Amisfield RKV Pinot Noir 2006
Pinot Noir from Central Otago, New Zealand
The Rocky Knoll is a small block at Amisfield Vineyard whose soil differs greatly from the areas around it. It consists mainly of glacial deposits left by the retreat of the giant Wanaka glacier some 680 million years ago. Planted with 100% Dijon clones, from the first vintage in 2003 we realised that this parcel was something unique.
Having such great grapes to work with gave us the latitude to use some interesting traditional winemaking techniques. Firstly the fruit was sorted into different batches by clone and site. In some cases the clones were kept separate and in others we co-fermented to encourage early integration & complexity.
The north face was fermented in large wooden barrels with about 30% whole clusters in order to accentuate the spicy aromatics found in fruit grown on these soils. The remainder was de-stemmed to tank and wild fermented with a smaller proportion of whole bunches. Whole bunch fermentation is powerful magic which must be used conservatively as it has a profound impact on the wine. We use them to add aromatic complexity and extend the fine grained tannins through the palate. Some ferments were allowed to sit on skins for 45 days to allow the very mature fruit tannins to integrate and add dimension to an already extraordinary wine. These parcels were then matured for 15 months in 44% new tight grained Burgundian coopered barriques prior to blending & bottling in October 2007.
At bottling the wine has great depth of color and an aroma of dark fruit, spicy oak and savoury complexity from extended lees contact. The palate is reassuringly tight with masses of sweet ripe fruit underlaid by a wealth of well integrated, silky tannins. This is a wine made to develop in the bottle and will reward many years of careful cellaring. Please decant before serving.
Wine & Spirits - "This is the second time Amisfield separated out its Rocky Knoll Vineyard block, a glacial deposit of large, heat retaining stones that mostly faces south (the first RKV was from 2002, which was also the first crop from these young vines). Part of the wine was barrel fermented with some whole clusters; part tank fermented with native yeast. The result is intriguing, with textural nuance and dark, mineral tannins invested in the equally dark raspberry fruit. It has a natural feel, a rusticity to match braised tripe or other hearty fare."
Amisfield Vineyard is a producer of fine wine from the Lowburn area of New Zealand's Central Otago region. The region is renowned for producing world class Pinot Noir and aromatic white wines. Nestled between Amisfield and Parkburn streams planing commenced in 1999 and now consists of over 100 acres planted to Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, Riesling and Sauvignon Blanc with considerable expansion possibilities.
The winemaking approach at Amisfield is one of minimal impact on the extraordinary fruit produced from season to season, making the wines a natural expression of the land from which they are created. The overriding winemaking philosophy revolves around the fact that quality wine is grown not made. View all Amisfield Wines
About Central OtagoView a map of Central Otago wineries (oh-TAH-go)
The southernmost vineyards of the world lie here in Central Otago. Unlike most other New Zealand appellations, Central Otago is inland - nestled right in the middle of the southern island. Its lack of proximity to water creates weather more continental than maritime, leading to big temperature shifts – hot during the day, significantly cooler at night.
Notable FactsThe region's continental climate, paired with the variety of soils found in the area, make Central Otago perfect for growing the finicky Pinot Noir grape. Covering almost 80% of the area planted with vines, Pinot Noir is the dominant grape variety, and the wine it creates from the region is receiving rave reviews for its balanced purity and intensity. Some Chardonnay is grown here, but Pinot is king.
About New ZealandThe country of New Zealand is about 1000 miles from the coast of Australia. It consists of two long islands, end to end, that are approximately the same length as California. Most of the country's climate is maritime due to the abundant coastline. The northern island is warmer and wetter, while the southern island is cooler and dryer. The most popular grapes of New Zealand are Sauvignon Blanc (made most famous by the bright, crisp wines coming out of Marlborough), Chardonnay and the ever-growing Pinot Noir.
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Alcohol By Volume GuideMost wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Fruity
- Red wines that are more fruit-forward and lighter in tannin and body.
Smooth & Supple
- Medium bodied reds that go down easy, with smooth tannins and supple fruit.
Earthy & Spicy
- Wines where earthy and/or spicy dominate the flavors – typically medium to full body.
Big & Bold
- Full bodied wines that have concentrated fruit and are higher in alcohol and/or tannins. Some need age.