What a pleasure it was sharing so many great Pinot Noirs with all of those who attended the tasting. Quite a variety of wines and also enjoyed with some great food from Justin Quek!
Here's my take on a few highlights. As MC John Saker said, it was a tasting heavily influenced by the vintage. Two of the Oregon wines were superb; the Argyle "Nuthouse" and the Soter Mineral Springs. The Burgundies were good despite a very difficult vintage. The much discussed Clos de Tart and the Clos de la Roche were my picks there. From a challenging NZ vintage, I thought our Mustang Vineyard and Felton Road Calvert were looking especially good.
For me, the best wine on the day was the Soter Mineral Springs. Given that vintage is also a part of terroir/sense of place, we should embrace great wines from great vintages. Tasting notes: On the nose a lovely mix of red and dark fruits, smokey oak, touch of herbs. Nice attractive complexity. The palate has a supple entry, mix of fruit returns. Plush tannins and balanced acidity. Extremely likeable.
My favourite wine was the Clos de Lambrays (lovely perfumed, haunting aromas of wild strawberry, exotic spices, dried herbs, with a dense, mineral-laced palate with fine, powdery tannins and a long, smoky finish), although I think the Clos de Tart will be the best wine in ten years time.
Best Kiwis for me were your Cloudy Bay Mustang (oaky at this stage, but plump with nice rich tannins) and the Escarpment Pahi (serious old vine richness, plush with fine-grained tannins).
Thank's again, Matt Deller
The hospitality at Cloudy Bay was really great. Everything was paced so that we visitors could really enjoy ourselves as well as learn a lot about Cloudy Bay and Pinot Noir, and also meet such an interesting group of wine lovers from around the globe.
My highlights from the tasting were wines from New Zealand and Oregon. Although there was some discussion about the future greatness of the Burgundies (and I love aged Pinot) I find it difficult to recognize the potential while being overwhelmed by the dizzying experience of sitting in a room filled with oak barrels and with hundreds of poured glasses of wine filling the air with glorious pinot aromas. I was taken by what could be consumed now. Re-reading my tasting notes is fun. As if I was judging a cocktail competition, I wrote down my top 6 before the wines were announced; 15, 11, 19, 6, 9, 14
15. Felton Road; Dark cherry Rusty Warm-meaty Long
11. Mustang Warm Big & Juicy, great structure Long…..
19. Soter Very dark Bacon & egg pie Rich lush delicious
6. Kooyong Cherry Mushroom field Rainy autumn Elegant finish
9. Argyle Raw wood Dry grip fruit lacking – opened up Long…
14. Dujac Ruby Camphor Minty bold Long
My mother makes a great bacon and egg pie and Argyle required revisiting and I ramped up its score at the last minute. This is what I wrote about Clos de Tart; cold fireplace ashes, dry summer kitchen woodshed. Go figure? It was trying to take me somewhere, but I was caught in the now.
The lunch by Justin Quek was sensational. I enjoyed sea urchin for the first time. Thank you to Jane Skilton MW for introducing ‘tension’ into my tasting vocabulary, though I’m still not sure what it means. Am I seeing it in the meniscus, feeling it on my palate or tasting winemaker angst?
Thank you Cloudy Bay,