Today sees me tasting Mud House’s standard Pinot, at $29 priced only slightly lower than the shimmeringly named Golden Terraces wine. Whatever the imperfections of the single vineyard bottling, it stands in proud stylistic contrast to this wine, which is a much more seductive, polished expression of Central Otago Pinot.
The nose here is much denser and darker in profile, hinting at the twiggy, herbal edges of the Golden Terraces but focusing more intently on luscious fruit. It’s immediately appealing for sure, and whether that appeal lasts is mostly a question of taste; I suspect many will find it lengthily engaging.The palate is full and chewy as expected after such a buxom nose. Entry flows smoothly, widening quickly and communicating generosity and luxe more than quirkiness or edge. Acid seems lower and tannins less prominently textural, all of which fits perfectly with the character of the fruit. The middle palate lifts with bright red fruit and a core of sweetness that anchors it firmly on the tongue. The effect reminds me of mainstream Barossa Shiraz, a style known for its broad appeal. The after palate is a bit more chiselled and lean, and the finish is decent.
I find it interesting — and laudable — that this is so different from the single vineyard wine. It’s a Pinot built for broad appeal, although personally I’d prefer to drink the Golden Terraces for its sharp distinctiveness.