Vineyard Mondillo Wines has been applauded as producing a Pinot Noir that is amongst New Zealand’s finest by one of the country’s most respected wine critics.
The Bendigo, Central Otago winery recently released two new vintages for 2009 to rave reviews from the award-winning writer, Michael Cooper, in this month’s Winestate magazine.
The 2009 Pinot Noir was released last month, hard on the heels of the 2008 vintage being named Champion Wine of Show and Champion Pinot Noir at the Royal Easter Wine Show earlier this year. Mr Cooper described the 2009 as “an almost hedonistic wine, with a compelling richness...” and awarded it top marks and five stars.
“The Mondillo Pinot Noir would knock your socks off… it’s simply outstanding and certainly one I would choose to drink personally,” he said in an interview.
Mr Cooper is a prolific wine writer who specialises in New Zealand wines. Among his books are the Wine Atlas of New Zealand, Pocket Guide to Wines of New Zealand and The Wines and Vineyards of New Zealand.
He also awarded the Mondillo 2009 Riesling with four stars and said it shows ‘excellent intensity’ and is a classic for cellaring to enjoy in two years time.
“A medium-bodied Bendigo wine with citrusy, slightly limey flavours, it is mildly sweet and youthful and tightly structured with a firm acid spine, a hint of honey, and a long, tight finish,” he said.
The Mondillo 2009 Pinot Noir and 2009 Reisling were personally tasted and graded by Mr Cooper in April for the July/August edition of Winestate, which is distributed across Australia and New Zealand.
Other high recommendations for the Mondillo 2009 Pinot Noir came from the WineNZ Winter Edition, who ranked it among the magazine’s ‘Top Six Pinot Noirs - Over $30 List’.
“It is both pretty and vibrant with tons of youthful, juicy, fruit flavours of choc-cherry, blackberry and current. This full-bodied Pinot shows concentration and depth on the palate and is very well balanced too with a touch of cherry oak and restrained alcohol,” said the review.
New Zealand’s first and only Master Sommelier Cameron Douglas also noted in Hospitality magazine that the Mondillo 2009 Pinot Noir is a young wine with a big future.
“The nose is of refined, delicate, feminine and fruit-laden expression- a complex package of fruit and soil aromas along-side dark and light red fruits with cherry and thyme. Its palate has complexity with a varietal core, balanced and reflective of the youthful aromas.”
Vineyard owner Dominic Mondillo said he is very happy with this year’s release following a successful spring and that both wines make an ideal companion to a wide range of foods.
“We started with a cool spring and a long, warm summer followed. Our fruit was hand-harvested in April, and the Pinot Noir spent 11 months in French Oak barriques before being bottled and rested until now,” he said.
“The Pinot Noir has kept its traditional darkness in colour. It has spicy, plum characters while the Riesling will again please those who enjoy a dry style with a citrusy, honey intensity.”
For the diminutive vineyard, the latest release is its sixth vintage, each lovingly hand made from fantastic grapes. Each vintage since the first in 2004 has picked up awards and a loyal global following has developed.
“Mondillo is about growing fantastic grapes in a way that is sustainable on all levels, especially environmentally. The vines will outlive us all. It’s very important to me to maintain the vines in a sustainable way.”
The wine is made at Quartz Reef in Cromwell. Quartz Reef is headed by Rudi Bauer who was awarded the coveted title of Winemaker of the Year at the Royal Easter Wine Show.