Mount Edward | Tasting Review
Founded in 1997 by Gibbston Valley pioneer, Alan Brady. In 2004 winemaker Duncan Forsyth and Bermuda based Kiwi, John Buchanan joined forces taking over Mount Edward, focusing on small batch single vineyard wines. They now have in addition to the home vineyard and winery site on Coal Pit Road Gibbston Valley, the Morrison Vineyards in Lowburn and Muirkirk along Felton Road in Bannockburn and more recently utilizing managed vineyard sites. All the estate vineyards are certified organic with the managed vineyards moving toward that goal.
Anyone who has met Duncan knows that he is quite a colourful character – from his trademark blue suits to the loud music at vintage time his approach is slightly alternative. He is continually challenging styles and varieties. The arrival of co-winemaker Anna Riederer aka the Swiss Cheese has added another dimension to the approach. The production of Mount Edward is very small – the focus is on quality and interest and as they say themselves, “The winery and all estate vineyards, in the sub regions of Gibbston, Lowburn, and Bannockburn, are managed using certified organic practices and reflect a traditional and holistic wine growing ethos that we believe is critical for wines of uniqueness and authenticity.”
Tonight Duncan presented through current and new release wines including the new TED (Mt Edward – Ted) wines.
Mount Edward No Use Eternal Youth Vermouth
From Duncan – “Inspiration to produce our own Vermouth came from a visit Anna and I made to Australia last year when Mount Edward was invited to exhibit at Rootstock, a cutting edge organic/natural wine fair in Sydney. We came away ideas brimming. It’s a natural fit for us as Vermouth is wine, fortified and infused with botanicals. The better the wine and the more local the botanicals, the better the taste it would seem. Our Vermouth is based around Riesling and Chenin. It’s dry with the dominant aromas and botanical flavour of Elderflower, picked straight from our gardens at home on Felton Rd – plus it’s organic so is obviously good for you as well.”
Forget any thoughts of Martini or Cinzano. This is artisanal to its core. The 75% Elderflower component comes through clearly with cloves, coriander and thyme making their presence felt. Drink it neat over ice or with some soda and a slice of orange. The label features a stylised David Bowie.
Mount Edward Rose 2016
Hand picked Pinot Noir from the Bannockburn Muirkirk vineyard, whole bunch pressed and wild yeast fermented to dryness. This ain’t no strawberries and cream style – it is quite textural with fragrant red fruits and enough crunchy, tanginess to make it a juicy, quenching style. Grab the antipasto platter, sit in the sun – if there is any – and presto!
TED by Mount Edward Pinot Blanc 2016
One of only a handful of wineries producing Pinot Blanc in New Zealand. Pinot Blanc is the white mutation of Pinot Noir, but in terms of flavours more akin to Chardonnay. It needs a cool climate and low crops to succeed – perfect for Central Otago. Grown on L’Attitude vineyard of Merrill and John Holdsworth down near the shores of Lake Dunstan, Cromwell. Hand harvested, whole bunch pressed. Fresh with floral, stonefruit flavours, finishing with just a hint of sweetness and chalky-like texture balanced by the fresh acidity. For those who are wondering – The new Ted label for this has a stylised portrait of Actress Tilda Swinton. Only one person in the tasting group got this one.
Mount Edward Grüner Veltliner 2016
Mount Edward seem to be getting a handle on this variety where many others have not. Grown and made properly it can end up like this. Tight and fine, with lemon balm, cucumber and a hint of white pepper. The fresh acidity carries the wine right through the palate. A refreshing drink, perfect for the summer months. One of the favourite wines of the night.
Mount Edward Chardonnay 2016
The first ‘serious’ release of a Chardonnay from Mt Edward. The grapes were whole bunch pressed and fermented at cool temperatures using a mixture of wild and introduced yeasts. Chablis-like with cashew, fresh fruits – white nectarine, apple notes. Relatively delicate and light in texture. Only one barrel produced – older oak used for a short period before hand bottling straight to bottle, hence the use of cork and sealing with wax.
TED by Mount Edward Pinot Noir 2015
A new label (replaces the Wanaka Road). This is what Duncan calls his “house-style”. Mount Edward Pinot Noirs tend to be more in the savoury spectrum underlying the Central Otago cherry/mulberry fruits. A barrel selection from over the various sites. Medium weighted and balanced. This is a supple, ‘easy’ Pinot Noir made to enjoy as a younger wine than the following wines.