Class borne out in the glass

Expectations are a funny thing. Naturally, I try to avoid them when I’m tasting, as they could cloud one’s judgement and impartiality.

I know the identity of the wines in a tasting, but they are always masked and in random order: this is dubbed "single blind tasting".

 

My regular tasting duo of Collins and McLaren are informed of the wine style and vintage spread, but know neither the identities nor order in which they are served: this is "double blind tasting".

The average price of today’s wines created an expectation of class, which was borne out in the glass. The appreciative murmurings across the table concurred.

 

 

 

 

 

2018 Chard Farm
The Tiger
Central Otago
Pinot Noir 
 
Price: $81
Rating: Excellent to  outstanding
 
Beguiling nose showing  subtlety and elegance,  mixing strawberry, raspberry, perfume, savoury nuances and wild herb/lavender  notes. Juicy, sappy,  power without weight,  sweet fruit courses through this aligned with  herbal notes and  savoury qualities. Builds in texture and richness. Lovely integration and  balance, a real charmer.
 
 
2018 Chard Farm
Mason Vineyard
Central Otago
Pinot Noir 
 
Price: $81
Rating: Very good to 
excellent
 
Subtle nose with sweet  berry compote, wood  smoke, perfume and schisty notes. Darker fruits, a hint of cough lolly, perhaps whole bunch ferment stalk notes and chewy tannins. Flavoursome,  developing a bittersweet element and sweet ‘n’ sour interplay on the  long finish. This is  showing its youthfully brash side for now.
 
 
2016 Pegasus Bay
Prima Donna
Pinot Noir 
 
Price: $100
Rating: Excellent to 
outstanding
 
Appealing nose, darker  register to the fruit, plum,  tamarillo, bonfire embers, building in fragrance.  Richly fruited, mouth- filling, this is clearly a ripe and powerful wine,  yet it doesn’t stray into excess. Some chalky/fruit pith and zesty acid  interplay brings lovely liveliness to the texture. A fresh, tangy note hangs on the long finish. Delightful.
 
 
2018 Quartz Reef
Bendigo Single Ferment
Pinot Noir 
 
Price: $85
Rating: Excellent
 
A nose of intrigue, balsamic/umami influences shift to perfume and dusty stones, raspberry with time. Richly fruited entry, loganberry, mixed berries, cinnamon and spices lead, evolving to savoury notes and fresh, sour cherry on the long close. Weight but no excess, growing in richness and integration, adding earthy touches. Lots of interest.
 
 
2018 Chard Farm
Viper Vineyard
Central Otago
Pinot Noir 
 
Price: $81
Rating: Excellent
 
Subtle yet attractively expressed nose of berryfruit, rhubarb, perfume and savoury notes, kid leather perhaps. Somewhat enigmatic, starting subtly, spices and wisps of balsamic giving way to sweet fruit as this blossoms in the glass, showing deceptive power and structure. Crisp acidity keeps this lively with a lifted, tart note on the long finish.
 
 
2014 Misha’s Vineyard
Verismo
Central Otago
Pinot Noir 
 
Price: $75
Rating: Very good to 
excellent
 
Notably fragrant nose with additions of stewed fruits, balsamic notes, anise and dusty stones. A boldness to the palate, leading with spice and savoury notes, a little tilled earth, mushroom and forest floor/funkiness building with aeration. Already round and supple, this bottle-aged release can be enjoyed now.
 

 

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