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Austrian born Rudi Bauer arrived in New Zealand in 1985 with degrees in viticulture and winemaking, joining New Zealand's oldest winery, Mission Estate, as assistant winemaker. After a year in Hawkes Bay, he worked at wineries in California and Oregon, but longed to return to New Zealand. In 1989, he became Rippon Vineyard's first certified winemaker. He left Rippon and New Zealand in 1992 for a vintage in Burgundy, then returned to New Zealand and spent four years making wine at Giessen Wines in Canterbury. He founded Quartz Reef in 1996.
Quartz Reef is located in Cromwell, Central Otago where Bauer farms 37 acres of vineyards at Bendigo Station. The largest quartz reef deposit in New Zealand lies beneath the vines of Quartz Reef Bendigo Estate Vineyard. The vineyard is farmed biodynamically.
Bauer crafts a Central Otago Pinot Noir blend of two vineyards and a more expensive Bendigo Estate Vineyard Pinot Noir which I have not seen in the States. There is also an excellent Pinot Gris and Methode Traditionelle sparkling wine. The wines are imported by Station Imports, Colorado Springs, CO.
In 1999 and 2010, Bauer was named New Zealand Winemaker of the Year and in 2000 he helped found the first Central Otago Pinot Noir Celebration.
2013 Quartz Reef Bendigo Single Vineyard Central Otago New Zealand Pinot Noir
14.0% alc., pH 3.71, TA 0.50, $31.99, screwcap. Imported by Station Imports, San Jose, CA. This winery is named after New Zealand’s largest quartz rock deposit that underlies the estate’s vineyards at Bendigo, Central Otago. Winemaker Rudy Bauer is a pioneer in Central Otago. The biodynamic Demeter® Certified Bendigo Estate Vineyard was planted in 1998 to clones 115, 10/5, 667, 777, and Abel on various rootstocks. 5 to 7-day cold soak, indigenous yeast fermented, postfermentation maceration of up to 12 days, aged in 24% new, 33% 1-year and 43% older French oak barrels. Gently egg fined. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. The scent of wild berries, rose bush and oak lead to a mid weight core of blackberry and boysenberry fruit flavors embellished with hearty tannins, finishing with a lip-smacking charge of well-ripened and aromatic fruit. Score: 91. Reviewed February 5, 2016 ARTICLE »
2012 Quartz Reef Central Otago New Zealand Pinot Noir
14.0% alc., $30, screwcap. Estate grown, Demeter Biodynamic®, Bendigo Vineyard. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. The aromas of dark red cherry and berry accented with oak are pleasant but not distinctive. The core of mid weight dark cherry and dark red berry fruit is straightforward, and pinned down by copious, very dry tannin. Score: 88. Reviewed August 15, 2014 ARTICLE »
2010 Quartz Reef Bendigo Central Otago Pinot Noir
14.0% alc., pH 3.67, TA 0.51, $36.25, screwcap. Clones 10/5, 5, 115, 777 and Abel. Yields 1.8 tons per acre. · Moderately dark reddish-purple color in the glass. Well-scented with bright aromas of dark berry jam, spice and subtle oak. Juicy flavors of blackberries and kirsch with complimentary oak in the background. Structurally sound and very soft on the palate. Picks up interest and intensity over time in the glass. Very good. Reviewed November 24, 2012 ARTICLE »
2010 Quartz Reef Bendigo Estate Vineyard Central Otago New Zealand Pinot Noir
14.5% alc., pH 3.66, TA 0.55, $96, screwcap. Aged in 15% new and 85% one-year-old French oak barrels. · Moderately dark reddish-purple color in the glass. This is an enthralling wine with lovely aromas of dark red and black berries and a hint of oak vanillin. The striking middleweight fruit enters with aplomb and fans out nicely on the mid palate, finishing with generosity. Very soft and polished, even velvety in the mouth. Commendable oak and tannin integration, and appealing earth and mineral imbued notes add to the pleasure. Reviewed November 24, 2012 ARTICLE »
2008 Quartz Reef Bendigo Central Otago New Zealand Pinot Noir
14.5% alc., pH 3.28, $25, screw cap.Imported by Station Imports, Colorado Springs, Colorado. Clones 10/5, 5, 115, 667, 777 and Abel. Aged in 33% new French oak barrels. Gently fined. · Scents of fresh picked berries with plenty of sweet oak. Dark raspberry, blueberry and black cherry fruit is featured wrapped in healthy dry tannins and bright acidity. A vivid and juicy wine that is refreshing to drink and I suspect will improve over time in the bottle. Good. Reviewed November 7, 2010 ARTICLE »
2006 Quartz Reef Central Otago Pinot Noir
14.5% alc., $29. Imported by Vine St Imports, Philadelphia, PA. Fruit is primarily from Bendigo Estate. Clonal mix is 10/5, 5, 115, 667, 777 and Abel. Aged in 37% new French oak. Egg white fined. · Generous scent of Bing cherries and new-mown hay. Driven by medium-weighted strawberry and cherry flavors enhanced by savory herbs. Nicely balanced, elegant and eminently satisfying. Reviewed October 13, 2008 ARTICLE »