For those visiting the Central Otago region, do drop by Peregrine’s cellar door, as much for the spectacular setting and architecture as the wines. I enjoyed a wide range of wines when there last year, but right now we have the key label in its portfolio: the Pinot Noir.
This wine, made from fruit of the Cromwell Basin (Northburn) and Gibbston Valley sub-regions, makes an interesting stylistic comparison with well known wines from the Bannockburn sub-region (specifically, the 2006 Mount Difficulty and Felton Road Pinots previously tasted here at Full Pour). On the nose, this wine is a detailed, perfumed wine of impressive complexity. There are notes of bright sour plum, spice, sap, sausage and citrus mixed into a well integrated flavour profile. It’s a delicate nose, and if I were to compare it with the Bannockburn Pinots, I would say this wine shows greater finesse and complexity, perhaps at the expense of outright impact.
Initially, I found the palate to be structurally overwhelming, with prominent acidity and tannins washing away any substantial trace of fruit flavour. Some vigorous swirling, though, has helped to rebalance the palate, and through the evening it has become more drinkable, if still highly structured. Acidity and bright fruit weave in and out of each other on entry, creating a very focussed first impression. As the wine moves to the mid-palate, it remains quite driven in its line, but the fruit relaxes somewhat to express hints of sweetness amongst the primarily savoury, sour flavour profile. There’s a lot going on here, flavour-wise, with more sour plum and spice, plus a strong mineral streak. The flavour continues to build towards the after palate, where a clean, attractive burst of red fruit presents, before velvet tannins whisk the wine away to a lengthy finish.
Frankly, this wine isn’t ready to drink now and, as excited as I am about it, I should note that its best days are ahead of it. Having made that point, this is an excellent wine that has enormous potential to become superb with a few years in bottle. It’s already complex, and just needs time for its structure to soften and let the fruit emerge from its cage. One that’s worth waiting for (and excellent value).
Date tasted: April 2008