2008 Craggy Range Te Muna Road Vineyard Pinot Noir

Medium transluscent purple. Candied red cherry nose with noticable alcohol. The palate is all fruit and alcohol, with minimal acidity. This is an unbalanced mess. The bottle states 13.5% abv., which is hard to believe. Nothing but heat burning my throat on the way down. Bleech! This is a WS top 100 wine?!?

This is one that I sell, so I may be a little biased (disclaimer)… I’m generally fairly sensitive to unbalanced and alcoholic Pinot Noir. This isn’t the greatest or the most memorable Pinot that I’ve tasted lately, but I didn’t see it as objectionable… thought it was a quality Pinot Noir at the least. Maybe a bad bottle?

Perhaps, but many bad bottles have muted fuit, which was definately not the case here.

I had a bottle recently. I have always been a big fan but found the 08 disjointed and lacking the fruit I remember of previous vintages. The typical earthiness was present but the fruit was muted and the finish short. Not a bad wine but disappointing. It may come together with cellaring.

Odd – I’ve had this wine twice, found it quite enjoyable both times and nothing like the above note. My gut tells me bad bottle, hopefully not a bad batch/shipment.

As much as I’m willing to give the ‘bad bottle’ theory the benefit of the doubt, what problem/mistreatment would lead to the unbalanced result of bright fruit, searing heat and no acidity? This certainly was not corked, did not exhibit signs of heat damage, not bretty, etc.

BTW, no improvement on Day 2. I dumped the rest of the bottle down the drain.

If the wine were cooked/oxidated it could exhibit those traits. Although I guess it probably would have shown signs of seepage on the former.

I had a bottle of Dutton Goldfield Zin a while back that showed the same descriptors that your review had… I tasted it at the winery, liked it, and it was below 14% ABV and it tasted hot and disjointed… It had to have been fouled up somewhere along the way…

Curiously – where did you buy the bottles? I bought the few I’ve had from Costco, which is usually (being the operative word here) pretty good about storage & transport, but I’ve had a few lots of different wine that I would characterize in a similiar way to your note – and they were obviously cooked. You may not have had the luxury of a clearly stained cork, but I’d bet a dollar they saw transportation damage. This is a very nice wine and a steal for the $28 I’ve been buying it for. It is too bad you haven’t been able to try one because they are a nice+ drink when on.

I haven’t had the 08 vintage of this wine, but do think it’s one of the absolute best Pinot QPRs out there. I’m quite partial to Martinborough Pinot Noir, and the Craggy Range vineyard there is a no expense spared exercise. The technical data on the 08 is ABV 13.6% pH 3.62 and TA 5.5 g/l. Fairly low acid for a NZ Pinot, but still in the mid range of new world pinot in general. I’ll have to pick up an 08 and try it.

LWS here in St. Louis – not Costco. I’ve never seen this wine at my local Costco.