22 Aug 2007

Japanese Facsimile

I THINK I finally understand New Zealand Pinot Noir. I find the charismatic, bright, fruit-forward flavours very seductive. But most of the renditions I have tried lack a certain je ne sais quoi. Like an albeit exquisitely crafted Japanese facsimile of a classic sports car, which initially impresses (and rarely breaks down), but lacks soul...
From vines planted in the alleged centre of New Zealand basking in the longest hours of sunshine, this carmine-coloured '05 Pinot Noir from family firm, Te Mania, has a scola pasta full of crumble-destined plump bramble fruits on the nose and a lush, baked cream coated, somewhat violaceous and restrainedly peppered palate. A long, soft, sweet finish remains and eventually reminds one that there is no Burgundian earthiness, truffles or game.
I am off to Northern Italy for just over a week, incorporating a visit to a distant relatives vineyard.