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2014 Berry Bros. & Rudd New Zealand Pinot Noir by Greystone Wines
Greystone Wines began in 2000 when the Thomas Family purchased a farm with exceptional limestone soils in the Omihi hills in Waipara. Viticultural specialist Nick Gill was bought over from Penfolds to plant 13 blocks on this unique terroir and by 2004 work was complete. Dom Maxwell, who had been working as an accountant in London, was hired as the winemaker and the first vintage was 2008. It is the soil on this site that makes it particularly interesting with hard limestone rock moving down towards clay on the north-facing slopes, providing excellent terroir for Pinot Noir.
Greystone’s top wine, The Brothers’ Reserve Pinot Noir, comes from a small, single block made up of solid limestone with a small amount of clay. The wine matures for 15 months in 70 percent new French oak and is bottled without fining or filtration. The 2012 vintage on show today won the International Pinot Noir Trophy at the 2014 Decanter World Wine Awards.
Pinot Noir is probably the most frustrating, and at times infuriating, wine grape in the world. However when it is successful, it can produce some of the most sublime wines known to man. This thin-skinned grape which grows in small, tight bunches performs well on well-drained, deepish limestone based subsoils as are found on Burgundy's Côte d'Or.
Pinot Noir is more susceptible than other varieties to over cropping - concentration and varietal character disappear rapidly if yields are excessive and yields as little as 25hl/ha are the norm for some climats of the Côte d`Or.
Because of the thinness of the skins, Pinot Noir wines are lighter in colour, body and tannins. However the best wines have grip, complexity and an intensity of fruit seldom found in wine from other grapes. Young Pinot Noir can smell almost sweet, redolent with freshly crushed raspberries, cherries and redcurrants. When mature, the best wines develop a sensuous, silky mouth feel with the fruit flavours deepening and gamey "sous-bois" nuances emerging.
The best examples are still found in Burgundy, although Pinot Noir`s key role in Champagne should not be forgotten. It is grown throughout the world with notable success in the Carneros and Russian River Valley districts of California, and the Martinborough and Central Otago regions of New Zealand.