Ceres Wines Composition Pinot Noir 2017
The 2017 Composition Pinot Noir is magnificently composed and delightfully expressed, showing dark cherry, plum, vanilla, warm spice and olive characters the interest. Medium-full bodied, the palate has a rich and firm core of sweet fruit with packed, deep and dense flavors of dark-red and black cherries and berries intermingling with thyme whole bunch stalk perfumes and a hint of reduction. rounded, delivering plush mouthfeel and succulent fruit intensity, leading to a persistent polished finish. At its best: now to 2022.
This has a wealth of rich dark cherry and a dark-plum edge, too. Nicely integrated oak and some herbal edges. The palate is smooth and delivers a silky weave of tannin. Fresh and balanced. Decent concentration here. Drink over the next four years.
Complex nose of under growth and red fruit with savory touches. Dark berry fruits flavors and pleasant tannin and acidity.
The first Ceres vintage was made in 2005, solely from the Inlet Vineyard. Ever since then, the wine has been an 11 barrel blend -- 2 from Black Rabbit Vineyard and 9 from Inlet Vineyard. This proportion was chosen to reflect the relative sizes of the vineyards contributing to the Composition wine.
The Ceres wine brand is the result of a collaboration of brothers Matt and James Dicey. James Dicey is the viticulturalist for Mt Difficulty and the grapes from Inlet Vineyard are grown to the Mt Difficulty standard. This means a lot of hand care and attention and low yields to ensure concentrated and intensely flavored grapes. Yields are restricted to a maximum of 6t/ha and all grapes are hand harvested.
Matt Dicey is the wine maker for Mt Difficulty wines. Wines from both Black Rabbit and Inlet Vineyard are now included as part of the Mt Difficulty estate Pinot Noir. To create the Ceres blend the barrels most representative of both the vineyard and season are selected to be part of the 11 barrel blend.
The wine has been held back from release to ensure that the wines are drinking well and have harmonised in the bottle. The current commercial release is the 2008 vintage. The more recent vintages are progressing well with the 2009 ready for release shortly.
Riesling has recently been planted on the Black Rabbit Vineyard and the Full Circle Vineyard also has this variety planted (18 year old vines). In addition it also has got Pinot Gris planted. Swansong Vineyard has recently been planted with Pinot Noir, Riesling and Gewurztraminer as well as Pinot Gris. Pinot Gris from the 2011 vintage has been added to the portfolio from Full Circle vineyard. Riesling has been added from 2012 from the Swansong Vineyard.
Thin-skinned, finicky and temperamental, Pinot Noir is also one of the most rewarding grapes to grow and remains a labor of love for some of the greatest vignerons in Burgundy. Fairly adaptable but highly reflective of the environment in which it is grown, Pinot Noir prefers a cool climate and requires low yields to achieve high quality. Outside of France, outstanding examples come from in Oregon, California and throughout specific locations in wine-producing world. Somm Secret—André Tchelistcheff, California’s most influential post-Prohibition winemaker decidedly stayed away from the grape, claiming “God made Cabernet. The Devil made Pinot Noir.”
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.