Wednesday, January 29, 2014

New Zealand Wine: Allan Scott Marlborough Pinot Noir 2012

Allan Scott Family Winemakers was founded in 1990, but Allan Scott's presence in Marlborough winegrapes goes back a couple of decades before that.  He was involved in Marlborough's early days as a wine region and eventually decided to bottle his estate grapes.

For the Marlborough Pinot Noir 2012, winemaker Matt Elrick and senior winemaker Bruce Abbott put together a 100% Pinot Noir that is only 13% abv and is contained under a screw cap, not a cork.  The original vineyard was planted in the mid-1970s, but today's Pinot vines on the Scott estate came along in the '90s.  Whole Foods Market featured this wine as one of their 12 holiday wines, and was priced - I guess that it still is - at $15.  It was supplied to me for review.

The wine displays a medium brick tint rather than a pure ruby-red hue.  The nose comes on strong with dark raspberry and cranberry aromas.  In the mouth, this Pinot has smooth tannins, nice acidity and big fruit flavors with tea and cola notes in background.  It's not a light and delicate Pinot, it's very dark and bold.  Minerals play a big part.

In fact, the wine is so dark and bold it's rather hard to keep in mind that it is a Pinot Noir.  I have heard talk of some winemakers "juicing" their Pinot with Syrah to add color and body.  This comes across more like a Syrah juiced with Pinot!  Of course, it may just be the dark nature of New Zealand Pinot that's in play here.

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