Harvest time looms in Central

It's that time of year again when harvest will be in the offing in Central Otago; it’s slightly later in the Waitaki.

There used to be a rule of thumb that harvest would occur 100 to 115 days after full-flower, giving viticulturists a rough target for their picking date. Working in the vines and monitoring their progress over the growing season refines that focus date.

Grape berry analysis and tasting is the final tool to sharpen that focus (always with an eye on the weather) and set a start date.

It’s an exciting and hectic time for the industry.

2019 Rockburn Eight Barrels Gibbston Vineyard pinot noir

Price: $96

Rating: Very good to

Stewed fruits, warm leather,
boot polish, Marmite, herbs
with time. I find this a bit of
an enigma, initially supple
and rounded with a
different flavour
spectrum, yet over time
the elements seem
disparate and not yet
integrated. A cooler feel
to this, a sweet fruit
core, herbs, savoury
notes, quite zesty.
Needs time to meld.


2018 Cox’s Vineyard Gibbston pinot noir

Price: $60
Rating: Excellent to

Perfume, musk, a wilder
hint, earthy/stony nuances.
Deliciously silky entry, great
fruit depth yet retaining
elegance and pinosity.
Undercurrents of dried
herbs and savoury notes
build along with an
appealing chewiness,
nicely judged tannins
with good balance. The
fruit grows in sweetness
but finds a foil in the
savoury elements.
Finishes long and dry.


2018 Burn Cottage Burn Cottage Vineyard Central Otago pinot noir

Price: $70
Rating: Excellent to

Subtle  fragrance with cedar,
dusty stones, ripe fruit and
growing perfume. Textural
richness and depth, then
surprising tannins,
deceptive power and
depth with the sweet fruit
joined by growing wild
herb and savoury notes.
A wisp of baking spices
and a long, dry, black tea
accented close. Youthful
chewiness, drinkability
and potential too.


2018 Carrick Organic Bannockburn pinot noir

Price: $46
Rating: Excellent

An initial rush of bonfire
embers and toast, then
fragrance and dark fruits,
flirting between plum,
blueberry and raspberry as
it opens. Bonfire smoke
on the palate, the fruit
bubbling up with real
spiciness. Quite a
degree of richness, the
tannins adding some
nice chewiness. As this
opens fragrance builds,
while the ripe, but not
over-sweet fruit swells.


2017 Doctors Flat Central Otago pinot noir

Price: $49
Rating: Outstanding

A sense of volume to the
lovely nose, darker fruits,
spices, earth with florality
growing. Intensely
flavoured, powerful yet
without heaviness,
showcasing dark fruits,
lead pencil, spices, a
wisp of wild herb and a
beguiling savoury
quality, a little whole
bunch sappiness, too.
Refined yet powerful
tannins, this could slip
into a burgundy line-up.
Built for the future.


2017 Akitu A1 Central Otago pinot noir

Price: $65
Rating: Excellent

Boldly expressive nose,
berry compote, mixed red
and dark fruits and crushed
leaf/herbs, perfume and
earth with aeration.
Concentration to the fruit,
as if someone had
cooked down a jus,
backed by dried herbs
and graphite. At the
same time, this is fresh
and crisp with an
almost tingly raciness.
Develops an almost
sweet ‘n’ sour quality.



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