Lowburn Ferry Home Block Pinot Noir 2017 (Central Otago)
Despite first planting grapes as recently as 2000, Roger and Jean Gibson of Lowburn Ferry have rapidly built a reputation for producing high-quality pinot noir. Their renowned homeblock is 2.7 hectares of sheltered terraces beneath the Pisa Range in Cromwell, Central Otago, planted with a variety of Burgundian clones. Roger – a soil scientist – believes that the soil is the unique and special element that sets this vineyard apart. Previously the land had been farmed for 150 years and the build up of organic material in the soil, combined with some pedogenic lime scattered throughout the vineyard, ensures this is a special place to grow grapes.
A wet, warm spring in 2017 secured a fast start to the growing season and despite a cooler and wetter December and January at the critical time of fruit set, a dry, even February helped somewhat to redress the balance. Dry conditions over harvest ensured that the picking of the grapes was done without weather pressure, therefore the grapes had time to achieve the optimum ripeness required and could be hand harvested with ease.
The resulting wine is the top pinot noir as selected by our panel of experts. It has a deep colour with both red and dark fruit aromas presenting themselves alongside thyme and spice proudly on the nose. Then, upon the palate you encounter long, sensuous, juicy yet relaxed fruit flavours with good chalky tannins and spice, completing with a long, almost sweet, finish. A polished and well-crafted style of pinot noir, agreed by all to be a very smart example indeed.