Doctors Flat, Pinot Noir

Doctors Flat, Pinot Noir, 2016

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    New Zealand

  • icon-alcohollevel Alcohol level


  • icon-grapevariety Grape variety
    Pinot Noir 100%

Doctors Flat Pinot is about Steve Davies’ pursuit of wine true to its origin - wine of terroir.

The vines are organically farmed with care and harvested by hand. The fruit is then fermented in small open tanks with minimal intervention. The wines spend 12 months in French barrels (about 1/3 new) and then a winter resting in tank, before being bottled in the following spring without fining or filtration. Only the best of the small lots are blended to make the single vineyard Doctors Flat Pinot Noir

About Doctors Flat

The name Doctors Flat remains something of a mystery, as there was no resident doctor in Bannockburn.

The name appears in other mining areas. One possible explanation is that miners suffering from toothache would visit ‘the doctor’ (THE PROPRIETOR) of the local sly grog shop or hotel to obtain a bottle of ‘painkiller’.

The story of Doctors Flat Vineyard begins in the late 1980s, in France and California, where Steve Davies first encountered great practitioners of old world winemaking, and the best of new world innovators.

Determined to make quality wine, he returned to New Zealand for postgraduate study, and after a brief detour into Sauvignon Blanc production moved back to the Napa Valley, California.

Having served an apprenticeship making great Bordeaux reds at Newton the first clear steps toward New Zealand was the move, in 1996, to Saintsbury and making Pinot Noir.

By 1999 Steve had settled in Central Otago, making Pinot for Akarua and on the hunt for his own land. He was looking for something in particular—a site that would offer all the conditions he had come to believe were essential for great Pinot. It was a long and thorough search, and in 2002 he found it, an elevated site on deep glacial gravels in Bannockburn. Doctors Flat Vineyard was a reality.

There is tale unfolding. His pursuit of quality has evolved and shifted focus: from the art of winemaking, to grapes and vineyards, and now into the site and soil, the true source of wine of quality.

Patience remains key. Steve is farming organically, taking the time to build soil health, observing changes as the vines age and making

Grape variety
Pinot Noir

Pinot Noir is a red wine grape variety of the species Vitis vinifera. The name may also refer to wines created predominantly from Pinot Noir grapes. The name is derived from the French words for pine and black. The word pine alludes to the grape variety having tightly clustered, pine cone-shaped bunches of fruit.

Pinot Noir grapes are grown around the world, mostly in the cooler climates, and the grape is chiefly associated with the Burgundy region of France. Pinot Noir is now used to make red wines around the world, as well as Champagne, and such sparkling white wines as the Italian Franciacorta, and English sparkling wines. Regions that have gained a reputation for red pinot Noir wines include: the Willamette Valley of Oregon, the Carneros, Central Coast, Sonoma Coast and Russian River AVAs of California, the Elgin and Walker Bay wine regions of South Africa, Mornington Peninsula, Adelaide Hills, Great Southern, Tasmania and Yarra Valley in Australia and the Central Otago, Martinborough and Marlborough wine regions of New Zealand. Pinot Noir is the most-planted varietal (38%) used in sparkling wine production in Champagne and other wine regions.

Pinot Noir is a difficult variety to cultivate and transform into wine. The grape's tendency to produce tightly packed clusters makes it susceptible to several viticultural hazards involving rot that require diligent canopy management. The thin skins and low levels of phenolic compounds lends pinot to producing mostly lightly coloured, medium-bodied and low-tannin wines that can often go through phases of uneven and unpredictable aging. When young, wines made from Pinot Noir tend to have red fruit aromas of cherries, raspberries and strawberries. As the wine ages, pinot has the potential to develop more vegetal and "barnyard" aromas that can contribute to the complexity of the wine.

Alternative Names: Pinot Nero, Pinot Negro, Spätburgunder, Blauburgunder

About Central Otago

Central Otago, near the bottom of New Zealand's South Island, vies for the title of world's most southerly wine region. Vineyards cling to the sides of mountains and high above river gorges in this dramatic landscape. Pinot Noir has proven itself in this challenging terroir, and takes up nearly three-quarters of the region's vineyard area. The typical Central Otago Pinot Noir is intense and deeply coloured, with flavours of doris plum, sweet spice and bramble.

Two Paddocks, owned by actor Sam Neill, had thought the Last Chance vineyard was the world's most southerly (at 45°15'). But several major Patagonian projects are underway at around 45 to 46°, and Argentina can currently claim the honour for Alejandro Bulgheroni's new vineyard at Sarmiento (45°60').

The viticultural zone covers the mountainous area around the tourist resort town of Queenstown on the eastern side of the Southern Alps. The exact boundaries and sub-regional divisions are not official, but a geographic indication is in the pipeline. Wineries are scattered around several distinct sub-regions: Gibbston, Alexandra, Wanaka and the Cromwell Basin, itself home to Bendigo, Bannockburn and Lowburn. Lakes Dunstan, Wakatipu and Wanaka all contribute to the terroir as well, along with the Kawarau and Clutha Rivers.

Gold brought the first settlers to the region in the 1860s, and most of the towns in this part of Otago have a rich gold-mining history. The first vines were planted during this time by a French migrant but, unlike in the Sierra Foothills region of California where the European settlers provided a steady demand for wines, the tough, transient Otago miners had no interest in drinking wine, preferring beer and spirits. It wasn't until the 1970s that the modern wine industry made its way to Central Otago, although many thought the region's viticultural pioneers were crazy.

One of the most distinctive features of Central Otago as a wine region is its marginal continental climate, with extreme seasonal and diurnal temperature variations. This shortens and intensifies the growing season and poses a frost risk for an extended period of the year. For this reason, many Otago vineyards occupy hillside sites, angled towards the sun, and reduce the risk of frost damage by keeping cold, dense air on the move. Some producers employ frost protection on flatter sites, typically wind machines, frost pots and water sprinklers. Some have even been known to fly helicopters back and forth over their vineyards to prevent frost from settling.

In contrast to the frost-threatened days of spring, summer days in Central Otago are dry and hot. The region's continentality brings it higher daily average temperatures than those found anywhere else in New Zealand. Hot days are balanced out by cool nights, which moderate the ripening process and help to create the brightness and intensity for which the region's wines are known.

The landscape of Central Otago has been carved over time by glaciers, and the soils in the area are mostly made up of mica schist and greywacke. Clay and loam soils are common, as is windblown loess. Due to the dry climate in Otago, these dry soils are high in mineral content and low in organic matter, conditions that are highly conducive to premium viticulture. Vines planted on these soils cannot afford to waste energy on luxurious greenery, and instead focus their resources on producing small, highly concentrated berries. This results in wines with intensity of flavour and a good tannic structure.

Along with Pinot Noir, Central Otago makes some highly regarded examples of Chardonnay, Riesling and Pinot Gris, as well as some sparkling wines made in a méthode traditionnelle style.

Regular price $338.00

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This is a wine from our Overseas - In Bond Collection. The wine is quoted as a price in S$ for purchase and transfer into a UK bonded warehouse. The purchase price is a duty/tax free price and does not include delivery to Singapore. Please contact us below if you wish to enquire delivery or storage options for a wine from our Overseas - In Bond Collection to Singapore or elsewhere.

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