Tim and Judy Finn planted their first vines in 1978, alongside the tiny hamlet of Neudorf, established by German settlers in 1842. While the Finns initially earned an international reputation for their concentrated, minerally Chardonnay and taut, racy Riesling, it is their elegant and complex Pinot Noir which has attracted recent attention.
The vines spill down a gentle north-facing slope overlooking of the Moutere Valley, at the top of New Zealand's South Island. Shallow sandy loam overlays a draining clay subsoil based on the weathered gravels of an ancient river system. The virgin soil is of naturally low fertility and the gravely clay retains enough moisture to support grapevines through the dry summer months.
In the vineyard a combination of high plant density (up to 5000 vines/hectare) and low production (down to one kilo/vine) produces the fruit concentration and palate length characteristic of the label. Shoots are thinned, and fruit is dropped at verasion to achieve the required crop level and uniformity of ripeness.
Commitment to Sustainable viticulture includes a soft-spray regime combined with soil management that enhances structure and Organic matter. Neudorf is a foundation member of the New Zealand Sustainable Viticulture group.
The nose is a fascinating balance between typical Pinot fruit notes (cherry and plum) and typical Pinot savoury notes (degraded vegetation, autumn forest). These are melded perfectly resulting in a melange of subtle but confident aromas. On the palate the wine is serious but not overwrought. The refreshing mineral notes are in play with the chocolate and cherry. Tannin structure is elegant and fine. The oak handling and fruit ripeness are harmonious and the overall concept of the wine is well bred approachability. The wine is most attractive and eminently drinkable.