Trophy for Champion Wine of the Show – Aotearoa Regional Wine Competition 2023
Trophy for Champion Red Wine – Aotearoa Regional Wine Competition 2023
Trophy for Champion Pinot Noir – Aotearoa Regional Wine Competition 2023
Trophy for Champion Otago Wine – Aotearoa Regional Wine Competition 2023
Trophy for Champion Alexandra Pinot Noir – International Wine Challenge 2023
Gold Medal – Decanter World Wine Awards 2023
Gold Medal – New Zealand International Wine Show 2022 & 2023
Gold Medal – Aotearoa Regional Wine Competition 2023
Gold Medal & 96/100 – International Wine Challenge 2023
Well known Central Otago wine maker Matt Connell is now making the wines for Alexandra based McArthur Ridge and there's a marked step up in quality as the accolades above reflect. This label has undergone major changes in recent years and all this work is now being recognized and rewarded. This is great buying for a wine of this level.
Winery notes (2021 Vintage)
"Southern Tor is the name given to exposed rock mass thought to be formed by freeze-thaw weathering found throughout the Alexandra region. Located in the heart of this unforgiving mountainous region, Central Otago sits the expansive vineyard of McArthur Ridge. The cool climate and gently sloping Brassknocker soils combine to deliver what some say to be amongst the best vineyards in the world for growing Pinot Noir. Optimal vineyard management and diligence allows for our grape harvest at peak flavour potential.
Ruby red in colour, this wine has a bouquet of savoury red berry fruit, black cherry and vanilla that combine with aromas of black forest berries, cloves and dark violets, finishing with soft stony notes. Dry on the palate with a core of fruit, savoury tannins give it a great texture. The oak influence is obvious with baking spices, brown sugar and smokiness."
96/100 International Wine Challenge, Judges Comment (2021 Vintage)
"Blueberries, ripe raspberries, strawberries and pomegranate galore with crunchy acidity, a suggestion of spice and fine tannins. Excellent."
Reviews for the 2020 vintage below…
NZIWS Judges Comments (2020 Vintage)
"A new Central Otago star is born. Bright ruby/purple in the glass, the palate is full of black cherries, smoky oak and gamey characters. Already a delicious Pinot Noir but there are years of cellaring ahead. Another top effort from Champion Winemaker Matt Connell."
5 Stars Michael Cooper (2020 Vintage)
"Grown at Alexandra, the powerful 2020 vintage is a delicious Alexandra red. Bright ruby, it is invitingly perfumed, weighty and vibrant, with concentrated cherry, plum, spice and herb flavours, showing good complexity, and supple tannins. A highly fragrant and distinctive wine, it should be at its best 2024+."
5 Stars & 95/100 Bob Campbell MW, The Real Review, January 2023 (2020 Vintage)
"A taut, sinewy, high-energy wine that is surprisingly accessible and smooth-textured with a mix of plum, cherry, floral/violet and savoury, fresh herb aromas, and a hint of new leather. Delicious now but with the potential to develop further with bottle age. Complex pinot noir."
Rated Outstanding & 95/100 Cameron Douglas MS, December 2022 (2020 Vintage)
"Ripe, varietal and enticing bouquet with aromas of pinosity and a sense of place, dark cherry flesh and raspberry laced with wood spices and a stony mineral quality. Dry, wood spiced, fruity and dry with flavours that mirror the bouquet. Raspberry and black currant, some wood smoke through firmish chalky tannins with medium+ acidity. Well made, dry and lengthy. best drinking from mid to late 2023 through 2029. Even better now than when I judged it at Decanter in April 2022."
5 Stars Yvonne Lorkin, August 2022 (2020 Vintage)
"If you’re looking for a Central Otago pinot noir with both depth, intensity and also playful perkiness on the palate, then you’ve arrived in the right cul-de-sac my friend. Boasting deliciously defined floral notes, lifted spices and cherry on the nose, followed by tamarillo and hedgerow fruits on the palate, this is a youthful, succulent, beautifully balanced style that bursts with personality and immediate drinkability, and yet shows great cellaring potential as well. Nicely crafted and darn lovely to drink."