Featured Reviews

Fancrest Estate – Bold Waipara Pinot Noir

27 October,2011
Fancrest Estate is a specialist organic producer in the Waipara Valley based at Omihi. Diane and Ian Holding have a young 5.4 ha vineyard planted in 2003 to Pinot Noir (and a few Pinot Gris vines in Burgundian fashion) on limestone soil. The aim is total quality with hands-on work and low yields at under 2 tonnes per hectare. The initial wines were made at the Successors winery, now known as Crater Rim, but the Di Holding finished off the 2009s and 2010 wines, and entirely made the 2011s at their ‘open air' winery at the vineyard site, wanting to have greater control of the vinification and elevage. Using contract facilities is "like cooking in someone else's kitchen” says Di. Fancrest became fully BioGro certified organic in March 2010. This review covers the four vintages produced, and all show bold flavours and vintage representation. This is a Waipara Valley Pinot Noir producer to follow. www.fancrest.com


Fancrest Estate ‘Di's' Waipara Pinot Noir 2007

Pinot Noir from New Zealand – Canterbury & Waipara

The first crop from the ‘Fancrest' site, 90% destemmed without crushing and indigenous yeast fermented to 13.0% alc., the wine aged 11 months in approx.. 60% new French oak barriques. Dark, very deep and full ruby-red colour with black hues, this has a solid, dense and full nose of ripe black berry and plum fruit with violetty perfumes and complex notes of spices, minerals and mushrooms. Medium-full bodied, this is a rich, dense and succulent wine with mouthfilling flavours of ripe black fruits and plums. The palate is plush with softening tannins, though still well-structured and grainy textured. The acidity is discreet, and a round, soft long and spicy finish completes the wine. Match with Middle Eastern red meat dishes over the next 4-5+ years. 120 case production. 18.0/20 Oct 2011 RRP $39.00

Fancrest Estate Waipara Pinot Noir 2008

Pinot Noir from New Zealand – Canterbury & Waipara

Bright, even garnet-red colour with some depth and bricking on the rim. The nose is light and subtle, showing strawberry and dried herbs, the fruit in the cooler spectrum, but with red floral interest and an attractive purity. Medium-light weighted and quite elegant, the flavours of red berry fruits and soft red florals are ethereal in expression, but there is a good core and some concentration through the palate. The fruit is lively, with good acidity and restrained tannin extraction and the wine is well-balanced. Fruit from 5 y.o. vines from the ‘Fancrest' estate, 100% destemmed and wild yeast fermented to 13.0% alc., the wine aged 11 months in approx.. 30% new French oak barriques. A smaller-scale, cooler wine with proper proportions, this will match salmon and tuna, or subtle Asian cuisine over the next 3-4+ years. 16.5/20 Oct 2011 RRP $25.00

Fancrest Estate ‘Di's' Waiprara Pinot Noir 2009

Pinot Noir from New Zealand – Canterbury & Waipara

The third crop from 6 y.o. vines from the ‘Fancrest' site, 100% destemmed and wild yeast fermented to 13.0% alc., then aged 6 months in 60% new French oak barriques. Following a fire at the winery where the barrels were stored, 2000 L of the wine was retrieved unaffected and given further maturation in small CP tanks. Moderately deep ruby-red colour with light purple hues on the edge, the aromatics of ripe dark berries and cherries are a little shy. Subtle Asian spice notes with oak and a fresh lift mark the nose, which is tightly bound, but promises to unfold. Medium-bodied, the black fruit flavours are tight, concentrated and show depth and intensity. Cherries, berries spices and dark red florals show, and fine-grained tannins provide support and palate structure. The wine is poised with focus and tension and a long, sustained finish of spices and ripe fruits. This elegant and vibrantly fruited wine shows the potential to unfold over the next 5-7+ years, when it will no doubt merit an even higher rating. Serve with poultry and pork. 18.0+/20 Oct 2011 RRP $39.00

Fancrest Estate ‘Di's' Waipara Pinot Noir 2010

Pinot Noir from New Zealand – Canterbury & Waipara

Dark, deep, purple-hued ruby-red, youthful in appearance. This has a softly full, intense bouquet of very ripe black berry fruits, plums, liquorice and spices. Full-bodied, the palate has rich, ripe flavours of black fruits and liquorice with a hint of raisins. There is concentration and power providing real drive, with a little alcohol warmth adding to the generosity. Substantial, supple tannins underline the fruit, and the wine has excellent presence and density, leading to a sweet fruited, spicy-nuanced finish. The fourth crop from the ‘Fancrest' vineyard, fruit totally destemmed and indigenous yeast fermented to 14.0% alc., the wine matured 11 months in 30% new French oak casks. A fully-ripened, fulsome and powerful wine to match with red meat game dishes over the next 5-6 years. 18.0-/20 Oct 2011 RRP $39.00
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