With the weather heating back up again recently, it’s been time to start looking at those wines for the warmer months.
Gone are the days of being able to pull out a bottle of big, bold Barossa red. I find that we start to drink more of the whites, rosés and pinots. Any regular reader of this column will know I’m a huge fan of Pinot Noir, it’s a wine that I drink all year round, from the light drink now, soft and supple style wines with summer lunches, through to big heavy wines that pack a punch, powerful masculine wines, or aged wines that have developed meaty, smoke and leather flavours.
Some of the best styles of Pinot Noir are often found from cool climates, and that’s because Pinot has a thin skin, making it very sensitive to temperature fluctuations and sunburn. That thin skin also means that rot, fungus and mildew can become an issue. A cool climate avoids temperature spikes, there is less chance of sunburn, and because of that temperature it also means that the growth of the fruit is slower, with less chance of fruit splitting, ripening at a slower rate, however that cool climate also means there is lower fruit yield from the vines.
New Zealand’s Central Otago region, at latitude 45 degrees south, is the southernmost wine region in the world and has that cool climate perfect for growing quality Pinot Noir. The area is framed by Alpine mountains to the west, rocky ranges to the south and dry, tussock covered hills to the east, with rose hip and wild thyme growing wild throughout the region, nestled in the valley floor between all of this sits the Nanny Goat Vineyard. It’s that unique environment, climate and those two wild growing plants that give Central Otago Pinot Noir its characters, creating wines with incredible intensity and distinction.
Nanny Goat Vineyards are one of the better known, and better quality, brands out of Central Otago, producing a Syrah, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and a high quality, superb drinking Super Nanny Pinot Noir, and its those Pinots that originally made me sit up and take notice of the brand.
Named after the wild goats that roam the hills, the winery emerged in 2004, with its first vintage released in 2005. Nanny Goat Vineyard have managed to gain a foothold in the competitive NZ Pinot Noir market due to their ability to knock out great Pinot year upon year. In 2012 winemaker Alan Peters-Oswald noticed that there were a couple of parcels that were higher quality than the rest of the vineyard. He decided to hand pick and sort the fruit, using gentle handling, wild ferment, and press with the inclusion of whole bunches, giving the resulting juice 15 months maturation in French oak to produce their limited production Super Nanny, a wine that has continually scored 94-95 points since its inception.
In 2013, Alan was one of the finalists in the New Zealand Wine Society’s Young Winemaker of the Year Awards, and his 2014 Super Nanny taking out a Silver Medal at the Spiegelau International Wine Competition.
But more important than all the bling is the sheer drinkability of his Pinot, its soft and supple in the mouth, with the Supernanny being best described as the world’s best black forest cake, but in a glass.
Special stuff this.
Nanny Goat Vineyard Pinot Noir 2014 – the 2015 is out but I am yet to see it in the stores. The 2014 shows subtle violets on the nose, with touches of white pepper. It’s briary, earthy with dark stone fruits, dark plum and cherry, touches of blueberry with a long warm and spicy/savoury finish. Around $20-25 in bottleshops.
Nanny Goat Vineyards Supernanny Pinot Noir 2014 – I love this type of Pinot, it shows everything that is awesome about the style of wine, silky smooth and yet powerful, it’s like watching an Olympic gymnast run through their moves, tiny and smooth but still so powerful. Its rich and mouth filling, boysenberry, dark fruits, spice and herb notes, with twiggy forest floor notes. Great wine, can be hard to find locally RRP$45 but significantly cheaper online.