The Mud House Central Otago Pinot Noir 2019 is a reasonably priced Pinot Noir from New Zealand. Central Otago is located in the southern part of New Zealand’s South Island. Marlborough, where most of the Sauvignon Blanc is produced, is on the northern tip of South Island.
This Pinot Noir is sourced from a single estate vineyard, Claim 431 Vineyard, in the Bendigo region of Otago. Bendigo is where the bulk of the vineyards in Otago is located. This is an exceptional location to farm Pinot Noir grapes, the soil drains efficiently, and the temperatures are warm to hot during the day and cold at night.
That difference in temperature s vital for a long complete growing season; the sun gets the grapes engine revved up during the day, and then the cool temperatures slow things down. Free draining soil and a suitable climate are essential for growing great grapes.
The Mud House Central Otago Pinot Noir 2019 is their main Pinot Noir; Mud House has a pInot Noir from their Single Vineyard series sourced from the same vineyard but has different production techniques and more involved oak barrel aging regimen.
The Mud House Central Otago Pinot Noir 2019 was fermented using natural wild and cultured yeast. Wild yeast is the yeast that floats in the air and is attached to the grape skins. They are thought to be the best-suited yeast for the wine, but natural and wild is not always available in the proper dosage to complete fermentation.
This Pinot Noir was fermented in smaller batches, some in oak barrels and the rest in stainless steel vats. The separate batches were blended and then further aged mainly in stainless steel, but some were aged in oak barrels. This is a drink-it-now wine but will age for another five years, but drinking it soon after purchase is the best usage.
Over ten years ago, when New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc came on the scene in a big way, their Pinot Noir received equally great reviews. But over time, the Sauvignon Blanc became dominant, and the Pinot Noir took a backseat. Wine shop shelves were about 60% Sauv Blanc and 40% Pinot Noir, but it was not long before Sauvignon Blanc took 90% of New Zealand wines shelf space.
The sales of NZ Pinot Noir have grown in each of the last five years, which is why I wanted to try the Mud House Central Otago Pinot Noir 2019. NZ Pinots have a reputation for offering a great deal of quality for a reasonable price. I found this single-vineyard Pinot selling for $15, a great price. Many NZ wineries have their base model Pinot Noir selling for $20 or less (check sales), making exploring New Zealand Pinot Noir affordable. The alcohol content is 13.5%.
The Mud House Central Otago Pinot Noir 2019 Tasting Notes
The color is a clean, clear black cherry red. The nose is earthy and complex; herbs, dried leaves, mushroom, cherry, mint, black pepper, spice, tea with a light floral edge. The Mud House Central Otago Pinot Noir 2019 is silky and seductive, with a stew of flavors and textures.
This Pinot Noir tastes like ripe, tart black cherry, black pepper, exotic spice, tea, and plum. The mid-palate brings orange rind, a salty sensation, cranberry, and a hint of cream, along with herbs. The tannins are chewy, giving this Pinot Noir a solid backbone and excellent texture.
- The Mud House Central Otago Pinot Noir 2019 is an excellent Pinot Noir, it received 90 points in both Wine Spectator and Wine Enthusiast and they were spot on in their ratings.
- This is a sustainably farmed, single vineyard Pinot Noir that sells for the same price as Brand Pinot from California. Nothing wrong with Brand wines, some are excellent, but I will usually take the winery wine when both are equally priced.
- Exploring New Zealand Pinot Noir looks to be rewarding and almost affordable.