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Wednesday, October 07, 2015
Oct 07, 2015
Vino Fino

From the Tastings - Mt Difficulty

Mt Difficulty Wines with Scott Wilson Read More
Mt Difficulty Wines with Scott Wilson

Scott Wilson, Mt Difficulty's Marketing Manager hosted this week's tasting. Mt Difficulty were one of the pioneer wineries in Bannockburn, Central Otago. Formed from a union of growers, the first vintage release Pinot Noir 1998 was a huge success and things have continued to grow and succeed since then to the extent that Mt Difficulty are now one of Central Otago's best known wine labels. The tasting featured current release wines along with a comparative tasting of 2 older Pinot Noirs and the "cellar-door" only Packspur Pinot Noir
Sauvignon Blanc 2014
This is a reflection of its Central Otago origins of fruit flavour and site, with minimal wine-making intervention. A dry style, with slate, mineral hints and fruit flavours in the lime/kaffir leaf/herb spectrum. Extended lees for 4 months post fermentation has given the wine extra texture. A counterpoint to the tropical fruited styles from Marlborough.     
Retail $27.99    Special $21.99

Pinot Gris 2014  
Again a dry style with just a sliver of sweetness at 5gms. More ripe apple flavour than pear with a slight musk hint and medium weight.
Retail $27.99    Special  $22.99

Rosé 2014  
From Pinot Noir grapes grown in Bannockburn especially for this wine. A dry, savoury style, naturally fermented in old oak barrels, yet the fruit flavours still burst through. A light, bright pink colour with fruits in the strawberry, rose petal range.   
Retail $27.99    Special  $22.99

Lowburn Valley Chardonnay 2014    

Part of the growers series of wines, this is from the Lowburn area. I'm getting to love Central Otago Chardonnays and we are now seeing some great examples. Although naturally fermented in French oak (15% new) with full solids and 60% Malo-lactic, this still remains light on its feet. Flavours of citrus and creme brulee combine with a light caramel nuttiness. It finishes crisp and dry.
Retail $34.99    Special  $30.99

Target Riesling 2013 
A deservedly popular wine from Mt D, it is a style they have refined over the past few years, getting the balance between Central Otago's naturally high acidity and the sweetness of the wine. This is 43 gms/rs at 11% alcohol. There is a real citrus burst of flavour
Retail $27.99    Special  $22.99

Long Gully Chenin Blanc 2014  
Maybe the rarity aspect adds to the allure of this wine, but it's crowd-pleasing quality made it the favourite wine of the tasting. Made as a sweeter wine with 60gms/rs and 11% alcohol, this has purity and finesse. With lemon fruit and light floral notes this is a very drinkable style. 
Retail $34.99    Special  $29.99
 - enquire re availability

Pinot Noir 2013    
One of the best known labels from Central Otago, this is a very familiar style. Red and dark cherry fruits, spice with moderate weight and tannins. Nothing out of place. A well considered wine. 
Retail $45.99    Special  $39.99

Packspur Pinot Noir 2013 

Another growers series wine, also from the Lowburn area. This shows considerable density with plenty of spice character and old liqueured cherry characters. A serious proposition and it will be good to see it more generally available in the market place as it is a wine worth seeking out.  
$74.95 - enquire re availability

Pinot Noir 2010    N/A  
This was a hugely acclaimed wine on release, but this seemed a little 'quiet' on its showing tonight. The colour has dimmed with shades of tawny and it is definitely into more earthy tones. I found a hint of old lacquer paint character and it is a bit more boney on the palate than I might have expected - but then Pinot Noir can definitely go through developmental phases. The wine is still very much alive and I will withhold judgement. 

Pinot Noir 2008    N/A    
On the other hand, this 2008 was looking great. From a Central Otago vintage that yielded a big crop (many of the wines were a little diluted), this is an example of a winery who took care of their vines and kept an eye on crop levels. The resulting wine has delivered above the norm for 2008 and is developing nicely. Not a big wine, but it has some really interesting flavour twists and nuances and presence on the palate. This is an excellent wine, drinking beautifully now and it will still last a few more years yet. ​