July 10, 2015

Vertical Tasting: Craggy Range ‘Aroha’ Te Muna Road Pinot Noir

craggyrangearohaThe Martinborough region, on the North Island of New Zealand has been known to produce very ripe, big red style Pinot Noir. This is not the case with the Craggy Range ‘Aroha’ at all. The 2013 Aroha is a pretty wine in its vibrance, as it is in its elegance. The intelligent winemaking regime of careful clonal selection, combined stainless steel and oak cuve fermentation and an oak regime of one third new French oak allows the purity of the fruit at Aroha’s core.

Here are some tasting notes from the vertical tasting of the 2006, 2009 and 2013 vintages.

2006 – While drinking well now, at nine years old it still has life left. It has hit its stride and there is a hint of leather to the earthy, forest floor, cherry and warm nutmeg characters. The 2006 is finely balanced and long with a spicy finish. Enjoy within the next few years.

2009 – This was an excellent vintage and is looking youthful yet. It is still cloaked in pretty violets, cherry and plum fruit which has melded over this time with spicy cinnamon, charcuterie and forest floor. In the 2009, taut acid meets fleshy fruit and leaves fragrance and spice in its wake. Looking good now if you’d like to capture this graceful wine in its still youthful form. However, you don’t have to hurry just yet, while it may not be as perfumed it will last for at least another 5 years.

2013 – Another excellent vintage. The 2013 has plentiful cherry and plum fruit dripping with ripeness and exotic spices and floral fragrance. This incredibly intense fruit is shaped by low level tannins and the complexity is enhanced with white pepper, cardamom and dried herbs on the extended finish.

Supple and velvety, this wine has just entered its prime and is excellent now. Alternatively, lay it down and it will be rewarding you into the coming decade. The choice is yours, however recent history has shown that both are good decisions.

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