Peregrine’s striking winery fits quite
well into the rather raw Central Otago scenery. It’s located in
Gibbston, the closest of the subregions to Queenstown, and I met
with winemaker Pete Bartle.
Like most Gibbston wineries, grapes are
also sourced from the Cromwell Basin, the main vineyard area in
Central. Gibbston is just a bit too marginal: while it makes
fantastic wines some years, other years the grapes might not ripen
make a full range of wine - fuller than many other Central
producers. But it is their Pinot Noirs which impress most. I really
liked the elegance of the 2008s, which were fresh and expressive.
Pete shared some technical details with
me. He doesn’t like cross-flow filtration very much, because this
beats the wine up a bit. He uses Celluflux rather than diatomaceous
earth (DE) for filtering: Celluflux is a German product from a
company called Erbsloh that can be composted (DE is carcinogenic),
and less is used, although it is more expensive. He uses a
lenticular filter complex for smaller volumes.
Peregrine Riesling 2007 This was a fantastic year for quality, with a quarter less crop
set than the target. The grapes were hand picked and destemmed,
before crushing and inoculating. Fermentation was at 14/15 C and
only a short time was spent on lees. Intense limey nose. The palate
is vivid with high acidity balancing the sugar. Intense and fresh
with nice richness of texture. 89/100
Peregrine Rastaburn Riesling 2006 12% alcohol. 18 g/litre residual sugar. Nicely elegant, limey,
spicy nose. Lovely texture on the palate: rich but fresh with good
acidity. Lemony and intense. 89/100
Peregrine Gewürztraminer 2008 8 g residual sugar. ‘This is as happy as I can possibly be
with Gewurz,’ says Pete Bartle. ‘I prefer drinking Pinot Gris
and Riesling. These are more mineral but still have some rose petal,
and are more restrained in flavor.’ He gave this two days on its
skins, and was quite nervous about this. The residual sugar is there
to balance the phenolics. Beautifully aromatic with fresh Turkish
delight and lychee character. The palate is grapey with lychee fruit
and nice texture, as well as a hint of spice. 91/100
Peregrine Sauvignon 2009 Nicely mineral with good ripeness and some grapefruit. Lively,
minerally, spicy, herby palate. A bit green but nice. 88/100
Peregrine Pinot Gris 2008 This was hand-picked and destemmed, and one-third was given
overnight skin contact in the press. Grapey and quite aromatic with
nice spicy notes. The palate has an attractive open texture with
good acidity. Nice with peach and pear notes. Really interesting.
Peregrine Karearea Pinot Gris 2008 This is from two lots of fruit that looked really nice in the
vineyard. Fresh mineral edge to the nose with a hint of floral
character, and some grapiness. The palate has lovely freshness but
also a richer, warmer, textured fruity character. Really delicious.
Peregrine Chardonnay 2008 Hand picked and whole-bunch pressed. Rich, melony and figgy with
some toasty notes. The palate is rich and broad with bold fruit and
nice texture. Classy with nice balance. 90/100
Peregrine Pinot Noir 2007 6000 cases. Pete has been reducing the pre-ferment cold soaks
from 5/6 days to 3 or 4, and is working more post-ferment to try to
balance the sweet fruit. He wants to avoid making sweet fruit bombs.
This is from small berries and small bunches, with different clones.
Very bright nose with fresh cherry notes and some spicy sappiness.
Beautiful. The palate has lovely freshness and structure with juicy,
bright cherry and berry fruit, finishing with nice structure.
Peregrine Karearea Pinot Noir 2007 Subtle, elegant fresh cherry fruit nose with some floral notes.
Very stylish. The palate is concentrated and elegant with some firm
but smooth spicy tannins. Very nice structure here. Less showy now
but will age beautifully, I reckon. 300 cases. 94/100
Peregrine Pinot Noir 2008 Problems with excess yield this year, so some crop was dropped.
Paler colour than 2007. Very focused, pure cherry fruit aromatics.
The palate is super-elegant and fine with herby freshness. Length
and structure here. A really lovely wine. 93/100
Peregrine Saddleback Pinot Noir 2008 Nice pale cherry colour. Fresh, sappy juicy nose with nice
perfume. The palate is juicy with some nice bright cherry fruit and
a bit of juiciness, as well as a hint of leafiness. Very fine.