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Mount Riley Central Otago Pinot Noir 2016

Pinot Noir from Central Otago, New Zealand
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    Winemaker Notes

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    Mount Riley

    Mount Riley

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    Mount Riley, Central Otago, New Zealand
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    Mount Riley's position as a top Marlborough wine estate stems from their guiding philosophy of having their people involved at all stages of the winemaking process, from earth to glass.

    Mount Riley is a family owned New Zealand company with strong traditional values and a focus on delivery of excellent value wines. They were established in 1992 by John Buchanan, who has been actively involved in the wine industry since the 1970s. Mount Riley's Head Winemaker Bill Hennessy ("Digger") has been leading Mount Riley's winemaking since 1998. In 2004, John's youngest daughter Amy joined Mount Riley as Sales & Marketing Director. Mount Riley is run by a small, dedicated team. The passion held by this team for their craft ensures that wines of the highest quality are produced.

    Since its first vintage in 1996, Mount Riley had been focused on over-delivering quality for price and producing dependable wines that wine enthusiasts will love and seek out. Mount Riley has been one of the fastest growing Marlborough estates and is today among the top 10 vineyard owners in Marlborough and the top 20 wineries in New Zealand in terms of total sales.

    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.

    SKRNMR012_2016 Item# 348372