Mt Difficulty’s Bannockburn & Roaring Meg Are Anything but Difficult to Enjoy!
If you are anything like us, it is easy to find joy in New Zealand wines. The cool climate Central Otago wine region constantly delivers year-in, year-out. Mount Difficulty’s 2019 Pinot Noir’s certainly impress.
From humble beginnings in the 1990s to campfire stories and tasting notes – read on to discover Mt Difficulty Wines.
The Central Otago Wine Region
Where mountains touch the sky and valleys give life to the land, vineyards with immensely unique climates shine(*1). The Central Otago wine region has been home to some of the world’s most aromatic and pure wines since the late 1880’s(*1).
Towards the northern end of the region sits Bannockburn, the heart of Mt Difficulty.
Mount Difficulty Wines
A lot happened in the 1990’s. Australia discovered the internet; The Spice Girls spiced up the world, and construction started on the Sydney Harbour tunnel(*2). What didn’t make the news was the quiet handshake between four vineyard owners in Central Otago(*3). It wasn’t until 2004 that the four vineyards joined under the umbrella name of Mt Difficulty Wines Ltd. Mt Difficulty is best known for producing Pinot Noir, but their Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Gris should not be overlooked(*4). If you want more recommendations, please contact our friendly team.
‘Mt Difficulty’ and ‘Roaring Meg’ Campfire Stories
The story behind Mt Difficulty goes back to one of the first settlers in the region, Mr Rees. He employed drovers to move sheep across the valleys, gorges and mountains of Central Otago. They had a truly terrible time, constantly having to find other passageways for the herd. They came upon one particularly narrow bluff along the Kawarau Gorge. Exhausted with their heads in their hands they aptly named it, Mt Difficulty(*3).
The gold rush of the 1800’s attracted many young men with hopes of making a fortune. After a night at the saloon, two young men were heading home with their ladies. Being gentlemen, they carried the ladies over the waterways. But it did not go as planned. Over the first river Meg went as she roared loudly in fright. It was thereafter named, Roaring Meg(*3). The next river was named Gentle Annie as the second lady was far more reserved than roaring Meg!
Tasting Notes for Roaring Meg and Bannockburn from Mt Difficulty
2019 Roaring Meg Pinot Noir
Roaring Meg is ready to drink, or you can cellar for up to five years(*4). It is also great value with bottles starting at $28.
Aroma: Notes of blackcurrant, cherries, and dry herbs(*4).
Palate: Savoury red cherry, great texture, and elegant tannins(*5).
Finish: Smooth with fine acidity – an easy-drinking wine(*4).
2019 Bannockburn Pinot Noir
Bannockburn is a top tier Pinot Noir from the home estate of Mt Difficulty. All the fruit is from Bannockburn and it ages incredibly well – cellar for 10 to 15 years(*4). Can be purchased from $48 per bottle.
Aroma: Once aired, orchard scents, wood and spice fill the nose(*6).
Palate: Pristine fruit and chalky tannins create a silky feel(*6).
Finish: A lovely long finish with a touch of acidity(*7).
What is your favourite New Zealand wine? We would love to hear from you! As we stock wine from around the world, we are always looking for suggestions for what you would like to see on our shelves and online.
References *1. New Zealand Wine. Central Otago Wine Region. 2020. *2. Australian Children's Television Foundation and Education Services Australia Ltd. My Place for Teachers: 1990s. 2011. *3. Mt Difficulty Wines. Our Story. 2021. *4. Summer Hill Wine Shop. Mt Difficulty Pinot Noir Otago New Zealand. YouTube video. 2021. *5 Summer Hill Wine Shop. 2019 Mt Difficulty Roaring Meg Pinot Noir Central Otago. 2021. *6. Pickard, C. Mt. Difficulty 2018 Bannockburn Pinot Noir (Central Otago). Wine Enthusiast. 2021. *7. Dicey, M. Bannockburn Pinot Noir 2018. Mt Difficulty Wines. 2021.