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Awards and reviews - 2010 Grasshopper Rock

Awards

Champion Wine of the Show Air New Zealand Wine Awards 2012
Champion Pinot Noir Air New Zealand Wine Awards 2012
Cuisine magazine Top New Zealand Pinot Noir 2012

GOLD (Elite) – Air New Zealand Wine Awards 2012
GOLD - Bragato Wine Awards 2012
GOLD - NZ International Wine Show 2012
GOLD - Spiegelau Internationa Wine Competition 2012

Reviews

Air New Zealand Wine Awards 2012 - GOLD
Confident and dramatic showing power and grace. The bouquet is perfumed showing dark cherry, plum, floral and game characters followed by an expansive, textured palate. Great harmony and complexity.

Michael Cooper - Feb 2012 - 5 STARS * * * * *

A wonderful buy. Grown at Alexandra and barrel-aged for nine months (French, 32% new), it is a beautifully perfumed and deeply coloured red, rich and supple. Sweet-fruited, with concentrated plum/spice flavours, silky tannins and great harmony, it’s a drink now or cellaring proposition.www.michaelcooper.co.nz.

Sam Kim - Jun 2012 - 94/100, 5 STARS * * * * *
It's remarkable how consistent Grasshopper Rock pinots are. Even in a poor vintage, they produce excellent wine. But this is from an outstanding vintage, and the wine is showing huge promise. The bouquet is beautifully ripe and fragrant, displaying dark cherry, plum, game and floral characters. It's concentrated and succulent on the palate with lovely silky texture, leading to an extremely long finish backed by plenty of polished tannins. A beautifully poised pinot needing time to evolve. At its best: 2013 to 2020. 13.9% June 2012. (Note: Sam Kim was paid a review fee of less than $40 to review this wine) www.wineorbit.co.nz

Raymond Chan - Jul 2012 - 18.5+/20.0, 5 STARS * * * * *
Clones 5, 777, 115, 114, Abel and 667 from the ‘Grasshopper Rock’ site on Earnscleugh Road, fermented to 13.9% alc., the wine aged 9 months in 32% new French oak barriques. Full, even, deep ruby-red colour with youthful purple hues. This has a bouquet of bright and vibrant dark berry and cherry fruits unfolding layers of complex dark herbs, stalk notes and smoke. Medium-full bodied, this is full open and fruity with plush, plump, dark berry and black cherry flavours, along with stalk, herb and undergrowth nuances. The palate is rich and accessible, and well supported by clear-cut tannin and fine, underlying firm textures. The fruit blossoms as the structure builds, resulting in a robustness that leads to a very long finish showing herbs and spices. This is a rich and fruity, well-structured Pinot Noir that will drink well over the next 5-8 years. Match with pastas, pork and red meats. 18.5+/20.0 (Note: Raymond Chan was paid a review fee of less than $40 to review this wine) www.raymondchanwinereviews.co.nz

Sue Courtney - July 2012
A deep ruby-hued wine with purple glints in the glass. The bouquet is fruit yet savoury with the intrinsic earthiness and spiciness of Pinot Noir. A medium to full-bodied savoury wine that seems firm and linear to start then grabs the attention with its concentrated, sweet-fruited flavours. There's an evocative anise-like herbaceousness, mulled wine spices and a hint of tamarillo with a lovely flourish of brightness - the peacock's tail flare on the end. www.wineoftheweek.com The following day... With Four Central Otago Pinots and Rack of Lamb: Bright crimson ruby - the deepest and most purple of all the quartet. Sweet-fruited savoury aromas, lots to like here. Concentrated pristine cherry fruit, a touch of spice, velvety texture and a bright creamy finish. Shows amazing concentration of fruit today.
Food match: A very fruity wine but contrasts nicely with the gamey flavours of the lamb. The wine and the caramelised rosemary leaves were especially divine.

Geoff Kelly - Sep 2012 - 18.0/20.0, 4 STARS * * * *
Pinot noir ruby, quite a different hue from the beaujolais, below midway in depth. The bouquet is a standout, quite the most floral wine in a beautifully fragrant lineup. If you don't believe at all in the floral component of good red wines, buy a bottle of this and then seek out some purple buddleia, lilac, or pink roses. Along with the florals, there are red and black cherry fruits. In mouth the florality and some vanillin permeate gorgeous red cherry flesh, to develop a winestyle which is reminiscent of Chambolle-Musigny. Like the 2008 Grasshopper, there is just a hint of leaf later on the palate which detracts slightly, and explains why the floral component is so good. That's why these top beaujolais are so special, they have all the florals yet no leafyness – very hard to achieve. Grasshopper Rock is becoming one of the great New Zealand pinot noirs, yet it remains affordable. This needs a year or two to soften, cellar 3 – 8 years. GK 09/12 http://www.geoffkellywinereviews.co.nz/index.php?ArticleID=196

Tim Atkin MW - Aug 2012
The densest, most complete Pinot yet from Phil Handford. Still young and concentrated, with red and black fruits on the palate, textured tannins, stylish oak and a fine, savoury finish. www.timatkin.com/

The Wine Advocate #203 - 89/100 Lisa Perroti-Brown Oct 2012
Medium ruby-purple in color, the 2010 Earnscleugh Vineyard Pinot Noir offers a nose of black cherries, warm cranberries and fresh mulberries with touches of underbrush, dried Provence herbs and tree bark. Medium bodied and tightly knit on the palate, it has a refreshing acid line and low to medium level of finely grained tannins, finishing long and earthy. Drink this one now to 2015+.

Stephen Tanzer - Sep 2012 - 89/100
Bright full red. Aromas of dark cherry, licorice and mint. Sweet, intense red berry and spice flavors are given a firm edge by harmonious acidity. The brisk finish displays a savory saline note and good grip. Very promising wine. www.wineaccess.com

Jamie Goode 94/100 - Jan 2013
Fifth vintage of this wine. Beautifully perfumed: lively, floral and exotic. Very pretty with some meaty hints. The palate is juicy, ripe and lively with balanced, supple cherry and plum fruit. 94/100 http://www.wineanorak.com/newzealand/newzealand_pinotnoir2.htm