A superlative Estate wine, serving as a totem of the property’s very oldest vines treated in the typically minimalist Koyama Mountford fashion: fermented under the aegis of ambient yeast, subtle use of oak, judicious interplay of whole-bunches and confident extraction. I suppose it is the extraction, though, that draws the attention of the world’s top critics. Asian tea and Indian spice scents are dappled with crunchy red fruit notes. Yet the tannins-attenuated, lithe and firm-bind the elements into a long sappy finish. Exceptional wine at a ridiculous price!
This feels like a fine vintage across the various tiers tasted. The tannins ripe, svelte and gently firm. The acidity bright, but neither shrill nor hard. The fruit, impeccably ripe but subdued: rhubarb, sour cherry cola, damson plum and medicinal Chinese herbs as a savoury frame. Lovely sappy length. Effortless glide and drive. A superb Estate.
94 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>