Rockburn Pinot Gris 2007

As a Canberran, I grew up with the civilised notion of a well-stocked supermarket liquor section. After years of living in other, less advanced cities (Sydney, Brisbane), I’ve largely forgotten this convenience, and it’s a pleasant surprise, when visiting home or, as now, New Zealand, to rediscover the efficiency of purchasing red wine and Berocca in the same transaction. Indeed, popping into the Papakura Countdown supermarket yesterday evening revealed a relative treasure-trove of wine, perhaps not as wide ranging as a dedicated alcohol shop, but quite serviceable nonetheless. I wasted no time in choosing a few bottles to have with dinner.

I’ve had some nice Pinot Gris from Central Otago, tending towards rusticity perhaps, but full of flavour and generosity. Chard Farm and Peregrine spring to mind, and there are no doubt others. This one, though, isdisappointing. Its nose is a largely mute, revealing wisps of grapey flavour, and a higher toned dimension alongside, but nothing especially well defined. On the palate, good acidity, a little rough and ready but firm and lively too. On one level, it’s quite flavoursome. As I sip, though, I find I’m unable to focus on specific notes, not because I don’t recognise key flavour components but because the whole is vague and blurry in character. There’s no significant definition here, no precision or clear framework for the flavours to relate to one another. So, although it has reasonable presence in the mouth, it’s not a wine that rewards close examination or leisurely contemplation. The bottle states 13.3% alcohol, but I wonder if there isn’t a slight alcohol burn on the finish.

Price: $NZ24
Closure: Stelvin
Date tasted: December 2008

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