Pinot 2013 – Day 2· Written Wine Reviews
Jan 30th, 2013 | By Jayson Bryant | Category: Written Wine Reviews
First keynote of the day was Mike Bennie. Mike talked about authenticity, talking the talking, and now having to walk the walk. The most entertaining speech given rapturous applause, whilst very true, the audience was split with those making, in my opinion, authentic wine and those who know they aren’t. With nervous laughter and nervous shuffling in the audience I felt that the authenticity nail was firmly hit.
With the help of Dan Simms, Mike had produced a video defining authenticity and what it meant in relation to wine and especially Pinot Noir.
Next up was Marlborough Pinot discussion and tasting.
A worrying statement from the floor is that “consistency breeds authenticity” I beg to differ. Consistency breeds homogenousisation. Various seasonal conditions and attributes add intrigue to wine. It would be remiss of Marlborough, and any other region, to rely on consistency. Variety is the spice of life, and many consumers do not want NZ wine to be produced like coke!
Marlborough underplays the quality of its Pinot Noir. The value of their Pinot would also suggest this. Value for money, Marlborough over delivers, and far too often we’re told that Central Otago is the place for Pinot. The people of Marlborough are humble, as are most of their Pinots.
A whopping 46% of all Pinot Noir bottled in New Zealand comes from Marlborough. It’s a big hitter but Pinot lives in the shadow of Sauvignon Blanc. Events like this help shine a little light under the carpet on the other varieties.
Highlights of the tasting:
There’s something special happening with a small group of wineries in Marlborough. They call themselves MaNa. They try and make their wines as naturally as possible. They are some of the smartest NZ wines I’ve had the pleasure of tasting.
The group includes Te Whare Ra, Fromm, Herzog, Huia, Rock Ferry, Seresin, and Clos Henri. I can honestly say that there wasn’t a single wine that I didn’t like. Seresin’s ‘Sun and Moon’ Pinot Noir 2009 rivaled New Zealand’s greatest wines, if not the best. Te Whare Ra 2009 and Fromm Clayvin 2010 was also at the top, as was Herzog 2010.
Simply put, these guys are rocking it. The philosophy of the group is very much in line with with my own beliefs, and if they’re making great wine, then so much the better. Their wines have an x-factor, as I find with many biodynamic wines. Ask me to pick them blind and I may struggle.
Each wine represented something of the winemaker. A radiance, an honesty, and integrity are the keys to these wines, much like the people who are involved in making them.
Overall, I find Marlborough the most exciting Pinot Region. There were more wines at the tasting that wow’d me than the other regions.
For more details on Mana