Mt Difficulty Pinot Noir 2006

I couldn’t resist picking up a few bottles of wine at the Auckland duty free stores. In fact, the selection had quite a few little numbers that were of interest. I grabbed this one immediately. Earlier in the year, I had the pleasure of visiting Central Otago and the Mount Difficulty cellar door. I quite enjoyed the wines there, and so jumped at the chance to taste this one (at local prices too!).Lovely, expressive nose, showing distinctively Central Otago “sweet sour plum” fruit character, with edges of forest floor and the opulent sweetness of something like creme brulee. Absolutely seductive. The entry is quite striking in its immediacy and, although the wine is obviously young, it’s not holding anything back, with the middle palate showing lots of fruit flavour. It is perhaps a bit unfocussed, but strongly regional and delicious. There’s a good whack of caramel oak too. The wine’s flavour continues strongly through the after palate and lengthy finish. There’s a roughness to the mouthfeel that is part acid, part chunky tannin. The alcohol also protrudes a little, at times masking the fruit. I suppose one could accuse the wine of being a bit overdone, and if your taste runs to light to medium bodied pinots of finesse, you may not especially enjoy this one.  I’m more inclined, though, to accept and enjoy it for what it is: a big, flavourful Central Otago Pinot that will probably respond to a couple of years in the bottle.Other half, who generally enjoys full bodied red wines, loved it.Mount DifficultyPrice: $NZ38Closure: StelvinDate tasted: December 2007

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