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Real Reviews-Bob Campbell

Lime Rock Pinot Noir White Knuckle Hill 2013

92 points Ranked #1 of 18 Pinot Noirs tasted from Hawke's Bay

Lime Rock Pinot Noir 2013

91 points Ranked #2 of 18 Pinot Noirs tasted from Hawke's Bay

Lime Rock Coquina Sauvignon Blanc 2012

94 points Ranked #1 of 16 Sauvignon Blanc tasted from Hawke's Bay

WineNZ 2009 - Short List Pinot Noir Under $35

LIME ROCK Pinot Noir 2007

Dark purple hue and a fresh grapey nose.  Here is a youthful, dense wine displaying rich ripe fruit with plum, cherry, currant and exotic spice flavours. Velvety and plush textured in the mouth with good concentration on the palate, it's showing scads of oak, but it is well integrated into this big flavoured wine with a little dried herb on the finish.

 WineNZ 2009 - Outstanding Pinot Noir Under $35

 LIME ROCK Pinot Noir 2008

Who would have thought! Our outstanding Pinot Noir under $35 is from Hawke's Bay! This Lime Rock Pinot Noir 2008 ($28) is full and dark in colour with cedary, pencil-shavings on the nose. It is packed with flavours of plum, black berry-fruit and forest-floor with abundant oak, making a very full bodied and rather well-concentrated palate. Leathery and firm in the mouth, it is showing plenty of alcohol, but it remains balanced. A solid, youthful and tannic wine with a note of dried herbs on the finish - and at just $28 Recommended Retail Price, it's a steal!

 WineNZ 2009 - Outstanding Pinot Noir Over $35!

 LIME ROCK White Knuckle Hill Pinot Noir 2007

Thankfully, Lime Rock White Knuckle Hill 2007 ($39) is no white-knuckle ride over the palate. Instead this glorious example of Pinot Noir has lively, vibrant fruit on the nose with notes of liquorice and spice. There's a dense palate with pure blackberry and very ripe dark-cherry fruit, coffee-chocolate and spice. Sweet, concentrated and lush in the mouth it shows excellent complexity with wafts of fresh raspberries coming through. The considerable oak is invisibly integrated with satin-smooth tannins. This just feels sooo nice in the mouth! Lime Rock are to be congratulated; they have produced three outstanding Pinot Noirs of our tasting in both price brackets and they hail from Hawke's Bay!

 WineNZ 2010 - Outstanding Pinot Noir Over $30 Winter 2010

LIME ROCK Pinot Noir 2009

Once again, Lime Rock shows that Hawkes Bay can produce Top quality Pinot Noir. Youthful blackberry, cherry, plum and raspberry flavours abound on the palate along with notes of vanilla and spice from quality, well-proportioned oak.  This wine shows a degree of depth of flavour in the mouth that is notably better than most of the wines in the tasting.  Well-focussed on the mid-palate with tannins that are firm and structural.  Long and sweet-fruited on the finish, this is a thoroughly enjoyable glass of New Zealand Pinot Noir.


Bob Campbell, MW, Australian Gourmet Traveller Wine Magazine, Oct/Nov 2010  -100 Top New Release Wines

 LIME ROCK White Knuckle Hill Pinot Noir 2007  93/100 5 star

Peppery wine with masses of ripe fruit flavour; a dense fruit-bomb style. The wine has a great texture and appropriate oak influence. An indicator of exciting potential from a very new wine region.

Geoff Kelly Wine Reviews

The following reviews are reproduced with kind permission of Geoff Kelly, www.geoffkellywinereviews.co.nz

 LIME ROCK Pinot Noir 2007  17 + ()

Waipawa district, southern Hawkes Bay, New Zealand: 13.5%; $29 [ screwcap; vineyard 250 m on limestone, north-facing; hand-picked; all de-stemmed, cold-soak; French oak; website being re-built; Catalogue: berry size was small and even, giving deep colour. … Rich, complex aromas and flavours of fresh dark plums, cherries and enticing sweet caramelised rhubarb along with smoky tones are found. Minerality is showing from the limestone along with great structure and length. Awards: Silver @ Australian Small Winemakers 2008, Bronze @ Air New Zealand 2008.

Good pinot noir ruby, about the maximum for the variety. Bouquet is quietly varietal, almost a suggestion of boronia florals astonishing so far north, in buddleia and red rose notes, but all tending latent rather than real, as yet. Palate is limpid red cherry pinot, totally at a good Beaune cru level of fruit definition. Oak handling is beautiful. This wine is gentler and more elegant than the Knuckle Hill, at this stage. With these two 2007 wines, Lime Rock’s determination to make quality pinot noir in Hawkes Bay has come to fruition. If there has been a significant change in vineyard practice for these 2007s, it is spot on, and increasing vine age can only augment that. The quality of the 2007 season may be the determining factor, however, since the vintage was not a hot one, and was dry. Cellar 2 – 6 years. GK 07/09

 LIME ROCK Pinot Noir White Knuckle Hill 2007 17 ½ ()

Waipawa district, southern Hawkes Bay, New Zealand: 13.8%; $40 [ screwcap; vineyard up to 250 m on limestone, north-facing; hand-picked; French oak; website being re-built; Catalogue: A rich intense wine from an excellent season, the White Knuckle Hill Pinot Noir 2007 is the finest wine to come from the Lime Rock vineyard. The ripest grapes are handpicked first from shallow limestone soils at the tops of the hills, similar to Burgundy. … intense, complex aromas and flavours of bright boysenberry and dark red black doris plum fruit and savoury hints. Awards: Silver @ Easter Show 2009, Gold @ Australian Small Winemakers 2008, Silver @ Air New Zealand 2008.

Ruby, a deep colour for pinot noir. Bouquet is intensely floral red roses and other flowers, on clear-cut strawberry, red cherry, and bottled red even blackish plums. The quality of florals is almost syrah, yet it is also clearly dark pinot – there is no pepper at all. Palate is rich, skinsy as if the wine (like the colour) were saignée, a little tannic maybe but explicitly varietal in a premier cru southern Burgundy style. It finishes well given its bold approach, on a long ripe faintly stalky aftertaste. This is one of the best pinot noirs to come from Hawkes Bay so far, and certainly gives pause for thought to those who have said Hawkes Bay is too far north for quality pinot. The cooler but still low-rainfall and sometimes calcareous low hill-country adjoining Waipawa and Waipukurau must contain many sites of interest to pinotphiles. Cellar 3 – 10 years, to soften those tannins. GK 07/09

WINEWISE Magazine February 2011

LIME ROCK Pinot Noir White Knuckle Hill 2007-Outstanding

Lovely concentrated aromas, very vibrant. The palate has red cherry/plummy fruit, richness and depth with fine structure and real persistence. This wine has aged well and would seem to benefit from further cellaring.

 LIME ROCK Pinot Noir 2008-Highly Recommended  

Attractive red berry/plummy aromas with spicy nuances. The palate is delicately structured, with very good depth of flavours and velvety tannis. A delicious succulent drink!

LIME ROCK Pinot Noir 2007-Recommended

Attractive plummy/red berry aromas and flavours, velvety tannins, and pleasing length.