Otago is a wine growing region found on the South Island of New Zealand and is an isolated area that is becoming increasingly known as a premium and ultra-premium producer of Pinot Noir.
Last night we tasted the 2009 Waitiri Creek “Drummer” Pinot Noir, $29.95 purchased from the Cellar Door here in Canmore. The wine was a gamble as I had not seen this in the market before but we usually see higher prices for Pinots from the South Island (for a real treat try Felton Road). The proprietor of the shop wasn’t in and being stuck with a BlackBerry that doesn’t have a tasting app I bought the wine on a instinct to have with with our dinner that night.
The Waitiri Creek Winery is found in the sub-appelation of Gibbston which was the first region to be planted with grapes on the South Island. Typically, grapes ripen late in the Gibbston Valley and develop more complexity and in a normal vintage we would typically see red to dark red bramble fruits in the pinots (think Triple Crown Blackberries!).
So over a nice grilled fillet of Steel-head trout, home-made sun-dried tomato pesto and truffled mashed potatoes we set in for a great meal and tasting. The “Drummer Boy” pinot did not disappoint. Dense nose of red to black fruits with wonderful aromas of black cherry and brambly raspberries. Boquet was in balance with the fruit and the wine was framed nicely with a subtle, but present, medium toasted oak, mushrooms and forest floor. The wine is young and can sit for a few more years.
The Waitiri Creek Pinot is a premium wine worth sourcing out for a weekend dinner with friends or a loved one and I would put a few bottles in the cellar.