Still great Kiwi sparkling – Cloudy Bay Pelorus 2006
Cloudy Bay Pelorus 2006 (Marlborough, NZ)
13%, Cork, $38 (on special!)
It’s quite intriguing – or it is to me – that NZ doesn’t receive more acclaim for it’s bubbles. I mean, it’s still not Champagne, but the best Kiwi sparklings really are seriously good. When you think about how much Pinot Noir there is planted in NZ – and how seriously the variety is taken, it’s almost a surprise to see that there isn’t more of an emphasis on making great Pinot Noir dominant bubbles (though there are a few great ones – Huia, No.1, Deutz, Hunter’s etc). I wonder why that is? Perhaps some Kiwi readers can answer that?
Anyway, this Pelorus is an old favourite of mine. In fact, I’ve probably drank more bottles of this than I have of nearly any other ‘premium’ Australian/Kiwi sparkling (along with vintage Chandon), as it tends to hit plenty of high notes for the relative cost (and widespread availability).
A rich and yeasty style, this looks Pinot dominant (60% Pinot) and appears to have some barrel ferment on the nose too (old barrels only though I believe). After the fullness of the nose the palate is dry and quite lean, a drier and more restrained beast yet still carrying that toasty, almost butterscotch richness. That richness/leanness tension is quite Bollinger-esque in it’s form and certainly makes for an enjoyable drink. Through the finish it looks a little sweeter and a fraction unfocused, but that’s the only blemish (and from experience it probably just needs an extra 18 months in the bottle).
Enjoyable sparkling. 17.8/92