Burn Cottage

Central Otago, New Zealand

Burn Cottage refers to the name of the road on which this 28 hectare property sits in Central Otago. The estate was once a sheep paddock until it was purchased by Marquis Sauvage in 2002. Marquis enlisted Ted Lemon of Sonoma Coast’s famous Littorai as their winemaker and together they decided to plant Pinot Noir in 2003.

Six years later, they released their first wine. In order to select the best sites for their Pinot Noir, they dug 60 soil pits and subsequently selected ten clones to plant on five different rootstocks tailored to the different soil profiles. Burn Cottage is distinguished in Central Otago as the first and only estate in the region to have practised biodynamics since day one. This was Ted Lemon’s one stipulation for his involvement. The winemaking at Burn Cottage is best described as ‘minimal intervention’. There is no addition of yeasts or bacteria for fermentations, with minimal sulphur use and no filtration before bottling.

The ‘Moonlight Race’ Pinot Noir is named after a water pathway or ‘race’ that passes through the property. The grapes come from both Burn Cottage’s biodynamic vineyards and two other growers with whom they work closely. Aged in French oak barrels for 12 months before release, this is a wine meant for earlier drinking. ‘Burn Cottage Vineyard’ Pinot Noir, on the other hand, comes from 100% estate fruit and will develop beautifully with age. In 2018, Burn Cottage bought the ‘Sauvage Vineyard’, 5.8 hectares of Pinot Noir located in Bannockburn on the north-east side of Felton Road. The soils at the Sauvage site are Bannockburn series, which are classified as “deep silt loams” containing quartz sands, along with quartz and schist gravels. 2018 is the first release of this new single vineyard. All three Pinot Noirs contain a skilful use of whole-bunch fermentation giving them a lifted fragrance that makes them so enchanting.

Ted and Marquis found the aspect of one particular plot did not suit Pinot Noir so they planted just over one hectare of Riesling and Grüner Veltliner, harvesting the first crop in 2014. Grapes for the ‘Burn Cottage Vineyard’ Riesling/Grüner Veltliner were vinified separately and aged for 11 months in old oak barriques before bottling. With attractive aromas of white peach, jasmine and zesty lime blossom, this wine is rich on the palate with well-balanced, bright acidity.


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