Corofin Settlement Vineyard Pinot Noir 2020 (6 Bottles), Marlborough NZ

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Organic. The 18-year-old Settlement Vineyard is in the Omaka Valley, located to the south of Marlborough’s Wairau Plains. It is managed by Dog Point’s gun viticulturist, Nigel Sowman. The fruit for this bottling hails from a 0.25-hectare sliver at the top of the vineyard’s east slope, a clay-rich parcel planted at a density of 4,600 vines per hectare (all 777 clone).

Mike Paterson now foot-crushes roughly 10% of the harvest to lessen the carbonic influence, which he felt was too present in previous releases. Otherwise, whole berries were placed in a sealed tank at ambient temperature and fermentation lasted up to two weeks before the wine was transferred to seasoned French oak. It was bottled unfined and unfiltered after 13 months in barrel and a further seven months in tank.

In part thanks to Paterson’s light hand in the winery, the 2020 is positively ethereal for a Marlborough Pinot Noir. It’s a wonderfully pure Settlement, weighing in 13%, with lithe texture and flowing, crystalline red fruit measured by a wisp of finely drawn tannin and crisp acidity. The bright, perfumed finish just keeps you coming back for more.

“Pale in colour with very fine aromatics of sweet red cherries and wild strawberries, showing real finesse and very fine herbal hints which add some sappy detail. The palate is sweet and supple with real finesse, and a silky edge to the strawberry fruit, with a hint of orange peel and mandarin. Such finesse and elegance. This is a lovely infusion style but elegance doesn’t come at the cost of flavour intensity. One of the best Marlborough Pinots I’ve ever had.” 96 points, Jamie Goode, Wine Anorak

“The transparent, pure 2020 Pinot Noir Settlement Vineyard tantalizes your nose with rose, dried woody herbs (although there’s no whole bunch here) and raspberry fruits. This organic hillside site has created an ethereal expression and a feather-pillow-like texture. It’s almost meditative in its texture, and the tannins are delicate and refined (30% second fill, with the rest older). In summary, a hands-off Pinot that is already a pleasure to drink.” 93 points, Rebecca Gibb MW, Vinous



Established in 2011, Corofin is the new home for ex-Jackson Estate winesmith Mike Paterson and his partner Anna, until recently GM at TerraVin.

At this early juncture, while Mike is contracted to another project and Anna busy raising the couple’s two young daughters, Corofin craft two (soon to be three) single-vineyard Pinot Noirs, each in tiny 100-150-case lots. You can read about two of these “pretty special Marlborough sites” below (the third being the Weavers’ ‘Waihopi Slopes’ at Churton). Not too far down the line we’ll see a little Chardonnay as well.

For the time being the wines are made out of temporary digs at Fromm. Having spent the majority of their working years in and about Marlborough, Mike and Anna have no doubt regarding the potential of their adopted region, and were well placed to approach their first choice of vineyards.

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