It’s a new dawn for Moonlight Race!
2014 marked the first vintage of this wine from cult Central Otago producer Burn Cottage. It was a welcome addition, offering a regional blend that was entirely in keeping with the philosophy and style of this crack team: fine, seamless, layered and long.
It’s always been a popular wine, and five vintages on it’s come of age in another regard. The new-release 2018 comes entirely from estate-owned vines, following the family’s acquisition of the Sauvage Vineyard in Bannockburn. The site, planted to five Pinot Noir clones in 1999 and situated on Felton Road, is in conversion to biodynamics and will produce a single-vineyard wine in due course.
For now, it’s hugely satisfying to be launching this enchanting portrait of Central Otago seen purely through the Burn Cottage lens.
Such character! Lime cordial, dusty spices, peach, white flowers, thyme etc. It’s juicy and just off dry, intensity of flavour almost like a Starburst, with a fine chalky texture, crushed rocks kind of thing, some preserved lemon tang and gentle bitterness, a bit savoury too, and very long. It’s compelling and fun at once. Good now, probably later too, but kind of hard to resist.95 points. Gary Walsh, The Wine Front
It was a warm season with above-average temperatures in December and January. Mid-season conditions were very calm with low wind-run and no significant rainfall, so the season was tracking well ahead of usual timing. Some rain, and then overall milder conditions in February and March meant ripening slowed favourably towards harvest. The 2018 harvest was the earliest to date commencing 13th March (we finished picking Moonlight Race on 27th); however, those late-season conditions had helped to give lovely ripeness whilst retaining balance and finesse. The wine is a 50:50 blend from our Burn Cottage Vineyard in Cromwell and Sauvage Vineyard in Bannockburn. It brings together eight different clones from six blocks on the former, with five Pinot Noir clones from the latter. The grapes were picked at an average Brix of 23.7. The ferments contained 15% whole bunches, and the wine was matured in oak barrels (19% new) from the Damy, Mercurey and Sylvain cooperages. – Claire Mulholland, Burn Cottage
A blend of fruit from the Home vineyard in Lowburn and the Sauvage vineyard in Bannockburn. Seductive and accessible pinot noir with ripe cherry, fresh herb, plum, spice, thyme, roasted chestnut and nutty oak flavours.94 points. Bob Campbell MW, The Real Review
Complex yet subtle, earthy before fruity, floral before oaky, totally varietal and completely captivating. On the palate – dry, tense, fruity, youthful, lighter on it feet, but loaded with varietal signatures of dried herb and red berry fruits, fine tannins and medium+ acidity, mineral and earth layers, nicely complex and nothing overdone. Balanced and well made. Drink now and through 2025.94 points. Cameron Douglas MS, camdouglasms.com