint of dried herb and spice.” 95 points, Bob Campbell, The Real Review
“Juicy, natural feeling Central Otago Pinot here. Poached strawberry, thyme, spice and a kiss of vanilla oak. It’s squishy and subtly sappy, brown spices and more of that wild herb perfume, a clay and earthy feel, a little tamarind tang on a finish of moderate length and powdery grip. Good wine, with no shortage of interest and texture.” 91 points. Gary Walsh, The Winefront