Grape Variety: 100% Pinot Noir
Growing Region: Central Otago, New Zealand
Chief Winemaker: Malcolm Rees-Francis

The 2012 vintage was a warmer season for Rockburn, which was against the norm for many in the region and around the country. Starting on the 3rd of April in their Parkburn vineyard and finishing on the 2nd of May in the Gibbston vineyard. They were able to harvest clean fruit, with a good level of physiological ripeness, with selective picking over a 4 week period, with their ‘Gibbston’ vineyard shining through with quality fruit.


Malcolm said that with some of the late picked ‘Parkburn’ parcels, allowed him to use a good number of whole bunches during fermentation. Though most had none and not many parcels underwent wild ferments as with previous years, so relatively conventional winemaking techniques were employed.
Fermentation took place in 7 tonne fermenters, with 5 to 7 days of cold maceration to extract primary characters. Fermentation occurred for approximately 1 week with daily plunging of the cap, followed by post ferment maceration of 7 to 14 days. The final blend is a mix of six different clones, with 85% of the fruit being sourced from Parkburn and 15% from Gibbston. Barrel ageing and development was for 10 months in French oak, with 35% being new, 31% one year old and the remaining 34% in 2 year old barrels. The wine was bottled on the 26th March 2013, resting patiently to be released onto the market.
Malcolm and his team constrained the urge to work a little harder on what for many was a tough season, and they trusted their instincts and the fruit and simply gently guided the wine through the entire vinification process to the bottle with minimal handling.
A ‘hands-off’ approach is not as easy as it sounds, and the decision has delivered a pure 'Central Otago' expression of Pinot Noir in the glass. The wine already has an expressive nose of dark cherries and floral notes. Even though youthful in age and development, the palate is displaying complexities of ripe, dark fruits and vibrant boysenberries, morello cherries, mocha-coffee and well integrated tannins leading to a persistent finish. As with previous vintages, and a signature of Rockburn Pinot Noir, the wine has elegance, typicity and balance. Decant for 45-60 minutes and serve at 15-17°C.

A ‘Central Otago’ Pinot Noir coming of age.

Approachable this coming season; though will repay another 5-7 years.

Perfect wine match with seared tuna steaks, smoked salmon, seasoned duck, roast pork, and foie gras on wheat-toast, enjoy.