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Mt. Difficulty Roaring Meg Pinot Noir 2008

Pinot Noir from Central Otago, New Zealand
  • WS90
14% ABV
  • WS90
  • WE90
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3.0 8 Ratings
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3.0 8 Ratings
14% ABV

Winemaker Notes

The grapes for this wine come from selected premium Central Otago vineyards. The warm dry summer meant we started harvesting in late March. The fruit was all de-stemmed to enhance the natural fruit characters of Central Otago. The grapes stayed in the fermentor on average for a total of 24 days with temperatures peaking at 320C. The wine was plunged or turned over once daily during pre-fermentation and three times daily during fermentation. When the wine tasted in harmony it was pressed off to French oak barrels where it resided on lees for 9 months. It underwent malolactic fermentation during early spring, was racked out of barrel in early summer and was not fined prior to filtration and bottling.

This wine exhibits a lovely mix of red and black berry fruits with further complexity gained from oak spice. The wine has a sweet berry entry which displays these same characters in abundance. Tannins rise gracefully out of the mid-palate to finish the wine. These are balanced by the wine's acidity and fruit, to produce a long fruit driven finish.

Critical Acclaim

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WS 90
Wine Spectator
Bright and tangy, with a peppermint candy note wafting through the cherry and raspberry flavors, lingering easily against fine tannins. Drink now through 2015.
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Mt. Difficulty

Mt. Difficulty

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Mt. Difficulty, , New Zealand
Mt. Difficulty
With our founding vineyards established in 1992, Mt Difficulty owns some of the oldest vineyards and is one of the most respected wineries in the Central Otago region of New Zealand's rugged South Island. Situated in Bannockburn, a unique and rare area of extremes, Mt Difficulty has harnessed the once brutal terrain to produce premium wines at the forefront of Central Otago's wine production.

The unique microclimate of the Bannockburn area is partially created by the presence of Mount Difficulty which overlooks the southern Cromwell basin, and is the namesake of Mt Difficulty Wines. Mount Difficulty is integral in providing low rainfall and humidity for the region. Bannockburn enjoys hot summers, a large diurnal temperature variation and long cool autumns; conditions which bring the best out of the Pinot Noir grapes. These conditions, along with soils which are ideal for viticulture, provide an excellent basis not only for Pinot Noir, but also for Pinot Gris, Riesling, and Chardonnay. The soils are a mix of clay and gravels, but all feature a high pH level; grapes produce their best wines on sweet soils.

Paso Robles

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Paso Robles has made a name for itself as a source of supple, fruity, and powerful wines. With 11 smaller sub-AVAs, there is quite a bit of diversity to be found in this inland portion of California’s Central Coast.

This is mostly red wine country, with Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel standing out as the star performers. Other popular varieties include Merlot, Petite Sirah, Petit Verdot, and Rhône varieties both red and white. There is a fairly uniform tendency here towards wines that are unapologetically bold and opulently fruity, albeit with a surprising amount of acidity thanks to the region’s chilly nighttime temperatures.

Bordeaux Blends

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One of the world’s most classic and popular styles of red wine, Bordeaux-inspired blends have spread from their homeland in France to nearly every corner of the New World, especially in California, Washington, and Australia. Typically based on either Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot and supported by Cabernet Franc, Malbec, and/or Petit Verdot, these are sometimes referred to in the US as “Meritage” blends. In Bordeaux itself, Cabernet Sauvignon dominates in wines from the Left Bank of the Gironde river, while the Right Bank focuses on Merlot. Often, blends from outside the region are classified as being inspired by one or the other.

In the Glass

Cabernet-based, Left-Bank-styled wines are typically more tannic and structured, while Merlot-based wines modeled after the Right Bank are softer and suppler. Cabernet Franc can add herbal notes, while Malbec and Petit Verdot contribute color and structure. Wines from Bordeaux can be bold and fruit-forward or restrained and earthy, while New World facsimiles tend to emulate the former style. In general, Bordeaux red blends can have aromas and flavors of black currant, cedar, plum, graphite, and violet, with more red fruit flavors when Merlot makes up a high proportion of the blend.

Perfect Pairings

Since Bordeaux red blends are often quite structured and tannic, they pair best with hearty, flavorful, and fatty meat dishes. Any type of steak makes for a classic pairing. Equally welcome with these wines would be beef brisket, pot roast, braised lamb, or smoked duck.

Sommelier Secret

While the region of Bordeaux is limited to a select few approved grape varieties, the New World is free to experiment. Bordeaux blends in California may include Syrah, Petite Sirah, Zinfandel, or virtually any other grape deemed worthy by the winemaker. In Australia, Shiraz is a common component.

HOR073596_2008 Item# 102964

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