As has been mentioned before, the 2019 vintage in New Zealand is attracting lots of hype. We even looked at a few of Chard Farm’s other 2019 Pinots previously, and thoroughly impressive they were. This is a single vineyard wine, more specifically from the Grandstand Block of the Viper Vineyard, on the western side of Lake Dunstan. Those with an aversion to our scaly, legless friends might be wondering if the name has anything to do with vipers of the slithering persuasion. New Zealand, of course, has no snakes and the ‘viper’ here is of the floral variety – the wildflower, viper burgloss. If I may be permitted a small digression, if you ever want to see a New Zealand flyfishing guide jump four foot straight up, mention he is standing near a snake – they are terrified of them.
The wine is a lovely crimson, purple, almost blue colour. Real power to be found here, though it is coiled and youthful. What really impresses is the excellent line, length and excellent focus. Time will build more flesh around the skeleton but everything is in place for this wine to blossom over time. Terrific structure, supple and seamless. Flavours/aromas of violets and raspberries. There is good acidity. A Pinot with an exciting future.