Featured Reviews

Lowburn Ferry 2013 ‘Skeleton Creek’ and ‘Home Block Pinot Noir

29 September,2014
The Lowburn Ferry Pinot Noirs of Roger and Jean Gibson are among some of Central Otago’s most awarded, reflecting the quality of the fruit that comes from their 3.5 ha of vines planted on a north-facing terrace overlooking the site of the Lowburn ferry crossing. With a soil science and horticultural background, Roger and Jean personally tend the vineyard which comprises clones 5, 115, 667 and 777 in equal proportions and a smaller block of Abel clone fruit, planted on a variety of rootstocks on schist-based soil noteworthy for its excellent biological activity. The wine is made by Peter Bartle at VinPro, and bottled under three tiers, the premium wine being the ‘Home Block’, a secondary label ‘Skeleton Creek; and a reserve-styled ‘The Ferryman’ this released only in exceptional years. Here, I review the new 2013 ‘Skeleton Creek’ and ‘Home Block’ Pinot Noirs, about to be released soon. The former wine has all the Abel clone fruit from the Gibson’s vineyard, and the ‘Home Block’ bottled without that clone. They are stylistically very different, but show real character and quality. www.lowburnferry.co.nz


Lowburn Ferry ‘Skeleton Creek’ Central Otago Pinot Noir 2013

Pinot Noir from New Zealand – Otago

58% Abel clone fruit from the ‘Lowburn Ferry’ vineyard blended with 42% fruit from the ‘Avalon’ vineyard, Queensberry, the Abel clone aged 10 months in 11% new French oak, the ‘Avalon’ fruit in 18% new oak, and the wine fermented to 14.0% alc. Full, very dark, deep, purple-hued ruby-red colour, youthful in appearance. The nose is brash and bold with firm and intense aromas of ripe dark raspberry and boysenberry fruits intermixed with black plums, dark herbs and stalky elements. This has power and density to the aromatics. Medium-full bodied, bold and up-front flavours of dark raspberries plums, boysenberries and herbs are underlined by a firm, grainy tannin core and brisk, racy acidity. The mouthfeel is robust and vigorous, and the palate unfolds earth and game nuances with aeration. The structure and acidity carries the wine to a long, granular, dry-textured finish. This is a bold and firmly structured Pinot Noir with dark raspberry fruit and complexing herb and stalky flavours. Match with slow-cooked game meat dishes over the next 5-7 years. 18.5-/20 Sep 2014 RRP $45.00

Lowburn Ferry ‘Home Block’ Central Otago Pinot Noir 2013

Pinot Noir from New Zealand – Otago

Dark, deep, purple-hued ruby-red colour, a little lighter on rim. The nose is full and voluminous with a harmoniously interwoven aromas of ripe dark red berry fruits, violet florals, dark red plums and oak spices that unfold in layers of detail and perfume. Medium-bodied, rich, ripe and succulent flavours of dark red berry fruits, plums and florals form a rich and deep core. Violet florals, liquorice and spices emerge with very refined nuances of dark herbs, minerals and earth providing interest and complexity. The palate is silky and seamless, flowing smoothly, guided by very fine-grained tannins and acidity. This has great energy, poise and complete balance, carrying through to a very long, lingering finish of liquorice and plums. This is an elegant, aromatic, fine-grained, silky-smooth Pinot Noir with succulently rich dark red fruit flavours. Serve with poultry, pork and lamb over the next 6 – 8 years. Clones 5, 115, 667 and 777 destemmed and fermented with one-third by indigenous yeasts to 14.0% alc., the wine aged 10 months in 29% new French oak. 19.0+/20 Sep 2014 RRP $55.00
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