17.5/20 POINTS: Stephen Wong MW
Former Cloudy Bay wine maker Sarah Burton now makes this stunning Central Otago Pinot Noir. This inaugural release is made from the fruit of the original Calvert vineyard in Bannockburn - the one which Pyramid Valley, Craggy Range and Felton Road all made wine from for a few years. The vineyard has been family owned since 1989 and the vineyard was planted in 1998. The vineyard has been certified organic since 2003.
"An aromatically beguiling wine with elusive floral aromas which merge with the macerated red fruit core. It is effortlessly ripe, showing the warm vintage, but not jammy. At this stage, the fruit is still a little shy; wrapped in earthy, spicy whole bunch complexity interweaved with smoky oak notes which will recede with bottle age. There is a crunch and liveliness here which gives a sense of space. The palate flows gracefully from a perfectly formed, sweet entry through the silky mid where it really expresses its violet and purple-toned perfume. There is delicacy here combined with intensity in that way which only Pinot Noir can pull off. The oak tannins make themselves felt on the finish - still very young and unevolved - but I have every confidence it will smooth out in time, allowing the finish to unfurl and lengthen. This is something special - a truly elegant, finely filigree example of Pinot Noir, especially in a vintage which has yielded several forward, simple wines. Winemaker Sarah Burton, who recently became responsible for the Calvert label, made this from six rows of 10/5 and clone 115 in the established and well-recognised organic Calvert vineyard in Bannockburn. She anticipates future releases to have less new oak, and if the debut is anything to go by, the future looks very bright for this label under her care."
— 17.5/20 Points, Stephen Wong MW