2014 Tongue in Groove "Cabal Vineyard" Pinot Noir Waipara Valley North Canterbury SKU #1252074


BC 96 JS 94 SK 94
RC 93 RP 93 VN 90
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Professional Reviews

K&L Notes

World Class Pinot Noir! Tongue in Groove's "Cabal Vineyard" Pinot Noir is from their home region in the Waipara Valley. The vineyard is farmed without the use of any pesticides, fungicides, herbicides or artificial fertilizers. Fruit is hand selected. The soils here are a complex mix of clay, alluvial gravels and most importantly fragmented limestone. Waipara's clay-limestone mix gives the wines of this region a lovely combination of lush, soft texture and fresh, lifted, vibrant aromatics. The Cabal vineyard lends all of this in spades. The 2014 is a bit more "serious" then previous renditions - meaning that is has more structure (likely from the inclusion of 35-40% whole clusters) and immense concentration from the low yielding 2014 season. The intoxicating perfume of Cabal is still there but there is a little more "umph" on the palate than is the two prior vintages we have carried. (Ryan Woodhouse - K&L NZ Wine Buyer) 94 points Wine Front: " Dark cherry, anise, blood orange - like Barolo - but with a smattering of bunchy spice and new oak. Medium bodied to full, slick of tannin, again savoury, earthy, and fruit sweet, dried herb and olive, rolling finish with thick tannin and fine length. A wine of personality, interest and intrigue. It certainly made a (good) impression on me."

Staff Reviews

  • Joe Bruno
    By: Joe Bruno
    K&L Staff Member
    Complex and layered, with standout notes of plum, dark cherry, and blackberry along with potpourri and earl grey tea. Tannins are higher than usual for a Pinot Noir, verging on the texture of an Austrian red like Blaufränkisch or St. Laurent. Red and dark cherries dance on the palate with cranberry and berry compote. A truly unique and outstanding wine; can drink now but I would hold for at least another year.
  • Jeff Garneau
    By: Jeff Garneau
    K&L Staff Member
    Further fruits of our direct import program in NZ/Australia. The 2014 Tongue in Groove Cabal Vineyard Pinot Noir offers extraordinary complexity at an almost unbelievable price. Without the overt ripeness of the 2013 vintage the more reserved 2014 nevertheless combines plenty of ripe red and black fruits with lively acidity and a rich, almost silky texture. Beguilingly floral. Intriguingly spicy. And the addition of 35% whole clusters contributes a savory quality that adds yet another layer of flavor. This is unquestionably one of the best values in the store for New World Pinot Noir under $30.
  • David Driscoll
    By: David Driscoll
    K&L Staff Member
    I think I've written the exact same thing in all my previous reviews when it comes to Ryan's Pinot Noir selections from New Zealand: as Burgundy gets more expensive and small vintages reduce that inventory, I continue to be swayed over to the wines from Wiapara, Central Otago, and Marlborough. This TIG from Cabal Vineyard drinks like something in between village-level Pommard and a heartier Sonoma Coast expression. It's full of dark berries and an endearing earthiness, but it's utterly approachable and can be drunk right now. We have a take-out place nearby the Redwood City store called Pronto that does rotisserie chicken and sides. I paired that hearty meal with this wine and polished off both in less than a half hour. Now I'm back for more!
  • Stephanie Vidales
    By: Stephanie Vidales
    K&L Staff Member
    This is an truly stunning Pinot Noir. The complexity of this wine blew me away as well as its rich flavors and silky texture. Plum, red berries, minerality and baking spices fill the nose and finished beautifully on the palette. The wine showed its best after some time in the decanter alongside a lovely salmon dinner. Two thumbs up!
  • Mahon McGrath
    By: Mahon McGrath
    K&L Staff Member
    Ripe berry fruit and rhubarb are set off by allspice and baked clay on the nose. The lusciousness of the fruit takes a back seat on the palate, thanks to abundant acidity and a dash of fine chalky tannins: it’s like the wine’s wearing spanx. The finish runs to pomegranate and blood orange. While it is tempting now, I think that this Pinot Noir’s best years are in front of it. Give it an hour in a decanter now, or three years or so on its side, to get the most from it.
  • Ryan Woodhouse
    By: Ryan Woodhouse
    K&L Staff Member
    Fantastic Pinot yet again from Tongue in Groove. These guys are on a tear right now making some of the most compelling and delicious Pinot in NZ. Fruit is hand selected from a vineyard with limestone rich clay soils. This has wonderful aromatic lift, floral tones, musk, woodsy spices and wet clay. The fruit is deep, rich and succulent, a broad texture, perfect extract and whole bunch derived structure and length elongating the whole thing on the palate and adding a wild "sauvage" character. Mineral inflections linger in the long, powerful finish with a kiss of French oak. This is very serious Pinot and a step up from last years more pure fruited, easy drinking Cabal that was already a huge hit with our staff and customers. This edition has all the fruit and purity the 2013 had but adds another layer of complexity and structure on top. Just awesome.
    Top Value! Drink from 2016 to 2022
  • Randy Hagerman
    By: Randy Hagerman
    K&L Staff Member
    This is an unbelievable Pinot Noir at an amazing price. The 2014 "Cabal Vineyard" unleashes layers of black cherry, black plum, spice, and herbaceous aromas. On the palate, it's softly textured and fuller-bodied for a Pinot Noir. That being said, there is plenty of structure here, but the tannins are ripe and well integrated. This wine has wonderful concentration and richness, but plenty of acid to maintain balance. I am a huge fan of Tongue In Groove because of wines like this.
  • Dave Genevro
    By: Dave Genevro
    K&L Staff Member
    My favorite Pinot time after time. The vintage is so much different than last year (2013 vintage). This is darker, more brooding and meaty almost. This drinks more like a burgundy than the 2013, that reminded me more of something out of Oregon. Herbs and some savory notes play well with the dark red and blue fruits. This is a whole lot of wine for this price tag. While still young, this is great right out of the gate, or will definitely benefit from more patience. Cheers!
  • Andrew Stevens
    By: Andrew Stevens
    K&L Staff Member
    The new vintage of one of my all time favorite Pinots is here and I could not be more excited. Similar to the last vintage the 2014 Cabal Vineyard Pinot starts fairly closed and driven, but after a good decant or a couple of hours to breath this turns into a ridiculously good and complex Pinot Noir. Layers of red fruit and cherry chase notes of sandalwood and black tea with acid lifting and carrying everything forward. There is a touch more earth and some herbal notes than the previous vintage and while this is drinking extremely well right now it will likely age into a true beauty.


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