95 Points, Double Gold, SF International Wine Competition 90 Points, Blue Lifestyle, Anthony Dias Blue 91 Points, 4.5 stars, Wine Orbit, Sam Kim 91 Points, 4.5 Stars, The Real Reviews, Bob Campbell MW 17/20, Raymond Chan Wine Reviews 90 Points, Planet Grape Wine Reviews, Catherine Fallis MS
2017 Sisters Ridge North Canterbury Pinot Noir, New Zealand
Sisters Ridge wines are made with freshness and approachability in mind, and can be enjoyed anytime whether that’s at lunch on a hot summer’s day, or at dinner in front of the fire on a stormy winter’s night. On the nose, our Pinot Noir bursts with aromas of rose petals and bright red berry fruits. The palate exhibits great fruit expression of ripe red cherries, as well as very subtle sweet spices. With medium to low tannin levels, this wine lingers on the palate while its refreshing acidity makes you salivate for more.
2017 was a great vintage for Pinot Noir. Good flowering was followed by a cooler than usual summer. This cooler weather helped slow ripening, and preserve acidic freshness. In 2017 crop loading was light in our Pinot Noir blocks, which kept the vines in balance and yielded expressive fruit concentration. Picking started March 31st, nine days later than the 2016 vintage. We started in the Marle block which is our youngest Pinot Noir block, and finished our Pinot Noir harvest on April 18th. All fruit was hand-picked, destemmed to whole berries and gravity fed to tank. Blocks were fermented separately with each comprising of multi-clonal blends. This helped add complexity and aided in the integration of flavors. Seven days of cold soaking were followed by a fast fermentation. Gentle plunging twice a day allowed us to achieve a fruit driven wine with good tannin balance. After two weeks of post-fermentation maceration, the grapes were pressed, with free-run juice and the pressings kept separate. The wine was then aged for 10 months in French oak barrels; 15% of which were new. Finally, the wine underwent malolactic fermentation in barrel before being racked once and lightly fined with egg whites prior to being bottled in July 2018.
Our Pinot Noir is planted on the Southern section of our vineyard, which has the highest elevation, providing extra warmth and less exposure to frost. In addition, our vines are closely planted to reduce vigor, resulting in lower crop levels and allowing us to ripen these grapes to achieve a true expression of this variety. We hand tend all our Pinot Noir throughout the season and at harvest. Our mix of Pinot Noir clones were specifically chosen for their flavor profile with 50% of the vineyard planted in Burgundy clones. Clone 667 fills out the middle palate, while 777 provides a long finish. The rest of the vines are a mixture of eleven other clones, including UCD 5, UCD 6, 114, 115, Mariafeld, AM10, 4, 5, 943 and Abel. The aim of these selections is to build sound palate structure in the wine, providing a vibrant ruby colored wine with ripe fruit, subtle tannins, great length and persistence of flavor.
This wine is versatile however some good pairings would be a cold lamb and feta salad (hot summer’s day), whole pan fried snapper (anytime) or rare roast beef (dinner, with some friendly banter).
TA: 5.8 g/L
Bottled: August 2018
Cases Produced: 1288
Included in the Box
4x 2017 Sisters Ridge North Canterbury Pinot Noir, New Zealand
12x 2017 Sisters Ridge North Canterbury Pinot Noir, New Zealand
Mt. Beautiful wines are not only different from most New Zealand wines by way of their North Canterbury location, but they are also different in style. The wine style captures the essence of New Zealand while embracing a more restrained approach, with harmony and balance.
Mt. Beautiful Founder David Teece is the quintessential Kiwi: curious, adventuresome and utterly devoted to his home country. His family arrived in New Zealand in the 1860s from Shropshire, England, eager to seize fresh opportunities in a country undergoing a massive gold rush. They landed in Lower Moutere, an area known for hops, sheep and dairy at the time, but which has since become regarded as an excellent region for viticulture.
The winery is one of the most compelling stories to come out of New Zealand in the past twenty years. An internationally recognized scholar with a profound love of his heritage has applied the lessons he learned throughout a life of farming, study and achievement to build a winery destined to serve as New Zealand’s most elegant ambassador to the world. He has poured every bit of his heart, soul and business savvy into Mt. Beautiful, attracting the best people, relying on only proven sustainable practices and crafting sublime New Zealand wines.
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84 Point Sisters Ridge 2017 Pinot Noir (North Canterbury)
This wine seems to be showing some acetic acid, meaning it feels a touch vinegary. Cherry and strawberry fruit is there, along with touches of meat and undergrowth, but it’s all somewhat sharp and pungent. On the palate the pungency continues, flattening the fruit and making the tannins feel chewy and drying. CP 7/1/19
Wonder how the cases of wine were handled as they came to the US intermodal. Temperature controlled container ships, trucks, warehouses, etc?? Or via steaming hot pirate ships, covered wagons, and dusty saloons!!!
When I was in New Zealand, I did the obligatory Marlborough brief tasting (at Cloudy Bay). But what was really impressive were the Central Otago Pinots. I had no idea that NZ made such tasty Pinot. And, of course, it is a big region, so YMMV. This wine is not from Central Otago so I am hoping for some rats. BTW: I prefer Dry Creek’s SB to most of the Marlborough SBs.
I received the bottle sometime last week, Thursday, I think (still waiting for the e-mail notification ). Honestly, I only retrieved it from the mailroom in my building because I had another delivery to pick up. A pleasant surprise! With no idea when it might go live, I opened it on Saturday evening and had a glass Saturday, Sunday, Monday, and tonight.
Night 1 Unscrew and pour:
Nose is definitely brighter red fruits (strawberry, raspberry) and there’s an earthy funk note that I can’t figure out. I would say closer to mushroom than forest floor or dirt.
Color is a lovely garnet with a slight purple edge. I have always said that Pinot is the prettiest shade of red.
Palate: It’s a bit tart, but not unpleasantly so. Perhaps “juicy” would be a better descriptor. Tannins are present, but again, not particularly drying. There’s definitely fruit…I’ll stick with the same bright red fruits as the nose - strawberry, raspberry, maybe some cranberry. I wouldn’t say anything in the cherry range, though. I’m not getting anything particularly floral or herbal. That same funk is there, but I can’t seem to put a name on it. Woodsy?
Night 2/3 (recapped and left out on the counter due to extreme laziness):
Not much has changed. Still bright and juicy more fruity than funky. Still very “juicy”.
Night 4: Migraine–no wine for me!
Night 5 (tonight): Fruit has faded considerably, as one would likely expect. Nondescript nose other than a new herbal note. Dill? Tannins are still there and seem a bit more prominent with the fading of the fruit.
Overall (pure honesty here on Casemates, right??):
I think this is a perfectly quaffable daily drinker. Will it knock your socks off? Not likely. For me, it falls a little flat. There’s not much finish to speak of. It just sort of disappears. There’s nothing unpleasant about it, but also not anything particularly “exciting”.
I’m not generally a daily drinker, so it’s not really what I, personally, am in the market for. I do think if you’re looking for some cellar defenders, this would be a reasonable option. At the case price of $12.50, I don’t think you’d be disappointed. That said, I also think you could find equally quaffable daily drinkers at a local wine shop with the (likely) ability to taste before buying.
Thanks, as always, to WD and Ariana for the opportunity to contribute to the rat program!