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Wine of the Week for week ending 23 October 2011
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Jackson Estate Vintage Widow Pinot Noir 2009
Marlborough, New Zealand

So I'm a rugby widow. The games, the partying, the hysteria as New Zealand plays its way into the Rugby World Cup final. Maybe it's a self-inflicted, but with no hospitality invites, the price of match-day tickets out of my league and the price of a glass of wine at the fanzones a frightening prospect, I'm a stay-at-homer instead. But the beauty of being home is that wine tasting takes a front row seat and that's when vinous stars are found.

This week's Wine of the Week, the Vintage Widow, obviously has a vinous equivalent name for rugby widow. The winemakers and cellar hands work around the clock, and they are missed at home. Still it's worth the effort when a wine like this is the result.

Jackson Estate Vintage Widow Marlborough Pinot Noir 2009 is a vinous star. The colour is an opaque black-red with a striking intensity and the ripe cherry and chocolate scent is inviting and voluptuousness. This initially seems a big wine, a rich wine, an oaky spicy wine with plums and cherries making it juicy throughout yet the savoury nature of the variety nature shines through. There's a lovely infusion of woody herbs, tamarillo and smoky bacon with an underlying citrussy tang and a long savoury finish. A thought-provoking wine with firm tannins yet a velvety smooth mouthfeel. Yes, sometimes it's good to be a widow, a stay-at-homer, when you can enjoy wines like this. And if your premise is 'drink in moderation', this is one of those wines that's even better the next day.

This wine has a make-up of several of the newish Dijon clones and the old classic 10/5 clone, all grown on the company's vineyards in the Waihopai Valley. 2009 was a cooler season with lower than average yields that have no doubt have contributed to this wine's concentration. After the spontaneous fermentation and maceration, then the wine was matured in new and older French oak until the end of February, with blending and bottling in March, almost one year after harvest.

Alcohol achieved is 14%, the bottle has a screwcap closure and the price is around $35 a bottle. Check out to find out more.

© Sue Courtney
17 October 2011

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