Region: North Canterbury, NZ
Variety: Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris
Theo Coles’ journey began in 2012 helping Gareth of Limestone Hills vineyard in Waipara Gorge make some Pinot. He figured that if he didn’t take to it, he’d at least have ‘some decent Pinot to drink’. Well, what a boon for us because he now crafts intriguing, varied and thoughtful wines across the Tasman. In general the fruit comes from tiny vineyards throughout the Canterbury region of New Zealand. Every wine has it’s own story to tell. The vines are naturally farmed and old winemaking techniques are employed wherever possible. They are wines of depth, complexity, individuality and, most importantly, drinkability.
Both Noir and Gris sourced from an organic, gravel soil vineyard. The wine is pressed off the skins into Tinaja (Spanish amphora) for elevage. Amphora is used to provide an oxygen rich environment for the wine like oak, but unlike oak, amphora, which is made of clay, doesn’t impart tannin or flavour; inversely, stainless steel is an anaerobic (oxygen deprived) environment that retains freshness, but doesn’t allow wine and air to converse freely, resulting in a wine picture of that moment in its life. Though the wine itself is deliciously precise and juicy, Theo wanted to demonstrate the effect of the Tinaja and the balance freshness and expressiveness of Pinots is a testament to thoughtful use of amphora. Lovely perfume. Spice and turned earth. Ripe red berries.