A lovely medium ruby color, the wine presents deep and brooding aromas of black fruit, dark chocolate and char with a touch of dried herbs. The vibrant palate is tightly structured with flavors of dark fruits, thyme and mocha elements.
Wine Advocate 90 points - Matured in French oak, 30% new, for 12 months, the 2009 Pinot Noir has a pale to medium ruby color and aromas of red cherries, red currants and warm cranberries over Mediterranean herbs, underbrush and moss covered bark. Medium bodied with a good amount of taut fruit, it has a low level of fine tannins, crisp acid and a long earthy finish. Drink it now to 2015+. (Oct 2011)
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Maude is owned by the experienced winemaking couple of Sarah-Kate and Dan Dineen. The two produce hand-crafted wines from their custom built winery set against the backdrop of Lake Wanaka in Central Otago. Together, they have over two decades of international winemaking experience. After marrying in 2003, they decided to move back home to New Zealand to be closer to family and establish Maude. Part of the motivation to move to Central Otago was the eternal search for the holy grail of winemaking, Pinot Noir perfection. It comes as no surprise to industry insiders that Maude has become an instant success. The current range includes a Central Otago Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris, as well as, the pinnacle of the brand from the family’s own vineyard - Mount Maude Pinot Noir. At 45 degrees longitude, Central Otago is the southernmost wine region in the world. Here, the grapes have the longest hang-time of any viticultural area and can be picked as late as mid-May which allows for perfect ripening. The soil profile of clay and gravel mix is free-draining and stable. This wine combines fruit Maude’s very own mature family vineyard Mt. Maude and three of Central Otago’s premium sub-regions - Gibbston, Northburn and Queensbury. Each vineyard contributes uniquely to the complexity of the finished wine.
The grapes were hand harvested and fermented traditionally - of which a portion was fermented whole cluster in open-top tanks. The wine was hand-plunged and inoculated with indigenous yeasts. The wine spent a month on its skins for tannin development prior to gentle pressing through a basket press. It matured for 16 months in French barrels (30% new) before minimal filtration.
Since leaving their last roles as winemakers / general managers at the prestigious Tower Estate and Tempus Two wineries in the Hunter Valley, winemakers Sarah-Kate (SK) and Dan Dineen have quietly built a winery, a new home, developed the Maude wine label and started a family amidst the stunning back drop of Lake Wanaka in Central Otago, New Zealand. It is no surprise to wine industry insiders that their wine, Maude, has become an instant success. But like any supposed ’instant’ success there lies an enormous amount of energy, experience and professionalism behind a project, which epitomises this winemaking couple.
Part of the motivation to move to Central Otago was the eternal search for the holy grail of winemaking, Pinot Noir perfection, and to join forces with Sarah-Kate’s vineyard owning parents, Dawn and Dr Terry Wilson. The family were excited by the opportunity to combine Sarah-Kate and Dan’s strongly held belief in sourcing grape varieties from the regions that they best perform in, complimenting the exquisite small quantities of single vineyard fruit that Dawn and Terry produce at their Mount Maude vineyard.
Hence ’Maude’ was created to showcase the very best of New Zealand’s wine growing regions and currently consists of a Central Otago Pinot Noir and naturally, a Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc, with plans afoot for a Pinot Gris to join the fold. In comparison Mount Maude Wines continues to be solely from the family vineyard and in the future will be the pinnacle of the brand.
Sarah-Kate and Dans ultimate goal is to make first class Pinot Noir and illustrating that they don’t underestimate the monumental nature of this task Dan has stated;
”It will take a lifetime to truly understand the variety and how it performs under different conditions but SK and I will have a lot of fun learning.”