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Amisfield Wine Produces Rare Vintage from Central Otago Vine

Amisfield Wine Company Produces Rare Vintage from Unique Central Otago Vines

Internationally-renowned Amisfield Wine Company has released a rare Reserve Pinot Noir to coincide with its recent 10th anniversary harvest.

The winemakers have introduced the Amisfield RKV Reserve Pinot Noir 2007 - the third vintage from a small section of vines on Amisfield’s 75ha Pisa Estate between Cromwell and Wanaka in Central Otago.

The Reserve Pinot Noir comes from grapes grown on the Rocky Knoll - a small, north-facing slope with very lean soil, meaning the vines have to send their roots deep and far-reaching. The soils are loessial in origin but are much older than the alluvial sediments on the valley floor.

“It has taken a lot of coaxing to get the vines to dig deep looking for water. The low fertility and water-holding capacity ensure that the vines planted on these soils grow slowly and the vineyard crew must carefully train and manage the vines on Rocky Knoll so that when the grapes arrive at the winery they are of the highest quality.” Amisfield winemaker Dr Stephanie Lambert says.

“2007 was a stunning year for Pinot Noir in Central Otago. The season was cool with numerous frosts. It was the year that the iceberg was seen floating off the coast of Otago. Hence the crop was small but the grapes concentrated with flavour, coupled with good acidity.” Dr Lambert says.

Matured in French oak barriques, the RKV 2007 was bottled unfined and unfiltered in traditional Burgundy bottles in late 2008 for a process of natural refinement and balance.

“This wine is very special to us as it represents the best wine of an exceptional vintage but also what we believe is the best expression of grapes and wine grown at our Pisa Estate.” Dr Lambert says.

The RKV 2007 has already received accolades by one of the most prolific international wine magazines, Wine Spectator. Senior editor James Laube called it a “standout” wine.

To celebrate the release of the Amisfield RKV Reserve Pinot Noir 2007, new chef de cuisine at Amisfield’s Lake Hayes bistro, Jay Sherwood, has today launched a “Trust the Chef” Pinot Noir winter menu.

The five-course menu includes local seasonal produce with fresh Bluff oysters, venison, and Cardrona lamb, to be matched with a selection of Amisfield’s celebrated Pinot Noirs and Arcadia Brut NV.

At 27, Sherwood has already worked at three international Michelin star restaurants - at Melisse in his hometown of Los Angeles, in Spain under acclaimed three-star chef Martin Berasategui and in Italy, working under “The Godfather” Tonino Cannavacciuolo in a Michelin two star restaurant Villa Crespi.

Amisfield is also celebrating being listed on Cuisine magazine’s Top 50 finalists in its 2012 New Zealand Restaurant of the Year. Awards will be held in Auckland on August 6. Cuisine announced its list on Wednesday.

In March, Amisfield also marked a significant milestone with its tenth harvest after the first vines were planted in 1999. Whilst still a relatively young winemaking company, Amisfield has become a strong global brand.

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