Doctors Flat, Central Otago
A small, organically farmed vineyard at the top
of Bannockburn, making some
of Central Otago's best wines
Davies (above) gained his winemaking experience in the USA, and then
came to Central Otago to work as winemaker for Carrick from
2002-2006. Altogether, including off-season harvests, he boast over
30 vintages’ experience.
2002 Steve bought a 15 hectare property at the top of Bannockburn,
which he named Doctors Flat, and 3 hectares are now planted to
vines. At 100 metres above the level of Lake Dunstan, this is quite
a cool site. Steve works organically, but isn't certified, and every
10th row is planted with beneficial plants to attract parasitic
wasps, which act as a biological control measure against certain
soils? They are deep gravels deposited by receding glaciers almost
half a million years ago, and in the 19th century they were mined
for gold. The claim here was held by the Deep Lead & Doctors Flat
Mining Co, hence the vineyard name. Average yields are 5
tons/hectare, and nothing gets above 6.5 tons/hectare.
wines are made at Mount Difficulty's winery, and then Steve brings
the barrels back to the property for maturing. They live in two
shipping containers, which is a novel way of getting around any
planning laws. Some of the grapes are sold to other producers, so
not all end up in Doctors Flat.
the vines have got older there's more substance to the wines,’ says
Steve. He’s anxious not to work the ferments too much, to avoid
excessive extraction, and on average will do just four punch downs
per ferment. These are impressive wines, with the 2012 in particular
Doctors Flat Pinot Noir 2008 Central Otago, New Zealand
Vivid, sweet, bright berry and cherry fruits with some
spiciness. Smooth with rich texture and sleek fruit. There's a
delicacy to this wine, as well as richness. It has a smooth mineral
quality on the palate. 93/100
Doctors Flat Pinot Noir 2009 Central Otago, New Zealand
Perfumed and floral with nice black cherries. Quite rich. Lovely
sleek, ripe black cherry fruits and a spicy, mineral dimension.
Doctors Flat Pinot Noir 2010 Central Otago, New Zealand
Fresh with slightly meaty black cherry fruit and some floral
overtones. Good texture and freshness here with some grippy tannins.
Concentrated, full and grippy. 93/100
Doctors Flat Pinot Noir 2011 Central Otago, New Zealand
About 20% whole bunch. Fresh and lively with nice precision.
Bright with lovely focus: not too heavy, with nice sweet cherry and
berry fruit. Has vitality and focus and could use a bit more time.
Doctors Flat Pinot Noir 2012 Central Otago, New Zealand
26% whole bunch. Just beautiful. Taut and floral with black and
red cherry fruit. Real finesse. There's some savoury detail to the
fruit, and it's supple and elegant with nice structure and texture.
barrel samples looked very promising.
VISITING CENTRAL OTAGO (2014)
Central Otago, New Zealand (2010) (series)
Martinborough, New Zealand (series)
Find these wines with wine-searcher.com