This label is one of Chard Farm’s lesser Pinot labels, though this doesn’t imply any less integrity in terms of region or winemaking approach. 100% Central Otago fruit, from the Parkburn area, which is nearer to Cromwell than it is to the winery’s location in Gibbston. I mentioned in my writeup of Central Otago wineries that, often, I have enjoyed lesser labels in preference to their “reserve” siblings, because they can represent a fresher, less scaled-up expression of Central Otago fruit, and so showcase the essential attractiveness of this region’s character more directly.
This wine is a good example of my point. A forthright, full nose of savoury Pinot fruit and cough syrup, herbs and light oak. Luscious, very ripe, very fruit-driven, it gives the impression of considerable complexity deriving from the fruit itself rather than any winemaking trickery. In the mouth, impressive presence and generosity. The entry delivers flavour very quickly, along with a slippery, somewhat viscous mouthfeel. Things get fuller towards the middle palate, with savoury fruit washing over the tongue. There are some high toned flavour components here, herbal in character, but the berry fruit is so full it tends to dominate. Good extension through the after palate, with a nice lift and very fine, ripe tannins that create good persistence of flavour on the finish.
A fuller, more luxurious style than many, but one that focuses on fruit character rather than anything more complicated. If I were to level a criticism, it would be that the fruit may lack a little freshness, pushing the boundaries of ripeness somewhat. Still, there’s a lot to enjoy here.
Update: retasted the following morning, this wine showed greater delicacy and layers of perfume. The impression of overripeness was reduced slightly. Nice wine.