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Medium deep ruby-purple in color, the 2011 The Abyss Pinot Noir has slightly muted aromas of cranberries and raspberry preserves with hints of mulberries, oolong tea, rose petals and anise. Medium-bodied, it is elegantly fruited, with crisp acid, a medium level of fine grained tannins, and a long finish. It needs another 12-18 months in bottle and should cellar to 2020+.
A lovely pinot noir colour, just right, slightly above midway in depth. Bouquet immediately smells saturated with complex floral aromas including cherry-ripe, and red and black cherries. Oak is very much in the background, so the wine seems understated in comparison with the more oaky Otago wines alongside. It is on the palate this wine demonstrates absolute fidelity to the model of grand cru Burgundy. Fruit is more red cherry than black, there is a lovely evolution of dark red rose florality in the mouth, and the style of the wine is (loosely-speaking) Corton. Acid balance and oak complex the wine delightfully and ensure good cellar life. I thought last year that the 2010 Greywacke Pinot Noir was perhaps the best pinot noir yet to emerge from Marlborough, as the new generation of older-soil vineyards come to fruition, but this 2010 The Abyss poses an exciting challenge. Love to have them alongside! Well worth cellaring 5 - 12 years. Total sulphur is much lower than the average New Zealand pinot noir.