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Seriously Sassy

One vintage was never going to be enough for Cleighten Cornelius, the winemaker behind the new 2017 Madam Sass Central Otago Pinot Noir.

The wine has been a resounding success since it was launched in 2016, winning a silver medal at the 2018 New World Wine Awards and best buy in the 2018 Cuisine Pinot Noir Tasting Panel awards.

“It takes a lot of hard work to tame a gutsy little wine like this Pinot Noir, which punches above its weight,” says Cleighten. Made from grapes grown in Central Otago, the wine exudes the character and style of the area’s history and is named after one woman, Madam Sass.

History has it that in1867, after being left by her husband in the dead of night she took on a new solo life with daring determination amongst fellow miners, vagabonds and gamblers, thriving in the gold rush world.

“It’s a wonderful tale that definitely suits this wine. The grapes we use are grown on an original gold claim called Claim 431 Vineyard,” says Cleighten. “Bendigo is renowned for producing vibrant dark fruit and finely tuned acidity. Madam Sass Pinot Noir is full of attitude and extravagance featuring sweet, dark cherry and decadent blackberry flavours, delivered with chalky tannins and oak spice.”