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Gibbston Valley China Terrace Pinot Noir 2016

13.5% - New Zealand
MD 98/100 Falstaff 95/100

So on opening the Gibbston Valley China Terrace Pinot Noir 2016, wow. The nose is restrained, I would almost say with a Burgundian character. Just deep enough in colour with a delicate light plaque rim in the glass, the similarities continue. It is probably there that the similarities come to an end, and for me not in a negative way. This is a premium wine, it has a screw cap as is usual in NZ even for the top marques. For a 2016 vintage Pinot Noir, the palate has depth, weight, balance, the whole package. Don’t be fooled this wine has ageing potential, but even now as a young wine it tickles the palate beautifully. Unlike earlier vintages from Central Otago, this wine has lost much of the more cumbersome big fruit. It is still juicier than its French equivalents but now has far more gravitas. Oak integration is done to perfection and the wine has a wonderful full mouth feel. All the elements of this wine now have a subtlety of Burgundy without the austerity, dark cherry, hints of cassis overlying a wonderfully delicate redcurrant undertone.

This wine is not trying to be Burgundy, a fact I like. It is of its place and time, and even the more enjoyable for it. Viva Pinot Noir which is quality and drinkable now!

MD98 (MARCH 2023)