You may not expect to find pinot noir from Matakana but John and Jill Crone at Hyperion Wines have been crafting one for years – the first release in 1997 from vines planted by their Tongue Farm Road vineyard’s previous owners who quite possibly produced Matakana’s first pinot noir in 1985 – in the Matakana wine region’s infant days.
Hyperion Eos 2013 is a great little pinot noir. It has intensity to the purple-red colour, the creamy bouquet is very appealing and it’s silky in texture with a sensual smoky allure and a juicy disposition that balances the savoury backbone perfectly.
The fruit has all of those bittersweet red fruit connotations that I love so much in pinot noir — like Morello cherries, cranberries and tamarillo with gorgeous candied violet nuances coming through. Silky with a velvet glove caress to the finish and a pleasing aftertaste that has a lingering cherry succulence with underlying forest floor and white button mushroom notes – I love that it is savoury and succulent at the same time and the finish is fruity yet dry.
It is a successful match to grilled lamb cutlets served alongside roasted tamarillos. Haven’t done roasted tamarillos for years as they’ve been too expensive. Must be a better season for them.
I re-cork the bottle to try again the following night and it’s exciting to find a piquant spicy character has accrued; there’s fullness to the mouthfeel and the fruit is succulent, concentrated and deep. In summary a well-structured pinot and it’s not so little, it’s almost verging on big.
I love that I find not only classic pinosity in the flavours but also intensity of colour and while I have tasted beguiling pinot noirs from Hyperion before the colour rarely had the intensity which many pinotphiles, who drink with their eyes, expect – so it’s terrific to see the complete package here.
Not surprisingly winemaker John describes it as the best he has every produced. The only downside to this wine (for me) is it has a cork – but a Diam cork which thankfully will guarantee a 99.9% impossibility of cork taint.
The alcohol stated on the label is 13.5% and the note on the back label says “Grapes from our Matakana vineyard were fermented in open tanks with frequent hand plunging then matured for 6 months in European oak barriques.”
Named for the Goddess of Dawn, they sell it online for $30 a bottle at hyperionwines.co.nz. Try it. You’ll be pleasantly surprised.