Forager Pinot Noir 2016 (RC 19/20)

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Richard Chan Wine Reviews 19/20.

Light ruby-red colour with some depth, a little paler on the rim. The nose is elegant in proportion with a near-firm and deep core of dark-red cherry and berry fruit, along with subtle red florals, melded with a complexing array of dried and dark herbs and a little earth. The aromatics are very harmoniously interwoven and unfold layers of interest. Medium-bodied, the palate is vibrant and lively with a rich and near-succulent, deep heart of savoury dark-red cherry and berry fruit harmoniously intermingling with red florals, dried herbs, a little earth and hints of lifted whole bunch stalks. The mouthfeel features fruit vitality and energy, and the concentrated core is underlined by good fine-grained tannin structure with balanced acidity. The flavours carry to a very long and sustained finish. This is a considerably rich and concentrated, but vibrant and elegant Pinot Noir with complex flavours of savoury red fruits, florals, herbs and earth. Match with coq au vin and game bird dishes over the next 6 years. Clones 667 and 5 from the Williams’ ‘Blacks Ave’ vineyard, from 20 y.o. vines, the fruit hand-picked and hand-sorted, with destemming, and returned to a fermenter in the sourcing vineyard, indigenous yeast fermented with 25% whole bunches to 13.0% alc., the wine spending 28 days on skins and 16 months in seasoned French oak. 44 cases made. 19.0/20 Jun 2018


Foraging from the wild is one of life's simple pleasures. Food, flowers or in our case yeast, can transform the ordinary into the extraordinary. Forager Pinot Noir is a wildly beautiful creation by celebrated winemaker Dom Maxwell. Named Winestate Magazine's 2011 New Zealand Winemaker of the Year Dom also heads up the winemaking team at Greystone Wines (Decanter 2014 International Trophy Winner, Pinot Noir) and Muddy Water in the Waipara Valley.

His love of wine has led to vintages in Burgundy (Domaine D’Eugenie in Vosne-Romanee), the Rheingau (Weingut Leitz) and Oregon (Chehalem) and now here…. to Forager.

At Forager we take our respect for the natural process to a whole new level by pioneering wild fermentation in the vineyard. Hand-picked and hand-sorted, the grapes are then returned to sit amongst the North Canterbury vines where they once grew. Giving indigenous yeasts from the vineyard the opportunity to create a true expression of the actual vineyard site. A bold move that delivers an unforgettable wine.

After fermentation the wine rests in French Oak barriques for 15 months. In keeping with our natural winemaking philosophies the process from barrel to bottle is as gentle as possible, unfined, unfiltered, with no additions. We’ve kept it small as well as personal with just a few hundred bottles to offer up.

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