Villa Maria Single Vineyard Pinot Noir Taylors Pass 2012
Young Burgundy-like reflections, the colour is bright, medium ruby with violet hues. With an aromatic bouquet of red and dark cherry, the perfume is alluring and refined. The palate displays layers of dark berry fruits, forest floor raspberries, and dried herbs such as rosemary and thyme. This elegant yet powerful wine is balanced, with subtle acidity and sleek textured tannins. There is a frolicking, playful feel to the lifted cherry and floral scents, and an attractive silkiness to the texture: tight and linear structure and red berry fruit flavours. There is always a creamy, mocha touch. ABV is at 13.5%; medium-bodied.
Rare to get by, this 2012 is outstanding wines to the Trade. It was from a cooler vintage; the low yields contributed to their quality and style. The wines received 18-30 days on skins and had 25-30% new oak maturation, so they’re certainly up there in fruit depth. There is less whole-bunch press for 2012.
The Taylors Pass vineyard owned by Terra Vitae group, of which Sir George Fistonich (owner and founder of Villa Maria) is the largest shareholder. So basically, they are Vila Maria vineyards. Villa Maria employed staff to manage the vineyard and grow grapes to requirements. Vine yield is balanced carefully to the site to achieve desired flavours and ripeness levels required.
Pinot Noir is the most transparent of the grape varieties; it showcases precisely where it grows, how the vines were cared for and need to be carefully respected in the winery to craft exceptional wines. The style is to Leave the wine hands-off where possible, allowing native yeast from vineyards to take care of the fermentation process, and once pressed, the wines rest in barrels for the next 9-14 months. The practice is not to jump in and “interfere” too much, it’s best to sit back and be confident the wines will express themselves given time. The Single Vineyard wines are an invitation to the consumer to come on a journey to discover the diversity of Marlborough. The vineyard has some 14 acres of Pinot Noir,
In my MW programme back then, this Villa Maria Pinot Noir as a bench-marking wine did not get too high a score, just WS91. The total number of medals and commendations are significant. Some 5 STARS + 5 STARS + GOLD MEDAL + GOLD MEDAL + GOLD MEDAL + PURE GOLD MEDAL are listed by some traders.