The wines of Sato, central Otago
Impressive natural wines from New Zealand's Central Otago region


While I was on a brief visit to Central Otago in January I met with Yoshiaki and Kyoko Sato, who are making small volumes of superb wines in Central Otago.

Coming to wine from a background in investment banking, Yoshi Sato spent two years working at Felton Road (we were at winemaker Blair Walter’s house for dinner) and currently works at Mount Edward with Duncan Forsyth.

He has also done vintage in Burgundy and Alsace. Yoshi is a natural winemaker, and only adds a dribble of sulfur dioxide at bottling. The wines are made from organically farmed vineyards in the Pisa district of Central Otago, and they’re really compelling. Made in such small quantities, they’ll be hard to track down though. 


Sato Riesling 2012 Central Otago, New Zealand
12/5% alcohol. Just a trace of SO2 is added before bottling. Rounded and a bit nutty with apple and citrus characters. Very fine and expressive with lovely ripe apple character.

Sato Pinot Noir 2010 Central Otago, New Zealand
Pisa Terrace vineyard, 30% whole bunch, just a trace of SO2 added before bottling. 13.9% alcohol. Fine, fresh and expressive with lovely perfume: some herbs, spices and violets. Lovely pure fruit on the palate, which is focused, fresh and elegant. Very rich style but with such pure fruit. 94/100

Sato Pinot Noir L’Insolite 2010 Central Otago, New Zealand
100% whole bunch. Wonderfully aromatic and fresh with a vivid green herb edge to the floral black cherry fruit. The palate has texture and richness, as well as lovely weight. Textured and fine; rich and fresh, with hints of chocolatey richness. Complex and intruiging. 94/100

See also:

Visiting Central Otago, New Zealand (series)
Visiting Martinborough, New Zealand (series)

Wines tasted 01/13  
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