Mysterious and marvellous pinot

Three vintages of GeorgeTown Pinot Noir arrived for Bob Campbell MW to review recently. (Photo: Nockie’s Palette website)

When you are travelling from Queenstown to Cromwell, just before you arrive at Cromwell there is a small vineyard on the right (roughly opposite a roadside fruit shop from memory) called GeorgeTown, the name of a small village that once existed there.

The 2015 GeorgeTown Pinot Noir is the most understated of the three with real delicacy and purity. I like this wine very much.

The vineyard was prospected, purchased and planted by the well-known American winemaker, Gary Andrus, who was enormously enthusiastic about it’s potential to make “the best wine in Central Otago.” He established the vineyard with low-trained, densely-planted pinot noir vines. Unfortunately, Gary passed away before he could deliver on his prediction.

I understand that an artist called Michael Knock purchased the vineyard around 18 months ago, but have had little luck trying to contact him to learn more about the fate of a vineyard that particularly interests me, thanks to the enthusiasm of Gary Andrus and the quality of the few GeorgeTown wines I’ve tasted.

Three vintages of GeorgeTown Pinot Noir arrived for review recently. I liked them all very much. A quick search revealed that the 2013 is available at The Village Winery in Mt Eden for the bargain price of NZD $30.99.

I have tasted the 2011 GeorgeTown Pinot Noir twice: once recently and on an earlier occasion four years ago. I preferred the wine when it had benefitted from a little bottle age. It’s an elegant rather than blockbuster style that’s deliciously drinkable and delivers a quality that I appreciate – subtle power. (NZD $45)

The 2013 GeorgeTown Pinot Noir is my favourite of the three vintages, although they all show a strong sense of place – fragrant, elegant wines with appealing floral, spice, cherry and berry flavours that caress the palate rather than make a bold statement. (NZD $45)

Finally, the 2015 GeorgeTown Pinot Noir is the most understated of the three with real delicacy and purity. I like this wine very much. (NZD $45)

Gary Andrus was onto something.

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