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Amisfield RKV Pinot Noir 2006

Pinot Noir from Central Otago, New Zealand
  • W&S91
0% ABV
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Winemaker Notes

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.

Critical Acclaim

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W&S 91
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.
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Amisfield

Amisfield

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Amisfield, Central Otago, New Zealand
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Amisfield was established in 1988 and is a Central Otago based specialist producer of pinot noir and aromatic white wines sourced from fruit grown on their Estate vineyard beneath the Pisa Mountain range in the Cromwell Basin. This privately owned company's 200ha property, once a prominent high country merino station, is one of the largest single vineyard estates in the Central Otago region. Over 80ha is currently planted with the majority of the vines being over ten years old.

Amisfield wines reflect the company's grape growing and winemaking philosophy underlining faithful expression of site, minimal winemaking intervention and ultimate fruit purity. Stringent yield management practices deliver concentrated fruit flavor, consistency and complexity derived from the range of soils found on the vineyard.

A state-of-the-art purpose built winery is the focal point of the vineyard and produces 25,000 -30,000 cases of wine annually. Pinot noir accounts for over 60% of the production with the balance made up of Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Gris and Riesling. Wines are showcased at Amisfield's Lake Hayes Bistro and Cellar Door where more than 60,000 New Zealand and international guests sample the range of vintages every year. Amisfield is an accredited and committed member of the New Zealand Winegrowers’ Sustainable winegrowing program centering on a quality management system and environmental sustainability.

Central Otago

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Home to the globe’s most southerly vineyards, which are cultivated below the 45th parallel, Central Otago is a true one-of-a-kind wine growing region, but not only because of its extreme location.

Central Otago is more dependent on one single variety than any other region in New Zealand—and it isn’t Sauvignon blanc. They don’t even make Sauvignon blanc there.

Pinot Noir claims nearly 75% of the region’s vineyards with Pinot Gris coming in a far second place and Riesling behind it. This is also New Zealand’s only wine region with a continental climate, giving it more diurnal and seasonal temperature shifts than any other.

The subregion of Bannockburn has enjoyed the most success historically but the area’s exceptional growth has moved to the promising regions of Cromwell/Bendigo and Alexandra districts. Central Otago is known for its fruity and full-bodied Pinot noir. With the freedom to experiment here, growers and winemakers are easily exhibiting the area’s great potential.

Pinot Noir

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One of the most difficult yet rewarding grapes to grow, Pinot Noir is commonly referred to by winemakers as the “heartbreak grape.” However, the greatest red wines of Burgundy prove that it is unquestionably worth the effort. More reflective than most varieties of the land on which it is grown, Pinot Noir prefers a cool climate, requires low yields to achieve high quality, and demands care in the vineyard and lots of attention in the winery. It is an important component of Champagne and the only variety permitted in red Burgundy. Pinot Noir enjoys immense popularity internationally, most notably in Oregon, California, and New Zealand.

In the Glass

Pinot Noir Is all about red fruit—strawberry, raspberry, and cherry. It is relatively pale in color with soft tannins and lively acidity. It ranges in body from very light to the heavier side of medium, typically landing somewhere in the middle—giving it extensive possibilities for food pairing. With age (of which the best examples can handle an astounding amount), it can develop hauntingly beautiful characteristics of fresh earth, autumn leaves, and truffles.

Perfect Pairings

Pinot’s healthy acidity cuts through the oiliness of pink-fleshed fish like salmon, ocean trout, and tuna. Its mild mannered tannins don’t fight with spicy food, and give it enough structure to pair with all sorts of poultry—chicken, quail, and especially duck. As the namesake wine of Boeuf Bourguignon, it can even match with heavier fare. Pinot Noir is also very vegetarian-friendly—most notably with any dish that features mushrooms.

Sommelier Secret

Pinot Noir is dangerously drinkable, highly addictive, and has a bad habit of emptying the wallet. Look for affordable but still delicious examples from Germany (as Spätburgunder), Italy (as Pinot Nero), Chile, New Zealand, and France’s Loire Valley and Alsace regions.

MORRKV2006_2006 Item# 98751