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New Zealand tasting notes

text and photographs © 2007 Tom Cannavan

These notes accompany our in-depth feature on New Zealand's South Island.


Prophet's Rock, Rocky Point Pinot Noir 2003
20% whole bunch. 40% new all French oak. Made with some bought in fruit from Bannockburn, whilst own vineyards came on stream. Beautifully sweet fruit on the nose, with a dominant character of softer strawberry notes and a little red cherry. The palate has a nice freshness and richness of fruit, with quite mouthfilling fruit, an edge of spice, and plenty of juicy acidity.

Prophet's Rock Rocky Point Pinot Noir 2004
No whole bunches in this vintage, A little bit more peppery, herbal and with a touch of schisty minerality. Rich, concentrated, savoury style. Much more toasty and rich, with a slightly drier palate, slightly less juicy, with a bigger concentration and lovely spicy length and weight, with fairly big tannins and spicy wood.

Prophet's Rock, Pinot Noir 2005
Barrel sample. Wine will spend 15 months in oak. Extremely dark, crimson-edged colour, but not dense. Nice juicy cherry and rich, red fruits, with a wrapping of toasty oak already sitting nicely beneath the fruit. The palate has a very fine, ripe, but crisply-defined fruit quality, with a real juiciness and pert cherry and kirsch-like fruit. Lovely grainy tannins and clean, bright acidity add up to a very appealing picture and a very promising wine.

Prophet's Rock, Rocky Point Riesling 2005
Large river deposits of sand and gravel. Very nice, steely lemony character. A fine, sense of limpid lime coming through, and a fine minerality. On the palate pretty good weight and lovely limpidity of lime and lemon fruit. Decent finish too.

UK stockist: The Wine Society, Tel: 01438 740222

for New Zealand South Island profiles, Prophet's Rock