Hand-harvested and embellished with a smattering of oak, this is a meld of different sites, each with their own mesoclimate. The accent is one of clove, orange zest and sappy red fruits, with considerable more complexity, spine and wherewithal than other introductory Pinots. Lots of snap, pop and crunch. Substantial verve and savoury length, as is Mountford’s signature.
It takes some confidence in one’s pedigree to release the first cab off the hierarchical Pinot rank with this sort of bottle age. Confidence, justified! Incredibly vibrant with a youthful cadence bound to crunchy acidity and a gentle waft of tannin. Strawberry to kirsch aromas. Feels like a warmer year. Round and juicy. Trickles off after offering just what one expects: a big mouthful of flavour and dutiful freshness. Solid Pinot.
91 points (August 2020)
<p>Koyama Mountford was planted in 1991 on an enviable calcareous scree embedded in the northwestern face of the eastern Waipara Valley. A substrata of marl brimming with plentiful active limestone, it is known as ‘The Golden Mile’. This is the soil type on which Chardonnay and Pinot Noir excel. A geological foundation seldom found in the antipodes, limestone imparts a structural carapace while infusing the Mountford wines with a signature mineral force. Be it the resinous expressions of Chardonnay, or densely layered Pinot Noir, an apogee of complexity reached with the single vineyard expressions, the Mountford wines have long struck a chord with even the most devout Burgundy lovers.</p>
<p>Success is due as much to a propitious confluence of site and meticulous attention to detail, as it is to a savvy succession plan.</p>
<p>Crafted by CP Lin since inception, a maker well versed in the magic of Burgundy, the cultish renown of the Mountford style continues to evince authority while exhibiting an even more refined cut-glass precision, since his retirement.</p>
<p>It was then only fitting that the head winemaker role be bequeathed to his assistant, Takahiro Koyama. Koyama sought investment from top wine collectors in the world’s most venerable and demanding market for Burgundy. Where else, but for Japan! These collectors were as smitten by the Mountford track record as the world’s top buyers and critics remain spell-bound.</p>
<p>In 2017 Koyama purchased the estate to complement his eponymous label. Today both Koyama and Koyama Mountford benefit from this superlative site, Koyama’s winemaking nous, a dedicated posse of well versed backers and unparalleled Japanese precision.</p>