Mt Difficulty single vineyard pinots shine

One of the Mt Difficulty vineyards in Bannockburn. (Photo: Mt Difficulty)

You are excused for being confused at Mt Difficulty’s wine branding, but the good news is that they have simplified it by dropping the Growers Series labels. Now “Single Vineyard” means just that and includes vineyards within Bannockburn and beyond (previously it was reserved for single vineyard wines in Bannockburn only).

I was impressed by four Single Vineyard wines. Two are from Bannockburn and were made in the 2015 vintage, while the other pair are from Lowburn and Gibbston 2016 vintage.

“Bannockburn” includes all wines made from Bannockburn-grown grapes that are not from a single vineyard and are typically higher production wines. Finally, Roaring Meg covers entry-level wines that are unlikely to be from a single vineyard and may include grapes grown outside Bannockburn.

I was impressed by four Single Vineyard wines. Two are from Bannockburn and were made in the 2015 vintage, while the other pair are from Lowburn and Gibbston 2016 vintage.

The 2016 Mt Difficulty Packspur Lowburn Valley Pinot Noir impressed me with its concentration and silken texture. Would I pick it as Lowburn Valley? Probably not, although it is unmistakeably Central Otago. (NZD $75)

Mt Difficulty’s 2016 Havoc Farm Gibbston Pinot Noir has the sort of structure and “cool climate” herbal and savoury influence that clearly points in the direction of Gibbston and just as clearly deserves a little cellaring to enjoy it at top form. (NZD $75)

The 2015 Mt Difficulty Single Vineyard Mansons Farm Pinot Noir is from one of Bannockburn’s older sites. It seduces with initial fruit sweetness and silkiness but gives a reminder of its potential by offering moderately firm tannins on the finish. (NZD $110)

Finally, the 2015 Mt Difficulty Single Vineyard Long Gully Pinot Noir is a charming wine with purity, delicacy and underlying power. It’s deceptively light and deliciously drinkable. (NZD $110)

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