Sam Kim, Wine Orbit, tasting of 2008 to 2012 vintages

Sam Kim, wine writer and wine judge, visited Grasshopper Rock in September 2013 and has recently released his tasting notes below.

Vertical tastings, like this, are the best and most interesting way to capture the quality of a vineyard. The wines below span five years from our third vintage to our latest release in 2014.

All vines were planted in 2003 so we are seeing a significant change in vine age over the vintages. There is significant vintage variation due to the weather patterns over the growing season. Warm vs cold springs, hot versus cool summers and the same in autumn. Every vintage unique.

Sam's visit coincided with the filming of a video for our Australian distributors and we were able to capture his thoughts on the video below.

Grasshopper Rock Pinot Noir 2008 : 92/100 pts, 4.5 Stars
It's sweet-scented exhibiting red/black cherry, floral and savoury mushroom aromas which lead to a silky, flowing palate. Succulent and generous with plenty of attractive flavours. What a delightful drink it has become. The summer was warm but the cool autumn delayed the harvest to late April/early May. Lovely balance of ripe flavours and subtle savoury complexity. At its best: now to 2017. Sept 2013.

Grasshopper Rock Pinot Noir 2009 : 94/100 pts, 5 Stars
The elegant and complex bouquet shows lovely aromas of dark cherry, floral, game and spice. Excellent concentration on the palate. Silky, graceful and harmonious with fine, chalky tannins. This is looking better than last time I tried, displaying wonderful intensity within a rounded frame. At its best: now to 2019. Sept 2013.

Grasshopper Rock Pinot Noir 2010 : 95/100 pts, 5 Stars
Small crop due to cold December but the warm autumn ensured excellent ripening and concentration of fabulous flavours. This is a stunning pinot exhibiting dark cherry, blueberry, floral and a touch of spice notes. Still youthful looking. The focused palate shows lovely density and texture. Power and grace. Fully deserving its accolades including Champion Pinot Noir and Champion Wine of the Show at the Air New Zealand Wine Awards. At its best: now to 2022. Sept 2013.

Grasshopper Rock Pinot Noir 2011 : 93/100 pts, 5 Stars
Pristine and perfumed, the youthful bouquet shows red cherry and floral with subtle game and spice complexity. It’s focused and finely textured on the palate with lovely poise. This is quietly spoken yet the wine is undeniably concentrated and persistent. Should evolve graciously. At its best: now to 2020. Sept 2013.

Grasshopper Rock Pinot Noir 2012 : 95/100 pts, 5 Stars
An outstanding pinot. The youthful and perfumed bouquet shows red/blueberry, floral, spice and elegantly infused cedary oak aromas. The palate is succulent and velvety with rounded mouthfeel, leading to a superbly long, silky finish. The wine is expressive and engaging while exhibiting restraint too. Very promising. At its best: 2016 to 2022. Sept 2013.
For more about Sam Kim see his website here


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