Quartz Reef Pinot Noir 2018
Divine ruby red in color with intense cherry and berry aromas. Rich on the palate with dark cherry, subtle floral and herbaceous notes. Excellent depth, fine tannins and a long vibrant finish.
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
The 2018 Single Vineyard Pinot Noir is a terrific effort, marrying attractive floral and tea-like aromas with bright raspberry and cherry fruit. It's medium to full-bodied but seems lighter and fresher because the flesh is wrapped within a sleeve of crisp acids, containing and buttressing it, focusing it into a prolonged finish. Despite the warm vintage, this is impeccably balanced, with the ability to age well for a decade.
This is one weighty mouthful of silken wine. Ripe, sweet red cherry and almond fruit provide the fragrance from start to finish. The naturally abundant tannins of the Bendigo subregion are here, but they are resolved, acting as a powdery adhesive that coats the mouth. There is enough gentle acidity to keep things moving, though also the merest hint of warmth from the 14% alcohol. You can expect plentiful concentration of fruit and a lengthy, red-cherry-infused finish. Drinking window: 2022 - 2028
Planted on New Zealand’s largest quartz deposit, Quartz Reef specializes in the creation of exceptional Sparkling Wine and Pinot Noir. Once the focus of a gold strike in the 1860’s this site is now a thriving vineyard. The north-facing vineyard is situated to absorb the heat of the sun and the heat retaining properties of the quartz soils store and reflect this heat increasing the ripening of grapes in the cool Central Otago climate.
Utilizing biodynamic wine growing practices, winemaker Rudi Bauer has a mission to make wines that capture the essence of Central Otago. Rudi earned degrees in viticulture and winemaking in his native Austria before moving to New Zealand in 1985 as assistant wine maker at Mission Estate in Hawkes Bay. Since then, Rudi has been honing his craft in many of New Zealand’s regions as well as Oregon and Burgundy. As one of Rippon Vineyard’s pioneer winemaker’s, Rudi won Central Otago’s first gold medal for Pinot Noir in 1991. And now, as owner/winemaker of Quartz Reef, Rudi is making the best wines of his career, being named 2010 New Zealand Wine Maker of the Year at the NZ Agricultural Society Royal Easter Show as well as the first New Zealander to be nominated for Der Feinschmecker Wine Awards in Germany as International Wine Maker of the Year.
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.
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.”