Craggy Range 'Te Muna Road' Pinot Noir 2008 (Martinborough, NZ)
$50, Cork (I think), 13.7% Source: Sample www.craggyrange.com
I think I am the only person in the land who is not much of a Craggy Range fan. Or at least it feels that way. Everyone else seems to give the wines maximum points and waxes lyrical about the fantastic concentration and precision. I just tend to find the white wines to be good, not great, with the red wines often oaky, extractive and lacking in complexity. The only exception to this rule is the Hawkes Bay sourced Bordeaux blends (and the odd straight Merlot), which can be very smart indeed. Even the Le Sol is often le not-as-amazing-as-the-scores-would-suggest in my books.
This wine just further emphasises my bewilderment. It is absolutely dripping in critical accolades, trophies and general wine critic love. But I think it's ordinary.
It smells stewed, hot and cooked, the red berry nose is fragrant but heady, a fraction roasted, suggesting perhaps that the ferment may have been too hot and the grapes picked too ripe. Palate too is ripe and full, a fraction overripe and rather firm. There is lots of flavour and proper Pinot character here but ultimately it lacks delicacy. It's going to get better, but I'm just not loving this. 16.6/88+
2009/10 WCA Wine Journalism 'Young Gun; Wine Judge; Gourmet Traveller WINE and Breathe Hunter Valley magazine contributor; LattéLife & The Retiree columnist; National Liquor News tasting panellist and Chablis lover who fell into the liquor industry chiefly to buy cheap beer.
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