Mt Difficulty Long Gully Central Otago Pinot Noir 2009 $90 

You can’t be a pinot noir fan in New Zealand without having heard of Mount Difficulty (or “Mount D” as the cool people in the trade say)

The Long Gully vineyard used to be the old ‘oat paddock’ for Kawarau Station before the Dicey family purchased it back in 1990 to grow grapes, but “it was a bastard of a vineyard up until about 2005” according to winemaker Matt Dicey.   2009 though, produced some incredibly good fruit, so good in fact that for the first time ever, Mt Difficulty were able to make single vineyard wines from each of their 3 premium sites, Target Gully, Pipeclay Terraces and this one, the Long Gully.  Situated on the south side of the Kawarau River in Bannockburn, it’s a “gently-sloping site” according to Matt which means it’s basically ‘flat’ – but there’s definitely nothing flat about this wine.  Scented with sweet smoke, shitake mushroom and cherry, in the mouth it has a silky, lush yet super-intense flavour of ripe plum, sweet black tea, wild mint and earthy spices.  Just awesome.