Doctors Flat Central Otago Pinot Noir 2016 $49.50

The tiny, 3ha, organically-farmed Doctor’s Flat site in Bannockburn is composed of deep gravels laid down by receding glaciers 480,000 years ago. Shepherded into the bottle by winemaker/owner Steve Davies since the mid-2000s, in 2016, 27% of the hand-harvested fruit was popped into the tank as intact clusters which help naturally stabilise the colour of the wine.  Whole bunches also inject a softer, fruitier layer of flavour from the berries which are essentially fermenting inside their own skins and imparts an element of herbaceousness and tannin from the stems.  Then fermentation was left to kickstart naturally with the wild yeasts present in the winery atmosphere and the wine was left on its skins for about 4 weeks to extract the perfect balance of colour and texture before being drained to French oak barrels (23% new) and matured for another 12 months.  After a second winter, it’s then bottled without fining or filtration.  The result is a cheek-slap of seductive spices, forest floor aromatics, wild rhubarb and raspberry, it’s a wine with a strong backbone and a palate bursting with tamarillo, truffle, plum and tea. Texturally, the tannins are tongue-tingling and fine-grained.  It’s a delicious example.