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Featured Reviews

Urbn Vino Central Otago Pinot Noir 2016

01 December,2017

URBN VINO is the wine venture of Central Otago winemaker Brendan Seal, who is arguably better known for his ‘The Writer’s Block’ wines. Brendan developed his urban winery concept which saw fruition last year when he made a Pinot Noir wine from Central Otago fruit, in a heritage building in Dunedin. The concept has been successfully conducted overseas, and also conspicuously with craft beer where breweries are sprouting up with regularity with city confines. In New Zealand, the only other similar venture is Tony Bish’s urban winery in Napier, which opened two months ago.

Brendan intends to make his urban winery very interactive, with personally guided tours for smaller, intimate groups, taking them through the winemaking process, the clientele being hands-on in doing so, in addition to tasting out of barrel, something that is normally reserved for serious trade customers. By doing this, Brendan aims to remove the mystique of winemaking. This will no doubt forge a very strong relationship with his customers. And of course, being in the city, the URBN VINO wines will be much more accessible to his market.

In developing the project, Brendan was crowd-funded, and sales of an Urbn Vino Central Otago Pinot Noir 2015 contributed to reaching the total very quickly. (Click here to see more about his project to date, and here for my reviews of the wine.) Brendan aims to move his base of operations from Central Otago to Dunedin in January, in time for the 2018 vintage.

Again, to aid development of his URBN VINO project he will offer a 2016 Urbn Vino Central Otago Pinot Noir, with a beautiful and unique label, which I was privileged to see before release. It cleverly ties the Pinot Noir vine with the city of Dunedin. The wine was made from hand-picked fruit in Central Otago which was transported to Dunedin for hand-plunging and pressing in a basket press in the middle of a heritage building in Dunedin undergoing renovation. The wine was barrelled in Dunedin then taken back to Central Otago for maturation and bottling. (There is another Pinot Noir in the works that may end up being a ‘Reserve’ bottling of Urbn Vino 2016.) I review the aforementioned wine here.


Urbn Vino Dunedin Central Otago Pinot Noir 2016

Pinot Noir from New Zealand – Otago


Even ruby-red colour, lighter on the rim with slight purple hues. The nose is subtly presented with fragrant aromas of dark-red cherry and berry fruit, with delicate notes off dark herbs, unveiling dark-red and violet florals. Medium-full bodied, the palate has elegant flavours of dark-red cherry and berry fruit entwined with dark herbs and dark-red and violet florals. The fruit is gently rich and is enlivened by soft, but fresh acidity, and supported by light, supple tannin extraction. The flavours grow in depth as the wine leads to a finely concentrated, deep, and lingering finish. This is an elegant Pinot Noir with dark-red cherry and berry fruit with floral lift on a supple palate that grows in depth in the glass. Match with duck and pork dishes over the next 4-5 years. A blend of 50% clone 4 from Bendigo, 25% clone 114 from Bendigo and 25% mixed clones from Bannockburn, fermented to 13.9% alc., the wine aged 11 months in 25% new oak. Bottled unfined and unfiltered. 75 cases made. 18.0-/20 Dec 2017 RRP $42.00 TBC

Disclaimer: This wine is distributed by ‘Wine2Trade’, the company under which ‘Raymond Chan Wine Reviews’ operates

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