Kiwi born PJ Charteris is one of the most fascinating people in the wine business to talk with. His career has seen him range from some of Australia's most indsutrial large scale producers, to some genuine icons. Now his time is solely devoted to the family winery in Central Otago (South Island) that he shares with his Australian wife.
Here they make serious, old-world style and something other-worldly expressions of Riesling, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. The wines are mesmerising to smell, and electrifying to taste, with flavours of mineral, savoury and spice through whites and reds.
The Tahi Pinot Noir 2015 is a rare and unique wine. It was produced one time only, from Hawksbury Vineyard near Lake Wanaka, after Charteris' own Winter vineyard didn't produce enough quality fruit. PJ's friends at Hawksbury Estate offered PJ a few rows and hence 223 cases were produced.
PJ relies on indigenous yeasts and employs 30% whole bunches in his ferments. This contributes to the spice rack like aroma that exudes from the glass. The Pinot has soft acidity and is generously fruited with black cherries and spice plum. Some of this has to do with the fact it wasn't picked until May 1st, which is over two months later than most Victorian Pinot Noirs in 2015. Oak plays a supporting role, as we like it, with only 15% new barrique used.
PJ says this is worth drinking in the next few years, though should some get lost in the cellar, for up to 10, you'll be in for a nice surprise.
Drink with eye fillet and mushrooms or chinese dim sum.