NORTH CANTERBURY - NEW ZEALAND
Organic + Biodynamic
Winner of Gourmet Traveller WINE 'New Zealand Winemaker of the Year 2022' - Nicholas Brown, Black Estate
"Black Estate is a producer of wines that are a perfect reflection of place. In a relatively short time, Brown has further influenced this style with his ‘less is more’ philosophy: less intervention, less oak, less alcohol while delivering more precision and more personality."
New Zealand Organic Wine Awards ‘Winery of the Year 2017’: Black Estate
“Black Estate’s wines have caused more discussion amongst our judges than any other wines, leading to rather late nights on more than one occasion. Their wines are all sophisticatedly exclusive, from their four varietal Rose blend to their three unique Pinot Noir’s. Each wine they produce adds complexity and depth beyond what you expect, when you think you have a complete understanding of the wine another layer unfolds and adds to the intrigue. Black Estate achieved more Gold and Silver medals than any other vineyard partaking in the 2017 awards.”
Black Estate have certainly established themselves as one of the stars of North Canterbury recently. This comes as no surprise to those of us who have witnessed the team quietly working over the past few years to develop their three vineyards into some of the most delightful in New Zealand. Absolute passion for their land and dedication to their vines is behind every action taken by Nicholas, Penelope and the team. We’re impressed more and more by every release, and are very happy to be able to offer these wines to the Australian market.
“We farm organically & with biodynamic practices to work with nature, rather than against it. If our land is naturally healthy and full of diverse life, we have healthier vines, producing fruit with quality and flavour that expresses its unique and true environment. Organics means we don’t use any systemic sprays on our land, which would destroy the microbial life and ecosystems there. The land is the foundation for our vines, fruit and wine, so we want to look after it. Respect and care for land allows our our vines to grow in natural balance, and also provides for generations after our time here. Offering wines to enjoy without any chemical residues is another motivation. We can all drink wine that nurtures us, rather than affects our health, and our team, who are close up, looking after each vine can also work care free of chemicals. We also use biodynamics, a practice which energises and inspires us. Rooted in Rudolf Steiner teachings, biodynamics teaches us to see each of our three vineyards in a holistic way. All elements that make up our vineyards are considered – how they interact and make one healthy, vital whole. The vines, fields, forests, animals, plants, soils, compost, people and the spirt of the place are equally important. When all considered, our sites can build their own sustaining natural rhythms.”
- Nicholas and Pen, Black Estate
2022 Black Estate Home Young Vines Chardonnay
From a small fan of younger vines planted in 2011, on the north-facing hillside right above the original Chardonnay vines. Fresh, delicate aromas of white peach, almond, flint, and vanilla. The palate is concentrated and textural with apple, nectarine, yuzu and honey with vibrant saline characters.
"Excellent. Young, vibrant and charming bouquet of fresh red apple and peach, there’s a lovely core of earthy mineral scents from clay to chalk and layers of wood spices and fresh cashew-nut complexity. Vibrant and lovely on the palate, youthful with acidity that dances across the palate, textures from acidity and wood then flavours of grapefruit flesh and peel, apple and lemon and a wild ferment layer of flinty spices and wood. Well made, very youthful still and needs some more time in cellar. Best drinking from 2024 through 2029." - Cameron Douglas MS
2021 Black Estate Home Chardonnay
One of the finest examples of Chardonnay produced anywhere in New Zealand. From ungrafted Mendoza vines planted in 1994. Aromas of ripe white peach, hazelnut, grapefruit and cool sea spray. The palate is concentrated which dense texture. Powerful and moorish with a saline persistence. Very limited availability.
2021 Black Estate Home Chenin Blanc
Aromas of mountain beech honeydew, baked apricot, white clover and brioche. The palate is bright, complex, and powerful with blood orange, vanilla, blackcurrant leaf, liquorice and lanolin. Zero sulphur.
