Sunday, March 18, 2012

Explorer Central Otago Pinot Noir 2008

A while ago now, Central Otago was anointed the New World's closest thing to Burgundy. Massive words. The closest to Burgundy I believe is the Northern Rhone - geographical and stylistically.

But lets talk about Central Otago. For a few years now this sipper has gone off CO because of what I think is too ripe fruit. For one of the southern most wine regions, discounting Tierra Del Fuego, CO more often than not delivers plummy and nose-bleeding levels of alcohol that would send Msr Parker in to a fit of extasy. I like my Pinot Noir tight, linear, tart, and after a few years or so singing as sexy as the King of Pop Dave Graney.

There are many that get frothy at the pioneer wines from CO - Carrick, Felton Road and Quartz Reef. But are they getting frothy about past glories rather than current releases? I get frothy on what I mentioned in the previous passage - the sexy sounds of Dave Graney. This is the category I put the Explorer Central Otago Pinot Noir 2008 in.

Explorer isn't the type of wine that runs with the popular kids, rather a loner who is more interested in finding their own way in life and not relying on the cool kids to give them an opinion. A typical colour in the glass of dirty transparent red. A burst of tight green capscicum acid hits the aroma first; this is not a bad thing as it shows some whole bunch press going on and also for me it sort of wakes up the olfactory. Also there is some tart rasbery with a hint of beetroot leaf. In the mouth the acid and tannins take centre stage, but with the gentlest of touches. It is both the acid and tannin that hold all in balnce - more tart fruit with raspberry and cranberry the noticeable elements.

For the money, this wine punches well above its weight and has the ability of showing its more well known and fated neighbours a thing or two about style and grace

Drink with rare lamb rump
Drink till 2015
Screwcap 13%v/v $25 at Albert Street Food & Wine

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