As always, the Moonlight Race has played warm-up act to the new-vintage single-vineyard releases from Burn Cottage. And didn’t that wine bode well?!
Well, the main event is here and resolutely lives up to its billing.
Would you believe we’re now on the sixth vintage of the Burn Cottage white wine? Its lost none of its fresh and original appeal. Mind you, the same can be said for the Burn Cottage vineyard Pinot Noir – more than 10 vintages in and beating its own path these years later.
Of course, this was never exactly the wild child it dressed as. Rebellious in the sense that it made its own rules: Biodynamic from the word go; elaborately planned and planted in a cutting-edge-but-stripped-back way; and eschewing brawn for balance.
But that’s just the point: if the thinking was contemporary, the ultimate vision was classic. Ted Lemon lay the groundwork for a wine that presents an intricate tapestry of this vineyard – a pure and layered Pinot of infinite charm. And the team, with Central Otago native Claire Mulholland at the helm, realises that dream year in and year out.
We’re delighted to present to you the fruits of their labour from the 2019 vintage.
THE 2019 VINTAGE
2019 was a very good season for growth, with the farm and vineyard experiencing regular periods of rain. Some drier, more classic Central Otago spells were experienced in January and February, and healthy plants were vibrant and strong in both the vineyard and property throughout the season. We had some frost to navigate in April, but around this we observed a favourable, slow, extended ripening. Overall the season’s temperatures were moderate, which preserved wonderful balance and acidity. – Claire Mulholland, Burn Cottage
2019 Burn Cottage Riesling / Grüner Veltliner RRP $69 SOLD OUT
The 2019 comprises 64% Riesling and 36% Grüner Veltliner. These vines have a slightly cooler microclimate in a side valley near the top of our site, allowing the varieties time for lovely flavour development and concentration. The fruit was handpicked in two passes, with one clone of each variety coming in on both occasions. The Grüner (clones 4/15 and 4/143) was harvested at an average Brix of 22.3 and the Riesling (clones 198/19 and 49) at 21.3. The Grüner bunches were destemmed and the berries were then lightly foot crushed and bathed in juice for 48-72 hours before pressing. The Riesling was kept as whole bunches which were also lightly foot crushed and bathed in juice also for 48-72 hours. The varieties were then pressed together and co-fermented. Fermentation and 11 months’ élevage took place in stainless steel barrels and neutral oak barriques. Alcohol 13%; RS 3.8 g/L; pH 3.05; TA 6.7g/L.
The wine shows lifted perfume and floral notes of peach, lime and ginger along with the herbal touch of pepper, fennel and lemongrass. The 2019 vintage is lively with a bright focus and finesse throughout. The lovely concentration and depth of flavour is enhanced by a delicate line of phenolic structure. Dry at 3.8g/L residual sugar, but with very supple texture and long palate. – Claire Mulholland, Burn Cottage
A co-fermented blend of Grüner Veltliner 36% and Riesling 64% aged in stainless steel barrels and neutral barriques for 11 months. An intriguing and appealing wine with layers of stone fruit and citrus flavours. A wine of impressive power and purity. 95 points. Bob Campbell MW, The Real Review November 2021
An intriguing wine, the small amount of skin contact prior to ferment has given a faintly grippy texture that is very appealing and complements the juicy quince and yellow-skinned apple flavours. A little touch of florals completes the picture. 93 points. Jane Skilton MW, Gourmet Traveller WINE February 2022
This is very aromatic, with perfume, steel, dried apricot and peach. Medium body with pretty density. Dried apple and spices on the palate. From organically grown grapes. Drink now. Screw cap. 92 points. Nick Stock, jamessuckling.com September 2021
2019 Burn Cottage Pinot Noir RRP $92
The fruit was handpicked at an average Brix of 23.3 from the organic-certified Burn Cottage Vineyard in Lowburn between 30th March and 15th April. Nine vineyard blocks provided fruit for this wine, covering eight Pinot Noir clones (114, 115, 667, 777, Abel, Cl5, 10/5 and 828). Some 13% of the fruit went into the fermenter as whole bunches, and the fruit spent 20 days on average on skins. The wine was raised in French oak (24% new) from the Damy, Mercurey and Sylvain cooperages. Alcohol 14%; pH 3.6; TA 4.9g/L.
Layers of interest with aromatics of redcurrant, bright cherry and floral notes underpinned by savoury hints of tea, earth and fern. The palate is vibrant and focused, supported with seamless balance and finesse. Lovely integration and flow with polished tannins that lend persistence through the palate. Cellaring potential of 8-10 years. – Claire Mulholland, Burn Cottage
Intense, vibrant Pinot Noir showing real depth and complexity with nuanced floral, dark cherry and raspberry flavours together with thyme, anise, spice and a suggestion of white pepper. A backbone of fruity acidity reveals energy and helps to promote a lingering finish. A serious wine from one of Central Otago’s top producers. 96 points. Bob Campbell MW, The Real Review November 2021
Cherries, flowers and sweet spices on the nose. Medium-bodied with fresh acidity. Round and creamy with a caressing texture and a fruity edge. Long finish. Fresh and very fine. Elegant is the word. From organically grown grapes. Drink or hold. 94 points. Nick Stock, Top 100 Wines of New Zealand 2021 – jamessuckling.com