2019 Mt Difficulty, “Long Gully”, Chenin Blanc, Central Otago, New Zealand


6 in stock


Roving Sommelier is passionate about premium quality New Zealand regional wines. Award-winning sommelier, Robert Giorgione is also a New Zealand Wine Brand Ambassador and enthusiastically goes about his work with great passion and knowledge and positively promotes all the New Zealand winegrowers that he represents.

Located in Bannockburn, Central Otago, family-owned Mt Difficulty has become one of my most favourite New Zealand vineyards. They first came onto my wine radar back in the early-to-mid- Noughties, when I was wine buyer and head sommelier at Fifth Floor at Harvey Nichols in Knightsbridge, London. I have also visited the winery on two occasions: in 2003 and 2014.

I love Mt Difficulty wines for their purity and terroir expression of the unique soils and microclimate of Bannockburn. Located on the now-famous Felton Road, the iconic vineyards, especially noted for their Pinot Noir wines, are situated on the steep sides of the rugged mountain. Other vineyards are located on the flat and undulating soils of the Kawarau river below.

Mt Difficulty Single Vineyard wines are a celebration of time and place. Long Gully vineyard is perched atop the banks of the Kawarau River and is one of the oldest sites in Bannockburn. Long Gully’s unique personality, together with minimal winemaking intervention, has resulted in a wine displaying a balance between natural acidity and residual sugar (29g/litre). Passionfruit and kumquat aromas combine harmoniously with flavours of white peach and honey displaying poise and vibrancy. Stylistically, for me, if this white wine were French, then it would be inspired by a Loire Valley classic Chenin Blanc such as a Vouvray or Savennières, in a ‘demi-sec’ (off-dry) style. Even though it’s quite delicate, its luscious exotic fruitiness makes it very food-friendly and would pair nicely with spicy fish curries and laksa dishes and soft, creamy cheeses. Best enjoyed chilled and in a convivial atmosphere.

Alcohol: 11% abv (75cl)

Closure: Screwcap

Grape variety: Chenin Blanc

Flavour Profile: Clean, Fresh, Off-Dry, Powerful, Aromatic, Tropical, Exotic, Apple, Honey, Beeswax, Complex, Intense, Mouth-watering acidity.