11 Aug 2007


I CONFESS! I am a Pinotphile... (And I guiltily partook of two fixes this week). I pursue hedonism from this massochistic grape! The first rendition, chosen at the smooth, eco/RSPCA-conscience satiating Alimentum restaurant in Cambridge [CLICK, then scroll for previous review], was a north island New Zealander from Ata Rangi ('Dawn Sky').
Crimson '06, sales of which save Christmas for those living at this latitude, was an intensely juicy plaything: sweet dark cherry, rose and Turkish Delight fragrances. Made from younger vines possibly being groomed for greater things, it tousled small white balsamic jelly cubes into submission. An accessible, pleasurable second label of first calibre, from a sturdy estate.
The second, another Kiwine, named after a pine tree in the vineyard said to inspire multiple proposals, Wooing Tree '05, comes from Middle Earth (a.k.a. cool clime, Central Otago). Very powerfully focused, with some hung game (pheasant), plums, reticent spice and a touch of aspic. Good (indeed ever so close to great), but somehow not quite playing the right chord I demand from Mademoiselle Pinot Noir, however amorously sited...
Incidentally, 20 Otago wineries will be showing their wares in London on September 17th. (Tickets: rsvp@centralotagopinot.co.nz)
Protein pictured on a colleague's T-Shirt.