Featured Reviews

Grasshopper Rock Pinot Noir 2011

21 January,2013
The joy that Phil Handford, one of the shareholders of Grasshopper Rock had upon being awarded Champion Wine of the Show at the 2012 Air New Zealand Wine Awards for the 2010 Pinot Noir was something to behold. It capped off a special year for him and his fellow shareholders, as well as winemaker Peter Bartle of VinPro, as the wine was also judged the top wine in Cuisine magazine's tasting of New Zealand Pinot Noir. (I've reviewed the wine at 5-stars. Click here to see my review.) Grasshopper Rock can now lay claim to being the most awarded Pinot Noir from the Alexandra sub-region of Central Otago. It adds considerable weight to the seriousness of the region along with the well-established Two Paddocks brand of Sam Neill, but Grasshopper Rock must now be considered a top label in its own right. Phil reports the vines are performing with greater consistency as they begin to mature. The 2011 wine is the sixth release, and it is yet another creditable effort, from a vintage with its share of challenges, especially in comparison with the excellent 2010. Here is my review. www.grasshopperrock.co.nz


Grasshopper Rock ‘Earnscleugh Vineyard' Central Otago Pinot Noir 2011

Pinot Noir from New Zealand – Otago


Bright, light purple-hued ruby red colour. Voluminous on bouquet with an array of aromas, the fruit in the cooler spectrum showing some herb and stalk nuances, but this has a core of dark red cherry fruit aromas, red florals and red curranty notes. Some dried herb and savoury secondary interest already. The firm structure encases the fruit, the mouthfeel bright, vibrant and sweet-fruited, this allied to an acid-lifted zesty robustness. The tannins are grainy and provide plenty of textural qualities and the palate comes together with balance. There is plenty of rugged vinosity present, and it Will evolve over the next 5-6 years. 18.5-/20 Jan 2014

Moderately deep, dark ruby-red, lighter on rim with some purple hues. The nose is full and even with elegantly presented dark cherry fruit, revealing violetty florals, subtle dark herbs and sensitive oak spices in the glass. Medium-full bodied, intensely concentrated flavours of dark plums and liquorice are laced with notes of dried herbs, liquorice and spicy oak. The fruit is enlivened by racy acidity and framed by soft, grainy tannins. The textures carry the flavours with acid tension to a very long, lingering dry, textural finish with plum and spicy oak featuring prominently. This is a concentrated Pinot Noir with oak spiced fruit, grainy tannins and racy freshness to make it a match with Middle Eastern fare over the next 4-5+ years. Clones 5, 777, 115, 114, Abel and 667 from the ‘Grasshopper Rock' site on Earnscleugh Road, fully-destemmed and fermented to 13.6% alc., the wine aged 10 months in 30% new French oak barriques. 18.5/20 Jan 2013 RRP $32.00
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