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Sharing the Love for New Zealand Pinot Noir - Loveblock 2013 Pinot Noir from Central Otago


My second experience with Loveblock Pinot Noir.

Above the snow capped mountains of Central Otago, on the Bendigo Loop Road, lies a small Pinot Noir vineyard named "Someone's Darling." Loveblock farms and grows these grapes in accordance with Organic Certification standards, Sustainable Winegrowing New Zealand principles and low chemical intervention.

Kim and Erica Crawford founded Loveblock wines. They tend to go by their first names when promoting Loveblock to avoid confusion with the well known company they sold and are no longer involved with - Kim Crawford. Loveblock is their return to the New Zealand wine industry. Erica is the founder and CEO and her husband Kim is the winemaker.

Riedel stemware to properly show this New Zealand Pinot Noir.

Tasting Notes

Color: Medium ruby.
Nose: Medium minus intensity, red fruit, sour, earthy, raspberry, smoke.
Palate: Medium intensity, very dry, medium plus tannin, medium body, smokiness, dried raspberries and cherries, medium acidity, good mouth feel, focused to front, with strawberry cola on the medium plus finish. Showed well at open. Big like.

At one hour: Acid more present, dry, fine tannin, smoke, red fruit, cherry, cranberry, orange peel, medium finish.

Day two: Bright red fruit, strawberry, tart cherry, very dry, textured, medium minus body, medium plus acid, earthy cola into medium minus finish. Fresh drinking, full of cheer. Like. Pair with rare beef, beef carpaccio, lamb, tomato salad, pizza and goat cheese.

* I paired this Pinot Noir with rack of lamb. You can find my recipe below.

Thoughts: I have a fondness for New Zealand Pinot Noir. The 2013 Loveblock Pinot is among one of my favorites. At open this wine had a wonderful deep, earthy, smoky quality, which I would not be shy to pair with heavier and gamier foods. Within an hour though, the wine was bright and lost that heavy quality. It was full of expression and acidity. On day two the wine definitely wanted some acid to show off food, goat cheese, vinegar and tomatoes would be suitable company. This vintage should continue to evolve in bottle for another 5 years.
Strongly Recommended.

Country: New Zealand
Region: Central Otago
Closure: Screw Cap
ABV: 13.5%
SRP: $37
Sample provided by winery

Lamb was perfection and marvelously tied to the wine with a stunning reduction sauce.

Recipe - Rack of Lamb: 

Marinade: 4 Tbsp of EVO, 3 chopped cloves of garlic and 1 Tbsp lemon juice.
Roasted veggies: Root vegetables are suggested.

1. Let rack of lamb sit at room temp for one hour with salt and pepper, and drizzle a bit of the marinade on lamb.
2. Sear salted and peppered lamb in a metal skillet with a little oil. About 4 mins per side.

* You want an oven safe, all metal skillet. It will go in the oven.

3. Cover exposed ribs with foil before placing in pre-heated oven.
4. Pour remainder of marinade over the lamb. Add 3 sprigs of fresh rosemary.
5. Leave lamb in the skillet. Place lamb in preheated oven at 350 F, fat side down. Bake for 15 min, then flip and bake for 30 min more.

* Bake a pan of roasted root vegetables while baking the lamb. I had the lamb on the upper rack, and the vegetables in a glass dish on the lower rack. Roast the vegetables for the full 45 minutes, lightly salted and lightly oiled with EVO.

6. After 45 minutes remove the lamb and the veggies.

* Careful, the skillet handle will be very hot. Use a pot holder. Learned this lesson a few times.

7. Remove lamb and rosemary and place on a platter to rest for 10 min.
8. Make the reduction sauce in the metal skillet you cooked the lamb with all the drippings and  cooked bits. Set heat to medium. Add some of the Pinot Noir to de-glaze the pan and to make a stunning sauce. Takes about 10 minutes with gentle stirring and scraping.
9. After 10 minutes, slice the rack of lamb in pairs of ribs. I like to finish off my lamb under a broiler. Place lamb under a pre-heated broiler with the lamb resting on top of those roasted veggies, add 4 green onions, brush some EVO on the lamb, then broil about 4 minutes per side. Plate. Drizzle sauce over everything. My sauce was amazing and the lamb so very tender.

*Note: On day two, I added Spanish Sherry vinegar as I re-heated the lamb leftovers. It was very much needed to match the lamb to the acidic wine. To modify this recipe, I would definitely add vinegar of your choice to the marinade, and then marinate the lamb for 2 - 4 hours in the refrigerator before cooking. Just thought you'd like to know. 


Lovely color, aromatics and flavors.

About Loveblock Wines

Erica and Kim have embraced a philosophy of being custodians of the land they farm. Farming organically they seek to restore soil balance and fertility without the use of commercial fertilisers and chemical protection. Loveblock vineyards are located in the wilderness of Central Otago. A unique region where they are working to showcase the terroir of this rugged terrain. Together they are working to make the best wine that they can.
Erica is an active member of the Global Women NZ Advisory Board, an organization which works to expand the influence of women and helps to shape and mentor emerging leaders. She holds a number of directorships, both in the wine industry and in other sectors.

Kim trained at New Zealand’s Massey University and specialized in Oenology at South Australia’s Roseworthy College. His first jobs included vintages at Arrowfield in NSW’s Hunter Valley, Stags Leap Winery in Napa Valley and Backsberg Estate in South Africa. He returned to his native New Zealand in 1988 and worked at Coopers Creek Vineyard for some 10 years. He has over 30 years of winemaking experience.

Central Otago Vineyard Information

Ringed by mountains and interlaced with lakes and deep river gorges, Central Otago is one of the world’s most spectacular settings for vineyards. It is one of the hottest, coldest and driest regions in New Zealand. The climate and unique terroir combined make this area one of the best for producing premium Pinot Noir.

In 2008, Erica and Kim bought a small 20 acres patch of paddock on the Bendigo Loop Road in Central Otago (South Island). Bendigo is the warmest of the Central Otago winegrowing areas and this little vineyard is the warmest one in Bendigo ensuring consistent ripening year on year. This vineyard is dedicated solely to Pinot Noir. This vineyard is Sustainable Winegrowing (SWNZ) accredited.

A variety of clones were selected for this site to deliver a wide range of flavors in the wine and to produce elegant, yet complex and clean fruit-driven wines. They named the block “Someone’s Darling” as legend holds that in the mid-1800s, a local farmer found the body of a young man on a nearby property. He buried him and for the lack of a name, identity or kin, he simply engraved on the coarse wooden cross “Someone’s Darling”.

Loveblock makes more than Pinot Noir, they also make Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Gris, Riesling, Gewurztraminer, Moscato Brut, Sweet Moscato and Chenin Blanc.

It's been too long since I have had the pleasure of reviewing a New Zealand Pinot Noir. The Loveblock Pinot Noir was a wonderful experience.



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