Wine Tasting – Locharburn Vineyard and social media

Remember I mentioned Twitter and Central Otago? This month the stars lined up with an opportunity to taste wines from Locharburn’s Vineyard. Chris and Jenny Hill paid Singapore a visit recently and held their master class in the linear-designed cosy Praelum Wine Bistro at Duxton Hill. Guess what? Their styles of Pinot Noir and Rosé had just complicated my understanding by another notch.

April Harvest in Locharburn
April Harvest in Locharburn

Located on terraces near the top of Lake Dunstan in Cromwell Basin, the vineyard overlooks the Locharburn stream (where they got the name) and owns 14 hectares worth of Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, Sauvignon Blanc and Riesling. Surrounded by mountain ranges of the region, the vineyard enjoys hot summer and long autumn which allows grapes to ripen with strong flavour intensity. Started in 2004, their wines were carefully crafted by “Queen of Pinot Noir” Carol Bunn, who was also a key figure for other start-up wineries in Central Otago.

So the place and vineyard, what about Twitter? 

Jenny saw the piece I wrote for Misha’s Vineyard and knew about the Twitter #SgWine folks. Despite being total strangers, she made good use of the flatten social connection of Twitter to send messages about the master class. In Twitter universe, things are simple with lesser features and one can choose to be either public or private.

To Jenny: “Never mind the sceptics, Twitter works!”

Okay, so the wines.

The Pinot Noir Rosé 2011 presented deep wild salmon colour (under the dim lighting). Initially whiff of fresh red fruits and gradually evolved to display the wine making style. Hints of oak influence were picked up with a creamy soft acid texture on the palate. The wine was partly (35 per cent) rested on lees (dead yeast after fermentation) in oak puncheons for two months before transferring back to stainless steel. Appealing on the palate but feels unusually sophisticated for a rosé.

Locharburn Pinot Noir 2009
Locharburn Pinot Noir 2009

Pinot Noir 2009 was the big surprise with sweet dark fruits that wasn’t typical in a Pinot Noir (usually sour red fruits)! Further aroma investigation revealed liquorice notes that reminded me of Shiraz. Nicely structured with hints of spices on palate and long finish. Slightly hot on the back, but most probably due to the ambient temperature than the wine.

Are they in Singapore?

Of course! They are available from Equatorial Wines, visit their website or contact Mike to find out.

Hope you like it!

About the author

Chan Wai Xin

Chan Wai Xin

Singapore based. University lecturer, wine educator, wine writer. Systematic, analytic, and at times pedantic. Mostly irreverent.

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