Friday, November 4, 2011

Review: *** $$ Mt Difficulty Roaring Meg Pinot Noir, Central Otago, New Zealand, 2008

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Original Tasting and Review:

By way of background: This is Mt Difficulty Roaring Meg Pinot Noir, Central Otago, New Zealand. The 2008 vintage is finished at 14.% alcohol, and aged for nine months in French oak.  This is part of my long-time quest to find reasonably priced (under $20 US), high-value pinot noirs - a quest that has failed more often than it has succeeded. 

Original review, July, 2010:

In the glass: This shows as light red with glinting purple highlights.

On the nose: Poured cool with a brief decant and swirled vigorously, this Kiwi pinot noir shows a bright, deep nose with tangy currant highs and earthy funk lows. 

On the palate: The primary elements on the palate are well-controlled strawberry with hints of cola.  It comes in a taut package, squeaky clean with acids and just a smidge of sweetness.  The finish curls up into your cheekbones and lodges against your eyeballs.

In summary: Overall, nicely balanced bright red experience. Rates three stars on the five-star Spirit of Wine scale.  I am curious to explore decanting and just a bit of age with Roaring Meg.

Following decant:  Two days under vacuum in partially-filled bottle:   Aroma is a more mature stewed blackberry now.  A rounder palate too, with bright fruit - more currants now than strawberry - and still the cola element.  Nicely interwoven with acids.  I slightly prefer the decanted version, which hits a solid three stars.  I'm intrigued to see this with a bit of bottle aging too.
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Updated review, over a year later,  November, 2011: No purple in the highlights now, more red and hints of brick.  Aroma is consistent.  The palate has grown more towards mature cola, round, full, ready-to-drink.  Feels like it is at its peak.  More time may turn the corner towards broccoli and vegetables.
Following long decant, full day kept cool in partially filled bottle: Mature red berries on the nose, almost over-ripe.  Palate remains round, veering just towards the top - too much longer and I still fear mushiness.  

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