Two fine new 2012 Pinots: Gibbston Valley ‘School House’ and Clyde Park ‘Block D’
What better time then to look at two highlights from the recent Winestate ‘Pinot Noir Challenge’ tasting (where I also tasted this brilliant Fromm Pinot)
Admittedly these were tasted in less than clinical tasting conditions, but no doubting the abject quality of this duo.
(Notes in italics are post tasting, words otherwise as written on the day).
Gibbston Valley ‘School House’ Pinot Noir 12 (Central Otago, NZ) $NZ56
Gibbston Valley has really recaptured its mojo in the last few years, the wines looking less overtly ripe and a little more balanced. This is still a ‘biggish’ wine, but not without falling over the edge..
Has a beautiful pure fragrance to it. Really juicy and primal. Quite ripe and sappy through the middle and lovely red fruit through the finish. A big, bright and juicy wine, with a little too much oak but lots of promise. Good length and certainly vital for Gibbston. 18/20, 93/100+
Clyde Park ‘Block D’ Pinot Noir 2012 (Geelong, Vic) $75
Single vineyard Pinot from a super steep block planted to MV6 clones in 1998. The Clyde Park Pinots have also taken big quality strides in recent years (some recent releases reviewed here), though they can still be variable beasts. This wine is definitely a high point.
You can smell the structure and intent here. Deeply tannic and a little sullen. Latent, almost Geelong Shiraz-like power. Lovely, fine tannins start quite early in the palate and then build and build – certainly quite an extractive style. Much to come and no shortage of stuffing, this is wonderfully serious (and great). 18.5/20, 94/100