Margrain Home Block Pinot Noir 2019


The most exciting thing about making wine, particularly Pinot Noir in a region such as ours, is that seasonal differences are so intense that we have literally never made the same wine twice. In the spring of 2018 a cold wet period resulted in a very poor flowing which resulted in an extremely low crop. This bestows a distinct ripening advantage in any year and although the promised El Nino climate pattern failed to develop, some lovely late season heat and beautiful settled harvest weather made picking the ultra-premium fruit a pleasure.


It is an impressive sight indeed, as the deep garnet colour gleams out from beneath freshly blackened eyebrows and pulsates threateningly like the ruby at Melisandre’s throat on a long winter’s night. Long quivering legs climb the inside of the glass like ten Lordes a-leaping on a Waiheke Island beach. The fruit emerges as dark and musky as tiny mushrooms hidden in shady hollows beneath towering podocarps and wafts of sawdust fly as a long-saw rips, followed by notes of flowering thyme, foxgloves in spring and a blend of pumice and swirling bonfire ash. Bursting through this are dancing red berries, brooding over-ripe plum then angostura bitters, crushed black pepper and crusty sourdough bread, toasted a little too long. In the mouth the wine rises tall, dark and handsome with a forelock of sun dried straw dipping lasciviously below one eye. Chewy dried prunes in a heavy syrup dominate the palate as the wine wraps itself around the tongue and encapsulates the taste buds with sadomasochistic intent. Toffee, raisin and sweet strawberry parfait beguile and work to draw one in to the point of no return before dried oregano, cracked leather and tart tamarillo skin take the senses hostage. A stunning tannic structure combines with the crushing weight of the wine to lock on like a lamprey, making any thought of escape impossible. There is a fatness in the tail and once swallowed it tingles and lingers, raining kisses down like a summer shower. This is a wine which is happy to stand alone and threatens to render food superfluous but if you must, try it with a side of pheasant and black currant pâté.


Technical Information

Harvest date:               19 Mar and 3 Apr 2019          Residual Sugar:           Nil

Brix at Harvest:           23.6 – 24.4                              Bottling Date:             22 Oct 2020

Final Alcohol:             12.9%                                      Release Date:              1 March 2021

pH:                              3.47                                        Cellaring:                     2 to 9 years

Total Acidity:              6.0 g/l


Bob Campbell says:

"Attractively-scented pinot noir (deserves to be aerated), with dark-fleshed plum, dark berries, black cherry, cassis and spicy flavours. A bold, rich and age-worthy wine that can be appreciated now."  95/100

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