Quite pleased to have a lovely New Zealand wine to review.
This time of year is associated with love and romance. Is there a better way to celebrate the occasion than with a bottle of New Zealand Pinot Noir?
Impressive at open and even better as it breathed, it was a sincere pleasure to review this lovely New Zealand wine from Loveblock Vintners Ltd. Above the snow capped mountains of Central Otago, on the Bendigo Loop Road, lies a small Pinot Noir vineyard named "Someone's Darling." Loveblock Vinters has done well by this fruit.
Loveblock farms and grows grapes in accordance with Organic Certification standards, Sustainable Winegrowing New Zealand principles and low chemical intervention.
Tasting Notes 2012 Loveblock Pinot Noir Central Otago
Color: Ruby core, clear.
Nose: Broad earthy red fruit, dusty, perfumed, sour core.
Palate: Ripe raspberry, yum, surprisingly luscious at first taste, dark fruit around periphery of palate, leafy note, with subtle fruit tar and pleasant acidity into the moderate finish. Impressive opening. Big like.
After 15 minutes: Added depth to the nose, perfumed red fruit, touch of orange blossom, hint of spice. Livelier palate, bright spike mid-palate, tart cherry, earthy raspberry, focused to middle, dark fruit tar, mushroom and strawberry into the medium finish. Well done.
After 30 minutes: Inviting earthy nose with touch of sourness and perfume. Tart fruit, dark strawberry, raspberry, fine tannin expressed on medium finish. More inclined to food at this point with the tannin.
After 45 minutes: Toasty loveliness on the nose, fruit preserve included, with lovers breath and perfume, even a whiff of fresh brewed coffee - darling of a sexy nose telling an intimate story! Layered palate, focused to front, ripe strawberry, dark raspberry, juicy with a kiss of rich chocolate and mandarin orange, dry on the extended finish. Thoughts of food forgotten. Hello...
After one hour: Just as captivating. Expressive with a longer finish. Perhaps a little more coffee on the satisfying finish. Well done. Paired well with salad and fried pork chops.
After six hours: Tart red fruit, strawberry dominant, focused to middle, lively on the palate, pleasant grip of tannin on edges of tongue, forest floor added to experience.
Day two: Supple mouth feel, modest tannin, fresh, cherry, raspberry, cola, touch of tartness into the almost candied finish. Paired well with salmon.
Thoughts: See my notes below on the history of this winery and vineyard location. Grapes used to make this wine were likely 3rd or 4th leaf. Young. I expect each successive vintage to show even better. The bar is set high. Delicious on its own and with food, it is time for you to experience a premium New Zealand Pinot Noir.
Strongly Recommended + Drink Now.
Country: New Zealand
Appellation: Central Otago (South Island)
Vineyard: Someone's Darling, Estate
Variety: 100% Pinot Noir - Clones planted B777, B667, B115 and Abel. The vineyard was entirely cane pruned to two canes, with the wire being approximately half full. Yield from the vineyard was two tons per acre.
Closure: Screw Cap
Imported by: Terlato Wines
Sample for review
Production: 2,700 cases
About Loveblock Wines
Kim and Erica Crawford founded Loveblock wines. They tend to go by their first names when promoting Loveblock to avoid confusion with the well known company they sold and are no longer involved with - Kim Crawford. Loveblock is their return to the New Zealand wine industry. Erica is the founder and CEO and her husband Kim is the winemaker.
Erica and Kim have embraced a philosophy of being custodians of the land they farm. Farming organically they seek to restore soil balance and fertility without the use of commercial fertilisers and chemical protection. Loveblock vineyards are located in the wilderness of Central Otago. A unique region where they are working to showcase the terroir of this rugged terrain. Together they are working to make the best wine that they can.
Loveblock’s Pinot Noir vineyard in Central Otago is SWNZ accredited.
Erica is an active member of the Global Women NZ Advisory Board, an organization which works to expand the influence of women and helps to shape and mentor emerging leaders. She holds a number of directorships, both in the wine industry and in other sectors.
Kim trained at New Zealand’s Massey University and specialized in Oenology at South Australia’s Roseworthy College. His first jobs included vintages at Arrowfield in NSW’s Hunter Valley, Stags Leap Winery in Napa Valley and Backsberg Estate in South Africa. He returned to his native New Zealand in 1988 and worked at Coopers Creek Vineyard for some 10 years. He has over 30 years of winemaking experience.
Central Otago Vineyard Info
Ringed by mountains and interlaced with lakes and deep river gorges, Central Otago is one of the world’s most spectacular settings for vineyards. It is one of the hottest, coldest and driest regions in New Zealand. The climate and unique terroir combined make this area one of the best for producing premium Pinot Noir.
In 2008, Erica and Kim bought a small 20 acres patch of paddock on the Bendigo Loop Road in Central Otago (South Island). Bendigo is the warmest of the Central Otago winegrowing areas and this little vineyard is the warmest one in Bendigo ensuring consistent ripening year on year. This vineyard is dedicated solely to Pinot Noir. This vineyard is Sustainable Winegrowing (SWNZ) accredited.
A variety of clones were selected for this site to deliver a wide range of flavors in the wine and to produce elegant, yet complex and clean fruit-driven wines. They named the block “Someone’s Darling” as legend holds that in the mid-1800s, a local farmer found the body of a young man on a nearby property. He buried him and for the lack of a name, identity or kin, he simply engraved on the coarse wooden cross “Someone’s Darling”.
Loveblock makes more than Pinot Noir, they also make Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Gris, Riesling, Gewurztraminer, Moscato Brut, Sweet Moscato and Chenin Blanc.
It's been too long since I have had the pleasure of reviewing a New Zealand Pinot Noir. The Loveblock Pinot Noir was a wonderful experience. Hopefully there will be more lovely wines to review soon.