Burn Cottage Vineyard

Owner(s) Dianne Sauvage, Marquis Sauvage
Web site www.burncottage.com
Link to this site

Burn Cottage is a 68-acre estate near the town of Cromwell in Central Otago close to Felton Road. 27.5 acres are planted to vines. The property is an integrated farm, not just a wine estate, with chickens, sheep, cows and beehives, as well as a number of other agricultural crops on the property. All farm is by biodynamic methods. Burn Cottage was the first vineyard in Central Otago to be developed from bare land beginning in 2002 using only biodynamic farming.

Burn Cottage is owned by the Sauvage family, Americans hailing from Kansas. Marquis and Dianne Sauvage successfully operated a wine distribution firm in four states in the United States but were take by New Zealand and its wines during a visit in 2001.

The property’s vines began setting fruit in 2006, but no wine was made until 2008, an experimental lot sold under a second label.

Ted Lemon was asked to visit Burn Cottage and a partnership soon followed. He has been with Burn Cottage since its inception and oversees all aspects of the winery and vineyards. The onsite general manager is Jared Connolly. Noted winemaker Claire Mulholland of Martinborough Vineyards was hired as General Manager and Associate Winemaker.

Currently the Burn Cottage Pinot Noir is crafted at a modest winery in Cromwell and includes the first grape sorting table ever installed at a Central Otago winery. Long term, the owners plan to build a winery on their own property.

The inaugural release is from the 2009 vintage. The Sauvages note in their initial offering newsletter, “We promise always to produce honest, pure wines with as little human interference as possible, wines which will speak of the beautiful property on which they were born.

There are several importers in the United States (see list on the website).

Reviewed Wines

2014 Burn Cottage Central Otago New Zealand Pinot Noir

13.4% alc., $55. · Dark garnet color in the glass. Aromas of blackberry, pomegranate juice, muddy earth and a hint of whole cluster lead off. Bold flavors of blackest cherry, blackberry and Hoison sauce flood the mouth with goodness. Ostentatious fruit expression yet not jammy, with balancing acidity and immersed tannins. Some oak-driven tobacco and toast notes ply the background. The wine offers advanced fruit maturity at a modest ABV. I sense the whole cluster inclusion in this wine by the texture and structure. The grand finish is a fitting climax. Score: 93. Reviewed October 22, 2017 ARTICLE »

2013 Burn Cottage Central Otago Pinot Noir

Ted Lemon was pouring this wine at WOPN and he told me he has been involved as a consultant with this project for 12 years. The interesting images on the label are from Johann Wolfgang von Goethe’s biodynamic allegory “The Green Snake & the Beautiful Lily.” · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. Pretty showy, with hi-tone aromas of cherries jubilee, black raspberry and spice. The medium weight dark fruit core is sappy and plush, yet vibrant and elevating. The 2010 vintage was also offered for tasting and was lighter in weight and more savory, although still very satisfying. Score: 92-94. Reviewed April 4, 2015 ARTICLE »

2012 Burn Cottage Central Otago New Zealand Pinot Noir

13.2% alc., $55. Estate grown and bottled. Winemaker consultant is Ted Lemon of Littorai. · Medium reddish purple color in the glass. The aromas build over time in the glass, offering notes of cherry reduction sauce, black raspberry, forest floor, clay and smoky oak. Ingratiating sweet cherry, dark berry and plum flavors really satisfy, complimented by well-integrated oak highlights, tucked in tannins, and a satiny mouthfeel. The generous dark cherry finish has impressive staying power. Score: 92. Reviewed August 15, 2014 ARTICLE »

2010 Burn Cottage Central Otago Pinot Noir

13.7% alc., $50 (sold out at winery). Imported by Classic Wines LLC, Denver, CO. · Moderately dark reddish-purple color in the glass. Shy initially, picking up interest and intensity over time in the glass to reveal enticing aromas of dark red fruits, exotic spices and forest floor. Good attack of tasty black cherry, dark red raspberry and dark plum fruit supported by firm, ripe tannins and lifted with bright acidity. Very juicy and pleasing, becoming more intense over time in the glass. Flat-out great the next day from a previously opened and recorked bottle, showing a slip of its true potential including a marvelous peacock tail grand cru finish. Reviewed October 2, 2012 ARTICLE »

2009 Burn Cottage Central Otago Pinot Noir

14.0% alc., pH 3.61, TA 0.56, 1,136 cases, $50. 11% whole cluster. Aged in 38% new French oak and 21% stainless steel barrels. · Moderate reddish-purple hue in the glass. Opens slowly in the glass, and was much more expressive both aromatically and flavor wise the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. Fragrant with aromas of red plums, black cherries and spice box. Lovely flavors of Bing cherries and dark red raspberries with complimentary oak in the background that is a bit intrusive at this young age. Plenty of charm and elegance with a soft, smooth mouth feel and a spring to its finish. Needs more time in the cellar. Very good. Reviewed May 15, 2011 ARTICLE »

2009 Burn Cottage Central Otago Pinot Noir

14.0% alc., 1,136 cases, $50. Imported by Classic Wines LLC, Denver, CO. Estate grown and bottled by the American Sauvage Family in Cromwell. Consulting winemaker and partner is Ted Lemon of Littorai. · Moderately dark reddish-purple color in the glass. Deep, penetrating aromas of chocolate covered black cherries, compost, slate and seasoned oak. Intense mid palate attack of ripe black raspberry and black cherry fruit backed by supple tannins, finishing with some length. An earthy, mineral underpinning adds interest and complexity. Highly flavorful, but elegantly styled. Very good. Reviewed October 2, 2012 ARTICLE »

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