Michael Cooper’s New Zealand Wines Buyers Guide 2019
Grown at Bannockburn, the attractive 2014 vintage (4.5*) was matured in French oak casks (30 per cent new), and bottled unfined and unfiltered. Deep ruby, it is fragrant and full-bodied, with generous, ripe flavours, complex and savoury, good tannin backbone, and a rich, harmonious finish. Drink now onwards. The 2013 vintage (4.5*) was grown at Bendigo. Deep and still fairly youthful in colour, it is very fresh and lively, with strong cherry, plum and spice flavours, fresh acidity and good complexity. Best drinking 2020+.
Sam Kim at Wine Orbit
Bristol Farm Pinot Noir 2013
The wine is impressively ripe and fragrant on the nose showing dark berry, smoked game, olive, floral and dark mushroom characters, followed by a beautifully weighted palate that is velvety and mouthfilling. Seductively expressed and richly textured, it is gorgeous drinking. At its best: now to 2020. $40.00.
Bristol Farm Pinot Noir 2014
Stylish and complex, the gorgeous bouquet shows spiced cherry, plum, cedar, warm spice and subtle truffle characters, leading to a concentrated palate that is persistent and engaging. The wine is elegant and refined with fabulous fruit purity and delightful complexity, wonderfully framed by polished tannins. At its best: now to 2020. $40.00.
Raymond Chan Wine Reviews
Bristol Farm is the wine venture of intellectual property lawyer and Pinot Noir lover, Wayne Condon, a Kiwi resident in Victoria, Australia. Wayne has harboured a 30 year obsession with the variety and actually made 10 vintages of wine under the Bristol Farm label from fruit from a vineyard just outside Melbourne. But Wayne’s desire was to make New Zealand wine and he teamed up with winemaker Brendan Seal in Central Otago to make a wine from fruit from Chinaman’s Terrace in Bendigo in 2013. From the 2014 vintage on, Wayne and Brendan have contracted fruit from a single site in Bannockburn, with clone 667, 777, 115, 5 and Abel fruit planted in 2002. The wine is intended primarily for the Australian market, but some will be released in New Zealand. The 2013 and 2014 vintages will be made available, with a possibility of a one-dozen pack with three bottles each of the 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016. Here, I review all four wines.
Bristol Farm Central Otago Pinot Noir 2013
Very deep, dark-hearted black-red colour with garnet hues, a little lighter on the rim. The nose is deep and intensely concentrated with aromas of ripe black cherry and blackberry fruit along with fragrant dark herbs and nuances of liquorice, spice and black minerals. Medium-full bodied, the palate is rich and luscious with a well-concentrated and tight core of ripe black cherry and blackberry fruit intermingling with dark herbs, liquorice and minerals. The palate is very smooth-flowing with very fine tannin structure underlining the fruit. The acidity is balanced and integrated, and the wine carries with power and linearity to a long, concentrated finish of black fruits and minerals. This is a very finely concentrated and intense, black-fruited Pinot Noir with liquorice and mineral flavours on a fine-textured, smooth-flowing palate. Match with roasted game meat dishes over the next 6-8 years. Fruit from a site in Chinaman’s Terrace, Bendigo, clones 5, 667, 777, 5 and Abel, indigenous yeast fermented with 10% whole bunches to 14.0% alc., the wine aged 11 months in 30% new French oak. 140 cases made. 18.5/20 May 2018
Bristol Farm Central Otago Pinot Noir 2014
Moderately deep ruby-red colour with lighter garnet hues on the rim. The bouquet is softly full and voluminous with fragrant aromas of red cherry and berry fruit intermixed with an amalgam of red florals, and dark and dried herbs. This has a well-concentrated core that unfolds to reveal some whole bunch stalk perfume and some secondary undergrowth elements. Medium-full bodied, the palate is rich and harmoniously integrated with flavours of red berry fruit entwined with savoury herbs and notes of secondary undergrowth. The fruit is sweetly rich and luscious, and supported by fine-grained tannin extraction with soft, integrated acidity. The wine carries seamlessly and gently to a long, savoury finish. This is a beautifully smooth and harmonious, rich and luscious red-fruited Pinot Noir with some herbal and savoury secondary development interest. Match with coq au vin and casseroles over the next 5 years. Fruit from a Bannockburn site, clones 5, 115, 667 and 777, indigenous yeast fermented with 12.5% whole bunches to 13.5% alc., the wine aged 11 months in 30% new French oak. 220 cases made. 18.5/20 May 2018
Bristol Farm Central Otago Pinot Noir 2015
Deepish ruby-red colour with a little garnet, a little paler on the rim. The nose is elegantly concentrated with vibrant and aromatic dark-red cherry and berry fruits entwined with dark-red florals and subtle notes of dark herbs. A little whole bunch stalk nuance adds to the detail. This has beautiful intensity and concentration. Medium-full bodied, the palate has rich, deep and well-concentrated, lusciously rich flavours of ripe dark-red and black berried fruit, with subtle notes of dark herbs, some whole bunch stalk detail and minerals. The fruit richness forms a deep heart and the flavours unfold to fill the mouth. The fruit is supported by very fine-grained tannin extraction and balanced acidity, and the wine carries to a very long finish. This is a vibrantly rich, succulent and deeply concentrated, ripe dark-red and black fruited Pinot Noir with fine-grained structure. Match with roasted lamb, beef and venison dishes over the next 6-8+ years. Fruit from a Bannockburn site, clones 5, 6, 667 and 777, indigenous yeast fermented with 12% whole bunches to 13.% alc., the wine aged 10 months in 24% new French oak. 204 cases made. 19.0-/20 May 2018
Bristol Farm Central Otago Pinot Noir 2016
Dark, deep ruby-red colour, a little lighter on the edge. The nose is softly full with gently packed and deep aromas of ripe dark-red and black berried fruit along with notes of plums, unfolding spice and liquorice nuances. This is rounded and the aromatics grow in volume with aeration. Medium-full bodied, the palate is sweetly rich with ripe, mouthfilling flavours of blackberries and dark plums. The flavours are softly interwoven and build to show plenty of depth and breadth, unveiling liquorice elements. The fruit sweetness is the feature with soft, supple tannins supporting the fruit, and soft acidity adding to the richness. The wine carries to a soft, lingering finish, This is a rich, soft and plush, ripe Pinot Noir with mouthfilling black-berried fruits and plum flavours on a supple palate. Match with venison and game meat over the next 5-6 years. Fruit from a Bannockburn site, clones 5, 6, 667 and 777, destemmed and indigenous yeast fermented to 13.6% alc., the wine aged 11 months in 22% new French oak. 220 cases made. 18.0+/20 May 2018