The first cab off the rank without any sacrifice of the complexity, detailed freshness and savoury chew of this address’ top tier. A little less new oak (30%) to be sure, but aromas of hay, porcini, truffle and stone fruits remain, jittering along a chassis of cool climate acidity.
Fermented under the aegis of wild yeast, with a gentle toning agent of 30% new oak, this has the goods to develop. A bit jangly in its youth. Mushroom, glazed apricot, oatmeal biscuit, orange verbena and tangerine to ginger spice notes, all. A nice swathe of phenolic chewiness melds with the acid crunch, driving it to good length. This is what I have faith in: the wonderful texture. A strong signature! The track record of this estate is as stellar as this wine will become with patience.
92 points (August 2020)
<p>Koyama Mountford was planted in 1991 on an enviable calcareous scree embedded in the northwestern face of the eastern Waipara Valley. A substrata of marl brimming with plentiful active limestone, it is known as ‘The Golden Mile’. This is the soil type on which Chardonnay and Pinot Noir excel. A geological foundation seldom found in the antipodes, limestone imparts a structural carapace while infusing the Mountford wines with a signature mineral force. Be it the resinous expressions of Chardonnay, or densely layered Pinot Noir, an apogee of complexity reached with the single vineyard expressions, the Mountford wines have long struck a chord with even the most devout Burgundy lovers.</p>
<p>Success is due as much to a propitious confluence of site and meticulous attention to detail, as it is to a savvy succession plan.</p>
<p>Crafted by CP Lin since inception, a maker well versed in the magic of Burgundy, the cultish renown of the Mountford style continues to evince authority while exhibiting an even more refined cut-glass precision, since his retirement.</p>
<p>It was then only fitting that the head winemaker role be bequeathed to his assistant, Takahiro Koyama. Koyama sought investment from top wine collectors in the world’s most venerable and demanding market for Burgundy. Where else, but for Japan! These collectors were as smitten by the Mountford track record as the world’s top buyers and critics remain spell-bound.</p>
<p>In 2017 Koyama purchased the estate to complement his eponymous label. Today both Koyama and Koyama Mountford benefit from this superlative site, Koyama’s winemaking nous, a dedicated posse of well versed backers and unparalleled Japanese precision.</p>