The label shows the proprietor's grandparents picnicking at Karitane Beach, Otago circa 1919. The jovial chap with a pipe is Sidney Neill, importer of French wines, among other things. The poor little blighter in the Toulouse-Latrec tie is Dermot Neill, then aged 4 years. Also in the foreground is Gwladys Neill, formidable matriarch and avid picnicker. In the background and weighing 20 lbs Gertrude Elworthy (nee Neill), the proprietor's esteemed aunt.
Summery red berries and thyme aromatics with sweet fruit and soft tannins contribute to an elegant textured wine and allow for early drinking.
Vintage and Harvest Notes: After a mild winter and relatively early spring, the weather changed to cooler and a little wetter than normal. The cool weather slowed the advent of flowering, which was delayed until around December 10th. Then kinder weather prevailed and produced a solid flowering.
Some real Central Otago sunshine finally kicked in at the start of January and turned the season around. We experienced some long sustained warm periods punctuated by short, very cold periods, and many light frosts towards the end of the season. This excellent weather helped to lift the flavour profile and colour of the berries.
Winemaking: Grapes from Alex Paddock, First Paddock Gibbston and the first crop of fruit from the new Redbank vineyard in Alexandra were selected and blended for this spunky young wine. The Redbank harvest yielded clear varietal fruit, and the Alex and Gibbston grapes were selected for the fruit-driven, early-drinking qualities that characterize the Picnic style.
Bottled: April 6, 2004.
Availability: Sold in New Zealand only. Released in 2004.
|Award / Reviewer||Date||Rating||Review|
|Geoff Kelly Wine Reviews||Apr 2005||17 Points|
Elegant pinot noir ruby. This is simply lovely pure light pinot, some florals, clear cherries, pleasing and fragrant. Palate is pro rata, not as concentrated as the more serious wines, red fruits dominant, but the alcohol (if correct) showing how easily the flavours of physiological maturity are achieved in a good year in Otago's continental climate. If this were priced close to the other Picnic Series wines, it would be a great introduction to the variety. Cellar 3 – 5 years.