In addition to some lovely Pinot Noir, one of the delights of my trip to Central Otago earlier this year was tasting the range of delicious, aromatic whites. Although I noted a degree of inconsistency between producers, the region in general seems to produce full, generous Riesling, Pinot Gris and Gewürztraminer that are often notably different in style to those produced in Australia. In particular, producers in Central Otago seem more inclined to a range of styles that include varying degrees of residual sugar. Now to the Peregrine, from the 2005 vintage.
Signs of age are already appearing on the wine’s nose, with toast and perhaps even a slight kero edge infiltrating the wine’s otherwise heady honeysuckle-like nose. No shrinking violet, this wine. Despite the generosity, I thought it was initially all over the place and quite disjointed. After about half an hour with it, I wouldn’t say it’s entirely resolved, but it’s much more coherent than it was on opening.
The wine’s entry immediately introduces vivid, somewhat coarse acidity onto the palate, along with intense citrus and apple flavours. The middle palate is quite full and it’s here the wine’s residual sugar starts to influence the flavour profile. It thickens the fruit and introduces a tropical fruit element into the wine, not at all unpleasant. This may sound odd, but this wine has a sweet and sour line running through it that strongly reminds me of some New Zealand Pinot Noir. Flavours persist well through the after palate, winding up in a neat, surprisingly soft finish.
There’s no denying this is a tasty wine with plenty of flavour. I would have preferred a tad more elegance, though, and would happily trade some of this wine’s intensity of flavour for a greater sense of poise and balance. Despite the modest residual sweetness, the wine still comes in at 13.5% alcohol. I don’t have any food to go with this wine right now, but I bet some Asian canapes would be perfect.
Tasted: November 2007