Sunday, 9 March 2014

The Elder

The Elder Wines Martinborough
Winemaker: Paul Moon

Situated on an old river terrace of the Ruakokapatuna River overlooking the Te Muna valley and under the watchful gaze of the Three Canoes mountains - this is a unique site. 
The ground is as hard as diamonds (well almost) and planting anything at all was more than just a simple task when the site was first developed. Rocks, stones and gravels over limestone make up the soil profile - see pic below.
With less than 3 hectares of vines dominated by Pinot Noir (clones 5,115 and Abel) and a minuscule amount of Pinot Gris - this is a tiny yet very well tended site.

The wines are - well - pretty darn good: Yields are naturally low, concentration high and flavor rather gorgeous. 
One of the key features in the Pinots Noir is the lower than expected use of new oak (11% in the 2010 and 2011 and 18% in the 2012) this allows for maximum flavor, use of skin tannins and naturally higher acidity.

The Elder Pinot Noir 2010
Very soft almost feminine bouquet of light red fruits centering on mid to darker cherry, sweet cranberry and a little red apple skin; a soft oak overlay - not dramatic at all; On the palate lots of fruit concentration with bold fruit tannins adding their own mark of spice and a little oak spice; Taut and youthful with light brown spice notes, cherry fruits and roasted red apple skin. Balanced with medium+ length and complexity.

The Elder Pinot Noir 2011
A little more red fruits show compared with the 2010 - lifted and more masculine aromatics/tones. Also quite closed on the nose overall with a definitive tense message - (leave me alone for a while please - 2 years). On the palate its all Pinosity but very young, there is a freshness to the fruits - slightly cool too; youthful with lots of fruit spice, slightly courser tannins; there is a sweet spot on the palate though that gives me lots of confidence in this wines future; balanced with medium+ length and complexity.

The Elder Pinot Noir 2012
Noticeable red fruits but also with a steely complexity and softer plush edgy- ness; lots of sweet and ripe red fruits with red cherry, a touch of cranberry and red apple skin; on the palate soft and generous with fine tannins - this time from both the oak and fruit; I noticed too the influence of soil with a silty, gravelly note; medium+ acidity, dry with just a nudge of olive leaf. Overall a wine to invest in. 
Leave some for me though please.

Margaret Hanson with a bunch of Pinot Gris that has decided to be Pinot Blanc as well

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