30 Sep 2011
"After reporting recently on a batch of wine including the exciting Mt Difficulty Individual Vineyard pinots, it was good to have Matt Dicey back in Wellington again to present his wines to a different audience at Wellington's Regional Wines & Spirits, and with quite different accompanying vintages. At risk of sounding like a fan club for Mt Difficulty, you can't help noticing that while some winemakers complain about the dollar, and generally bemoan the state of affairs in their industry as farmers are wont to do, others like Dicey are stomping the country, giving spectacular tastings showcasing their latest releases as illuminated by generous selections of back vintages. Few winemakers bestir themselves to do this, let alone twice in two months from Otago to Wellington, as in Mt Difficulty's case. These tastings are eminently worth seeking out. Matt Dicey is emerging as one of New Zealand's pre-eminent pinot noir makers, seeking a style of pinot noir which is both beautiful and totally international, and his commentaries are invaluable. Beyond pinot noir, there are exciting wines amongst their other varieties too."
2007 Mt Difficulty Pinot Noir Pipeclay Terrace 17 ½ ()
Bannockburn, Central Otago, New Zealand: 14%; $44 [ screwcap; cropped at c. 1.6 t/ac in a slightly cool but good vintage; up to 30% whole bunch; 8 – 9 days cold soak, mostly wild-yeast fermentations; c. 2 weeks cuvaison; 11 months in barrel on lees, around 30% new oak; MLF in spring in barrel; filtered ]
Pinot noir ruby, remarkably close to the 2009 in hue, slightly denser. Bouquet is clearly cooler on this wine, the floral component showing a good deal of leafyness, which many tasters confuse with florals alone. There is good berry, but more red cherry with a suggestion of red currants. It is not surprising therefore that though there is good fruit on palate, there is quite a leafy quality too, even a stalky note. This set of Mt Difficulty wines really illustrates the ripening of tannins sequence in pinot noir beautifully. Still young, cellar another 6 years or so. GK 08/11