03 September 2007

KariKari Pinotage 2005

Jules van Cruysen in Wellington, New Zealand, posted these notes about KariKari Estate, a winery in the far north of New Zealand that I've not previously heard of. He says

KariKari Estate Pinotage 2005

"This is their most expensive (NZ$45) and flagship wine and I think sums up their style the best – it had a dark inky purple color and a rich fruit forward nose with ripe lack plums and cedar coming through predominantly. These follow through on the palate but more as secondary flavours and are complemented by a fleshy, sinewy, almost mutton characteristics both in terms of flavour profile but also texturally.

These were also underpinned by rich and heady coffee and cacao flavours. It had a taut, drying tannin structure which offset the sweet ripeness of the wine. Personally I don't think this wine will be everybodies cup of tea (isn't this the case with everything) but I really enjoyed enjoyed it and think it is probably the best example of a Kiwi pinotage."

Karikari Estate's first vines were planted in 1998 with their first vintage in 2003. They now have 40 hectares planted with Syrah, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Franc, Malbec, Pinotage, Chardonnay, Viognier and Montepuliciano.

The Pinotage is their most expensive wine. Winemaker Ben Dugdale has this to say about the current 2005 Pinotage.

"What I aim for in this wine is a clear, pronounced varietal definition of Pinotage. The vines give us fist sized rather compact bunches of ovoid shaped berries. The skins are tight and reasonably thin, pulp quite firm and the seeds small. It reminds me in some ways of Pinot noir and that has influenced the method of vinification.

I prefer about 30-40% whole berries in the ferment, which allows a little carbonic fermentation aroma to lift the fruit in the resultant wine. I do not enjoy the characters that post ferment maceration give the wine so generally remove the skins within days (sometimes hours) of the wine reaching 0 brix.

Pressing lasts a few hours and I generally add the press wine back to the “free run”, unless there is a damn good reason not to. The wine undergoes malolactic in barrel and usually goes for about 2 months. The wine is racked post malolactic fermentation and sulphur added. The wine remains in barrel for about a year with regular topping. At the end of maturation the wine is pumped into tank and prepared for bottling. I felt there was no great benefit in fining or “adjusting” the acid in this wine – so was very happy to leave it alone"

Thanks to Jules for allowing me to post his tasting notes. Visit his blog here

No comments:

Post a Comment