ARCHANGEL Pinot Noir, Central Otago
The Archangel vineyard sits on two ancient glacial terraces near Wanaka in the Upper Clutha Valley of Central Otago, on New Zealand’s South Island. Geological events a mere 30,000 years ago define the landscape, leaving a pastiche of loess, gravel, schist and mineral quartz soils. The 23 hectare estate is farmed organically.
The grapes (Pinot Noir clones 5, 777, 113, 115 and Abel) for this wine are hand-picked and de-stemmed to open-topped vessels for a brief cold soak before fermentation. The wine is then aged in French oak barriques (about 30% new) for 12 months.
The wine typically shows lifted aromas of black and red berries with violets and spice notes. Black and red fruits continue on to the palate, with spice, tobacco and mushroom notes. Archangel Pinot Noir is a complex and concentrated wine with silky-smooth, fine-grained tannins and a long, generous, minerally finish.
‘...my favourite (of three vintages). More intense and weightier... richer and riper with a complex mix of berry, plum, spice and subtle oak.’
95 points, Real Review, August 2018
It is sweetly fragrant on the nose showing dark cherry, spiced plum, cedar, truffle and black olive characters. The palate is concentrated and refined at the same time, delivering gorgeous fruit purity together with silky texture and plenty of polished tannins. Wonderfully composed and harmonious. At its best: now to 2021.
95 points, Wine Orbit
Moderately dark ruby-red colour with some depth, lighter on the edge. The nose is elegantly concentrated with a firm core of black and dark-red cherry and berry fruit entwined with dark herbs, violet florals, unfolding plum and licorice suggestions. The aromatics grow in intensity with aeration. Medium-full bodied, the palate has sweetly rich fruit flavours of dark-red and black cherry and berries, along with notes of plums, licorice and spices. The fruit is fine in concentration, forming an elegant dry core to balance the fruit sweetness. The palate possesses fine-grained, flowery tannins that lend plenty of structure, with balanced acid freshness. The wine flows with good energy to a lingering finish of black fruits. This is a taut and well-concentrated, elegant Pinot Noir with black cherry and berry fruits along with plum and spice notes, on a finely extracted palate with plenty of structure. Match with lamb, beef and venison, or semi-hard cheeses over the next 6-8+ years. Hand-picked fruit, clones 5, 777, 113, 115 and Abel, fully destemmed and fermented to 13.3% alc., the wine aged 12 months in 28% new French oak.
18.5/20 points, RaymondChanWineReviews.co.nz, August 2018
An impressive freshness of cherries is nicely cast against spicy oak complexity, roasting herbs and stony nuances. The palate has an elegant, focused and succulent array of red cherries and plums. Nice, fine finish.
92 points, JamesSuckling.com, October 2018
Central Otago, located at the southern end of the South Island of New Zealand, is the world’s most southerly wine region. In a short amount of time, the area has established itself as a world-class region for Pinot Noir. The picturesque region is surrounded by mountains ensuring a cool semi-continental climate that experiences a large diurnal range contributing to the creation of intensely concentrated wines with perfume, and complexity. Central Otago’s vineyard area is divided into six distinct sub regions each with their own climate and wine style. Best known for producing intensely Fruity medium to full bodied Pinot Noir, Central Otago’s cool climate also produces outstanding Riesling as well as superb bottle-fermented Sparkling wines.