Featured Reviews

Pisa Range Estate Riesling and Pinot Noir

30 August,2013
Pisa Range Estate is the 33 ha property of Warwick and Jenny Hawker who planted Pinot Noir vines in 1995 with the guidance of the late Mike Wolter. The vines are planted on both the flat and terraced land and are tended to organic and biodynamic principles. The ‘Black Poplar Block’, a 4 ha section of the vineyard named after 100 y.o. trees that are a feature, there has proven to be a particularly suitable site, the wines from it winning many awards. 1.5 ha of Riesling was planted on the flat block recently and yielded fruit for its first bottling in 2012. The wines are made by Rudi Bauer of Quartz Reef. (Rudi made the first Quartz Reef wines of 1998 and 1999 solely from Pisa Range Estate fruit.) Here, I review the inaugural 2012 Riesling, the 2011 ‘Run 245’ Pinot Noir from younger vines, and the library release 2006 ‘Black Poplar’ Pinot Noir. www.pisarangeestate.co.nz


Pisa Range Estate Pisa Central Otago Riesling 2012

Riesling from New Zealand – Otago


The first release of a Pisa Range Estate Riesling. Cool-fermented to 12.0% alc. and 11 g/L RS. Bright, pale straw-yellow colour with light lemon-green hues. This has a very fine and elegantly concentrated, pure nose of limes and white florals with mouthwatering mineral elements. Nuances of honey and flint emerge with aeration. Medium-dry to taste, pure lime and lemon and floral fruit flavours build in richness and presence, forming a driven core. Some honesuckle nuances add interest. A little phenolic texture combines with the fruit extract and soft, thirst-quenching acidity to carry the flavours to a blossoming and lingering finish of lemon and flinty notes. This is a fine-textured off-dry, citrus-fruited Riesling that subtly grows in richness. Serve as an aperitif or with lightly spiced Asian or Middle Eastern fare over the next 4-5 years. 18.0/20 Aug 2013 RRP $28.00

Pisa Range Estate ‘Run 245’ Central Otago Pinot Noir 2011

Pinot Noir from New Zealand – Otago


Dark ruby-red colour with garnet hues on rim. The bouquet is fresh and elegant with accessible dark red berry fruit aromas entwined with dark herb and stalk elements, revealing nuances of liquorice, pepper and smoke. Medium-full bodied, and elegantly proportioned, a core of black berry and cherry fruits unfolds to reveal savoury dark herb and oak flavours. The palate is very fine-featured with smooth tannins and balanced lacy acidity providing tension and drive. The flavours flow with plenty of energy to a fine, textural and structured finish with bitter cherry notes. This is an elegant, fine-textured, fresh Pinot Noir with black cherry and herb flavours. Match with poultry and pork over the next 4-5 years. A blend of four Dijon clones from 8-10 y.o. vines from the flat block, hand-picked and fermented to 14.0% alc., the wine aged one year in oak. 17.5+/20 Aug 2013 RRP $32.00

Pisa Range Estate ‘Black Poplar Block’ Central Otago Pinot Noir 2006

Pinot Noir from New Zealand – Otago


A library release of the sixth vintage of this label. Fruit from the ‘Black Poplar’ block from vines planted in 1995, hand-picked and fermented to 14.0% alc., the wine aged one year in one-third new French oak barriques. Dark, deep ruby-red colour with garnet and brick hues. on edge. A very full, broad and densely concentrated bouquet of savoury dark red berry fruits unfolds waves of funky meat and game notes with complexing dried herb and undergrowth nuances. Full-bodied, this is densely concentrated with flavours of ripe black cherry and berry flavours that have developed complex, savoury secondary notes of game meat, mushrooms and dried herbs. The fruit is lush and juicy, and framed by near robust tannins which are beginning to soften and round out. Good acid balance provides vitality, and along with the fine, grainy tannins, carry the flavours to a sustained finish of game meat and spicy herbs. This is a fulsome, well-structured Pinot Noir showing sweet and savoury, complex secondary flavours. Match with hare, wild pork and slow-cooked game meat over the next 4-6 years. 18.5/20 Aug 2013 RRP $95.00 (Available from the cellar door only.)

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