4: New Zealand's Central Otago region
and Barbara Green purchased the property that is now Carrick Estate
back in 1993, and at this stage it was just the 14th vineyard in the
region, and the first in the Bannockburn district.
The vineyard and winery from the air
Carrick was part of the Mount Difficulty consortium of five separate
vineyards marketing under one label. ‘We did it for two years and
then Barb and I said we’d do our own thing,’ explains Steve. So
they went out on their own, releasing the first wines under the
Carrick label in 2000.
background was in local government, while Barbara was a nursing
tutor, and they were based in Hawkes Bay, where they acquired a love
for wine. They decided this was their future, and headed south to
Central Otago, which was still in its infancy as a wine region.
Pioneering winegrower Alan Brady had planted some vines, and they
got to know him. They also did a two-year correspondence course at
Hawkes Bay EIT, and established the vineyard on their own.
here is in the hands of Jane Docherty, previously at Felton Road,
who has been involved since the 2008 vintage. Viticulturalist Blair
Deaker, formerly of Villa Maria, has been moving things in the
direction of organics.
The view from the property
Rieslings, in dry, just off-dry and sweet incarnations are superb.
Pinot Noir is among the best in the region, with the new high-end
Excelsior bottling showing potential for serious development in
bottle, something that can’t be said for too many Central Pinots.
Dry Riesling 2008 Central Otago
This is the first vintage of the dry Riesling, and it weighs in
at 12.5% alcohol. Nicely focused, limey fruit with nice texture:
smooth with good fruit expression, showing lime, apples and a hint
of honey. Some fruit sweetness here. 89/100
Riesling 2008 Central Otago
Lovely focused, limey nose with some honeyed richness. The
palate is bright and lively with good acidity. Very fresh and
intense with lovely lemony purity. Good balance here. 18 g/l
residual sugar. 90/100
Riesling 2007 Central Otago
Lovely fruit here: a bit limey with some smoothness to the
texture. Gently smooth with elegance as well as some limey
Riesling 2004 Central Otago
Some herby notes, a bit of green pepper and a little sweetness,
but overall this is dry and focused with nice limey fruit. Still
Josephine Riesling 2008 Central Otago
9.5% alcohol, 50 g/l residual sugar. Really lively and vivid
with lovely intensity and focus. Sweet, vivid and limey with notes
of lemon, honey and peach. Just delicious. Vivid and lively. 92/100
Chardonnay 2007 Central Otago
Lovely fresh style with some rich butter and toast notes
countered by fresh acidity and herbal notes. Less than 15% new oak
preserves the fruitiness. Delicious. 89/100
Pinot Noir 2007 Central Otago
Nicely dense with some spicy structure under the ripe
berry and cherry fruit. Focused and bright with nice acidity
and some spicy complexity. 92/100
Excelsior Pinot Noir 2005 Central Otago
Just 6 barrels (120 cases) made of this high end Pinot Noir.
This was the debut vintage. Pure, smooth, aromatic nose with some
warm spiciness and real elegance. The palate shows lovely focus with
taut, spicy structure under the fruit. This is grown-up Central
Otago Pinot Noir. The mid palate has some tannic structure that
dominates the rich fruit. Lovely stuff with real potential for
Excelsior Pinot Noir 2006 Central Otago
Smooth, pure cherry and berry fruit nose. The palate is supple
with bright fruit. Very stylish with some nice structure, spice and
a bit of earthiness. Very supple, showing some elegance. 93/100
Excelsior Pinot Noir 2007 Central Otago
Will be released in September 2010. Wonderfully focused nose
showing dark cherries, raspberries and spice. Taut. The palate has
lovely richness with layers of spice, dark fruits and grippy
tannins. Beautifully textured, with real potential for development.
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