75cl * 13.5% ABV * Marlborough, New Zealand
When Mike Tiller was an airline pilot he would often fly over a particular pocket of land on his way to Blenheim Airport. This area continued to catch his eye until, in 1980 he finally purchased this special site and with his wife Robyn built a winery, naming it Isabel in honour of his mother. Located in the Wairau Valley area of Marlborough, Isabel Estate benefits from extensive sunshine hours combined with a long, cool growing season. The site itself is unusual for Marlborough, combining free-draining gravels with a narrow layer of clay in the subsoil, preventing excess water loss from the gravel.
Concentration is achieved through densely planted vines, double the usual number in Marlborough. Sustainable viticultural practices are used, including mulching and organic fertilisers to maintain soil nutrition. The clay-rich soils located in the southern border of Isabel estate allow for an intensely concentrated Pinot Noir in flavour, combined with a firm structured backbone. A captivating ruby red in colour matches an aromatic nose that unveils itself with layers of wild flowers, perfumed violets and red cherry notes.
Concentrated flavours of black cherry, Kalamata olive with dried herb and nuances of white pepper intertwine with sinewy tannins and judiciously selected French oak to create a long, memorable finish. Attractive in its youth with fruit purity, it will make an equally great sleeper with bottle age developing extra complexity.