"From the biodynamic Black Estate on the South Island's North Canterbury, this was made in 600-litre barrels, is un-sulphured, and pours with a light haze. Arresting natural wine aromas, expressing fruit skins and nuttiness, sweet new-baked bread and some golden apple fruit. There's a perceptible fruit sweetness on the initial attack, very ripe and punchy fruit, but the light kaolin earthiness and plenty of vibrant Mandarin orange acidity kicks in. Delicious interpretation of Chenin." - Tom Canavan, Wine Pages
2021 Black Estate Home Cabernet Franc
Complex aromas of blackcurrant, violets, sandalwood, and vanilla pod. The supple fruits are followed by mouth filling tannin that bring on earth and autumnal leaves followed by a saline salty finish. Zero sulphur.
"Outstanding. Fantastic bouquet, varietal and primary with dark berries and olive paste, black berry and plum flesh, a core mineral earth quality and baking spices of toasty barrel. New, fresh and enticing. Delicious on the palate, dry, taut and mineral with contrasting dark red stone fruit flavours, plum and baking spices. Taut with plenty of squeeze from tannins and acidity. A wine that will reward if left to mature and integrate more. Complex and dry, persistent and complex. Best drinking from 2025 through 2035+." - Cameron Douglas MS
2022 Black Estate Wild Life 'TB943' Pinot Noir
"Our Wild Life wines are for experimentation, and with this parcel it was our intention to make a very light refreshing wine from this unique clone. To do this we selected a fragrant and complex clone, harvested early, infused the fermentation rather than plunged for extraction, reduced the time on skin, finished fermentation in clay Tinaja rather than barrel, bottled early to capture freshness with no additives including no sulphur, using a high quality natural cork to allow a gentle softening of the wine." Serve chilled.
2021 Black Estate Home Pinot Noir
From the original Black Estate vines planted in 1994. Aromas of dark plum, spice, black olive, woody herbs, cinnamon, violets and earth. The palate has density and weight typical of Pinot Noirs from the Home vineyard with emerging velvet fruit flavours and a persistent bright mineral finish.
"Excellent. There’s a wonderful vibrato and energy with primary red fruit aromas of boysenberry and crushed black cherry flesh, there’s a fine dried herb and earthy mineral combination then crushed red flowers and wood spices. Complex and youthful with a taut bouquet. Dry, taut, fruity, varietal and high energy on the palate, a youthful squeeze with acidity then contrasting core fruit flavours that reflect the bouquet. Firm tannins are in abundance, polished and new, acidity sets the backbone in place and oak layers through wood flavours and textures. A lovely example that just needs time. Best drinking from 2025 through 2035+." - Cameron Douglas MS
2021 Black Estate Damsteep Pinot Noir
Grown on a particularly steep 5 hectare north-east facing slope. The vines here were planted in 1999 and grow on clay overlying fractured limestone and sandstone soils. Fragrant aromas of wild raspberry, dark plum, sandalwood, vanilla and sea spray. Flavours of silken and bright wild forest fruits and graphite. Supple and elastic mid pallet tannins that are contained with bright and pure minerality. Typical white rock tension creates a long and vibrant finish.
2020 Black Estate Netherwood Pinot Noir
Netherwood’s soils are classified as Waipara Greensand which is a green grey richly glauconitic sandstone. Pinot Noir cuttings were planted here ikn 1986 on their own roots and established and farmed without irrigation. Seductive and vibrant aromas of raspberry, red cherry, liquorice, deep red rose and fertile earth. Silken and luscious red fruit, with dense mid palate tannin from ripe fruit and mature stems. Bright, persistent flavour length and texture that is elegant and long from low yielding vines.
"Focused, precise and herby, the 2020 Pinot Noir Netherwood has a vertical frame compared to the Pinot Noir Home. It is upright, like a soldier standing to attention. It's a wine that deserves time in your glass and your bottle, with tannins providing a resolute structure in which the flesh of the wine currently resides. It has an intriguing combination of woody herbs and savory notes alongside plums and Earl Grey tea. It is a wine you want to analyze more fully to understand its nuances. Distinctive, characterful and somewhat mysterious. Definitely worth exploring." - Rebecca Gibb MW