Settlement Vineyard Pinot Noir 2020
Vineyard: Settlement Vineyard
Subregion: Omaka Valley | Southern Valleys
Soil Type: Shallow layer of wind-blown loess over low vigour clay loams.
Clone: Dijon clone 777
Viticulture: BioGro certified organic and Sustainable Winegrowing New Zealand Certified (SWNZ).
Growers: Sutherland, Healy and Beattie families
Viticulturist: Nigel Sowman
Appellation Marlborough Wine (AMW) Certified
This is our second release of the impressive Settlement Vineyard Pinot Noir. Located in the Omaka Valley in the Southern Valleys chain, the vineyard is organically farmed and was established in 2009. The north-facing hillside, dubbed the Back Block is planted to a high density (3788 plants / ha) while the exposure yields naturally small bunches and berries.
Matt explains our Blank Canvas Settlement Vineyard Pinot Noir is a classic representation of Pinot Noir from the Omaka. It has incredible density and power. For us, Omaka is the most tannic sub-region in Marlborough which is why this 2020 vintage, which was another warm and dry year, we have opted for a higher whole cluster proportion (65%). It is an incredibly structured and impressive wine and is built to age.
5 STARS ***** "The classy, youthful 2020 vintage (5*) was hand-harvested from clone 777 vines planted in the early 2000s in the Omaka Valley. Bright ruby, it is mouthfilling, sweet-fruited, concentrated and structured, with ripe cherry and plum flavours, complex and savoury. Still very fresh and vigorous, it's well worth cellaring to 2025+." Michael Cooper
95 points - Attractively aromatic wine with floral/violet, red cherry, grape stems and a suggestion of classy oak. Elegant wine with high energy, crushed herb flavours. Approachable now but with good cellaring potential 20/12/2022 Bob Campbell MW
94 points - "A youthful core of dark red cherry and fruit spice, there’s a distinctive perfume of rose then wild berries and oak spice. A fine white smoke note from barrel and soft silty soil earthy quality layers in breadth and complexity. Lots of core red fruit flavours touch the palate first then textures from finer polished tannins, plenty of acidity and a fine saline quality. Fresh, varietal balanced, a nice tautness and gentle squeeze, well made, youthful still and lengthy. Best drinking from 2024 through 2030. Be great to see this wine in a year." Cameron Douglas MS
92 points "Attractive dried strawberries and sweet plums with some orange peel undertones. Medium-bodied with fine tannins and a rough silk textured finish. Succulent. Tangy too Sustainable. Drink now. Screw cap." James Suckling, March 2023
92 points "The 2020 Settlement Vineyard Pinot Noir is an exposed site and it's only the second vintage from Blank Canvas. It's made using two-thirds whole cluster and is initially a little shy but there's layers of flavor from cherry and black tea, to spices and wild, woody herbs. Expect a light grip from the tannins and a sense of tension on the finish akin to a tightening belt. Vinous | Rebecca Gibb MW, April 2023.
17.5+ Points (#1 NZ Pinot Noir 2019) "Mid cherry red. A notably savoury aroma though no lack of dark and dark-red fruits lifted by a hint of perfumed sweetness, almost a floral note, highlighted by the whole-bunch component, which adds a herbal but not unripe quality which shows more on the day after opening. On the palate, this is a beauty, firmly structured but with extreme tannic finesse. That savoury character on the palate too, with just a hint of stems adding to the well-balanced freshness. Plenty of Southern Valleys character and power here, in an elegant style, very slightly chewy at this young stage but even so it’s hard to resist drinking it now even though it should age well. Just goes to show that Marlborough doesn’t have to make tutti-frutti Pinot." Julia Harding MW | JancisRobinson.com 27/01/22
96 Points - Outstanding "A powerful and distinctive bouquet with a core complexity built around ripe red berry fruit, a natural savoury dried herb complexity, a gentle sweetness of oak and baking spice scents to match, there’s density and richness alongside power and finesse. A powerful youthful energy as the wine touches the palate transitioning smoothly through berry flavours, the savoury seam and textures from tannins and acidity. Delicious, youthful and full of pinosity. A lovely expression, complex and lengthy. Best drinking from 2022 through 2030+." Cameron Douglas MS, October 2021
95 Points "Intense, powerful, firmly-structured pinot noir from the Omaka Valley in the Southern Valleys subregion. The 50% whole-bunches in the ferment has contributed to the wine's tannic backbone, which is balanced by sweet fruit. Floral, dark cherry and dried herb flavours. A richly-textured wine with obvious cellaring potential." Bob Campbell MW, November 2021
93 Points "Lovely pure dark plum and Staccato cherry aromas gives freshness - plus there's a hint of new leather, too. Strongly textural; fruit is ripe and full of flavour, a hint of savoury whole cluster then graphite tannins kick in." Jane Skilton MW | Gourmet Traveller WINE (Top New Release New Zealand Reds) January 2022.