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Valli Waitaki Vineyard Pinot Noir 2020

by Valli
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    VALLI is the personal vocation of pioneering winemaker Grant Taylor. Grant’s name is synonymous with Otago Pinot Noir. He has been crafting wines there since 1993 when there were only 20 ha planted – today there are over 2000. Grant founded VALLI in 1998 with the intention to produce single vineyard Pinot Noirs highlighting the different characteristics of Otago’s sub regions. More than 20 years later, VALLI is doing just that, producing single-vineyard pinot noirs from Gibbston, Bannockburn, and Bendigo in Central Otago and the Waitaki Valley in North Otago, as well as a dry Pinot Gris from Gibbston and a Riesling from Waitaki. In 2015, established Otago winemaker Jen Parr joined Grant in the winery, where the two aim to create wines with honesty, integrity, and most of all, a sense of place. When you drink a Valli wine, you are enjoying more than just a wine: you are experiencing a place.

    Waitaki is New Zealand’s newest and most exciting wine growing region, with the first commercial vintage being in 2004. Like Burgundy, the soils are limestone based. These soils lend an incredible ethereal nature to the wines, which are highlighted by perfume and minerality. Slightly cooler than Central Otago, the Waitaki Valley should not be cropped as heavily, and therefore Valli’s Waitaki Vineyard is close planted at 5000 vines per hectare with early ripening clones from Dijon and Pommard. The grapes for the Valli Waitaki Vineyard Pinot Noir 2020 were handpicked before being fermented with 20% whole bunch fruit in French oak (32% new oak) for 11 months before being bottled unfined and unfiltered.

    The Valli Waitaki Vineyard Pinot Noir 2020 has a light garnet hue with wild strawberry and plum married with black olive, maple, sage, and oyster shell.  The intriguing bouquet follows on the palate with garrigue spice, cardamom, damson plum, tart cherry, and mushroom.  The palate has deceptive intensity with fine tannins and incredible persistence, finishing with distinctive salinity.  Intense fragrance, unique savoury undertones, and electric energy = classic Waitaki Pinot Noir and this vintage is no exception.  Captivating at release, this wine will continue to develop for a decade.

    Seductive, complex and enticing aromas of rose and cherry, falling autumn leaves, a fine dried herb quality, a mix of red apple skin and tart raspberry flesh. The core of this is the minerality with a fine chalky stone quality. Oak scents are calm yet distinctive. Delicious on the palate with a fine textured mouthfeel capturing the fruit and mineral qualities from the bouquet. Perfectly balanced with the structure displaying the fruit, earth and oak qualities with precision. Charming, complex and lengthy with best drinking from 2023 through 2030. Cameron Douglas MS, 96 Points

    The Finer Details
    Style - Red Wine
    Varietal -  Pinot Noir
    Country - New Zealand
    Region - Central Otago 
    Vintage - 2020
    Bottle Size - 750ml
    ABV - 13.0%