2016 Pyramid Valley ‘Earth Smoke’ Pinot Noir, Central Otago
Fascinatingly, astonishingly, unlike its sibling, the Angel Flower, given proximity and wine-making and –growing equalities: pungent soil tones, tobacco/bark and fresh-turned earth, also with dried herbs: bay, lavender, Mexican oregano, even. The fruit spectrum is blue and black. Really sings soil, stratum.
Great weight and texture, dense but mouth-coating, with brighter fruit flavours than the nose might suggest: blueberry, blackberry, sloe. Salinity, from significant active lime in the soil, waters the mouth, extending an already obdurate length. Whereas, with vine age, the Angel Flower is adding content to its early charm, the Earth Smoke seems to be marrying fruit succulence to its established, adamantine, soil-sponsored clout.