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Burn Cottage Central Otago Pinot Noir

Central Otago

Burn Cottage

Burn Cottage refers to the name of a road that the 24 hectare property sits on in Central Otago...

The estate was once a sheep paddock until it was purchased by Marquis Sauvage in 2002. Marquis brought on board Ted Lemon of Littorai as their winemaker and together they started planting Pinot Noir in 2003. Six years later, they released their first wine in 2009.

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To find suitable plots to plant on, 60 soil pits were dug and ten Pinot Noir clones were selected to plant on five different rootstocks tailored to the different soil profiles. Burn Cottage has the unique distinction of being the first and only Central Otago estate that has been biodynamic since day one, Ted Lemon’s one stipulation for his involvement.

Vintage information

Spring was somewhat slow to start, and cool periods initially brought several instances of frost fighting. Hot temperatures then arrived, and with strong winds at times in January, vine health had to be managed very carefully. Overall vine and canopy growth was very good during the season, and from January to March instances of rain were welcome along with the heat. This favourable summer culminated in extremely good maturity of skins, seeds, stems and flavours. Harvest took place between the 30th of March and 7th of April.


The winemaking at Burn Cottage reflects biodynamic principles with low intervention. There is no addition of yeasts or bacteria for fermentations, with minimal sulphur use and no filtration before bottling. The Pinot Noir contains a skilful use of 24% whole-bunch fermentation to achieve a lifted fragrance and was aged in French barrels, 22% of which were new oak.

Tasting Notes

While the 2013 Burn Cottage has intriguing floral hints, it is mostly a deep black well from which surges a great aromatic palette: plum, blackberry, orange zest, spices and smoked meats. With air, some greener notes from the whole cluster usage emerge, as does just a hint of the brushy Central Otago mountainsides. It possesses a wonderful energy on the palate: vibrant acidity lends the wine a juicy quality followed by good richness, yet the wine is not at all fat. The tannins are very complete and complex across the mouth and the finish is long and powerful.

Vintage information

Vintage 2013
Grape varieties 100% Pinot Noir
Region Central Otago
Alcohol (ABV) 13.6%
Acidity 4.8g/l
Wine pH 3.7