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Roaring Meg, New Zealand Pinot Noir

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Before we go to the winery notes, let's talk Roaring Meg on location @MetroWines. To be honest, and we strive to do that!!, Yours Truly was last to taste Roaring Meg. It was an early "Kendal's Pick" and John also raved about it. We tasted Roaring Meg at the shop during our BIG blow out Pinot Noir sale last month. Of all the Pinot Noirs on the shelf (and, as you know, we have quite the collection) Roaring Meg was a clear favorite.

On the nose, you find what I would call rolling cherry and plum aromas. The palate is intense, but not stinging, with red and black fruit and a touch of oak spice and something just a little different from the French, Oregon and California Pinot Noirs. That is to say, the taste is a true reflection of the New Zealand terroir. All this plus soft tannins, balanced acidity and a fruit driven finish earned Roaring Meg 88 Points from Wine Spectator.

OK. Rave reviews and a staff favorite. But it was not until about two weeks ago that I opened the bottle for the Mixed Leftovers Meal Test. Roaring Meg pulled the dishes which ranged from sesame pasta to brussels sprouts to an Indian fish wrap comfortably together. Majestic Wine in Great Britain says: "This is a crackling, complex wine to be enjoyed over the next 5 years. Enjoy with pork loin and peach chutney or rabbit cassarole." Without debating the culinary skills of the British, I rest my case, Roaring Meg goes with just about everything, inluding a soft chair by the fire and a good book!


This wine highlights the slightly cooler season with lovely perfumed dark red forest berries and cherry fruits along with a hint of dried herb, adding complexity. The wine has a sweet berry entry which displays these same characters in abundance. Lovely ripe textural tannins rise gracefully out of the mid-palate to finish the wine. These are balanced by the wine’s acidity and fruit, to produce a long fruit-driven finish.


Roaring Meg Pinot Noir will improve for 3-5 years given optimal vintage and cellaring conditions.


After an ideal dry winter and a cool wet early spring, the only significant blemish on the 2012 vintage was the advection frost that hit our higher elevation Lowburn blocks in early November and dramatically impacted their crop levels. However, the season from that point on was nigh on a perfect cool season. Later in summer is traditionally our warmest period, but this year the extreme heat happened through Christmas and January, and then the weather cooled to merely ‘pleasantly warm’. It was dry for the most part; interspersed with short rain events happening at times where the moisture posed little threat. Early autumn was not looking auspicious with cooler temperatures and more rainfall than normal when a fantastic Indian summer finished the season off beautifully. Harvest came in two weeks later than usual due to the cooler overall temperatures, which brought a focused flavour profile with good natural acidity levels. It was a normal yielding year, and we have some very interesting wines in the cellar.


The grapes for this wine come from Cromwell basin vineyards managed by our viticultural team. Our harvest this year was later than usual with our first fruit harvested on the 12th April and finishing up on the 5th May. The fruit was all destemmed to enhance the natural fruit characters of the Cromwell Basin. The grapes stayed in the fermentor on average for a total of 26 days, with temperatures peaking at 29-300C. The wine was plunged once daily during pre-fermentation and twice daily during fermentation. When the wine tasted in harmony it was pressed off to French oak where it resided on lees for 10 months. It underwent malolactic fermentation during early spring, was racked out of barrel in mid-summer with filtration prior to bottling.

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