Ostler Pinot Noir Caroline’s 2011 Waitaki Valley New Zealand $30.00 (Original price)

I opened this on 31/12 – gave it a short decant and a swish around for five minutes or so and enjoyed it with lunch.
It had changed from the fruit-forward wine that carried good acid and tannins the last time I opened one, 12 years ago. (Like durrrrr!!!)
Rather dark for an older Pinot, a little more delicate than I was expecting. Yet still holding its own with damp earth and beetroot notes, tannins quite silky, still a hint of acid lurking in the background. With an underlying barnyard /  damp earth, almost mushroom whiff, both on the nose and flowing through to the palate.
This was a real Pinot treat, as I was still expecting more ripe fruit even at this stage, as I recall it to be a monster when I first tried it.
With air, the wine moves towards a more savoury profile rather than fruit, the fruit has moved to a supporting role teamed with dried herbs, earth, and that ever present dried mushroom/beetroot, earth whiff.
Keep in mind it has been stored well. However, I would drink them sooner rather than later if you still have any in the cellar.
I enjoyed this wine with lightly herbed roast pork belly with crisp potatoes, honeyed carrots and apple sauce.
I must be honest it was not quite the perfect match I was hoping for.  The wine was a little softer / delicate than I was expecting.  Still a very enjoyable Pinot Noir treat finishing 2023 off with the right bottle of wine and opening 2024 with Champagne the wine for celebration.
However a wine with a higher level of acidity plus a touch more fruit would have worked better, with this dish.
Oh well there is always next year.

the new way we drink in 2022Michael Lillis

the Rot has set in.

Michael Lillis

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