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New Zealand Pinot Noir: Balance, Complexity & Great Value

2013 July 17

mountains and vineyard in NZ’s Central Otago region (image courtesy New Zealand Wine)

Even though a lot of Pinot Noir was planted in California, Oregon, South America and elsewhere following the big sales spike sparked by the 2004 movie “Sideways,” demand has remained high and Pinot is still a hot commodity. It is very hard to find good Pinot Noir from the U.S. in the $15 to $25 range, and red Burgundies from France remain far above that level. So where can you go to get complex and balanced Pinot Noir at prices that won’t break the bank? Try New Zealand.

New Zealand is a relatively new player on the world wine stage, having first gotten wine lovers’ attention with their intense and flavorful Sauvignon Blancs starting in the 1980s. Sauvignon Blanc is still, far and away, the most planted grape in Kiwi Country at 20,083 hectares, but Pinot Noir is coming on strong as the second most planted variety with 5,125 hectares.

There were fits and starts to the planting of Pinot Noir in NZ. It was originally thought the country’s cool climates and relatively low aggregate hours of sunshine would not allow the grape to fully ripen. The clonal selections available for planting in the 1980s were also very limited. Nonetheless, Pinot Noir proved itself in the cool and dry climate of the South Island’s Canterbury region, an appellation that now specializes in Chardonnay and Pinot. Pinots from good producers in this region, such as Mt. Beautiful and Pyramid Valley, exhibit ripe red fruit and a sense of spice.

Now good Pinot is coming from several different regions in this 1,000 mile long country—i.e., about the same distance as from Germany’s Mosel to Oporto, Portugal.

Another area where Pinot has done particularly well, becoming the dominant grape, is Central Otago. This is the world’s most southerly wine growing region, and it is unique in New Zealand for its continental microclimate, thanks to being sheltered by mountains. The hot summers and cool autumns permit long hang time and full ripening, producing delicious Pinots with rich, ripe fruit, and good balancing acidity. Many of my favorite producers are in this region, including Felton Road, Rippon, Mt. Difficulty and Loveblock (the latter being the new project of Kim and Erica Crawford).

Somewhat cooler regions in which Pinot is performing well are Martinborough on the North Island and NZ’s biggest wine region, Marlborough, on the South Island. Top producers in Marlborough include Cloudy Bay, Nautilus Estate, Saint Clair, Villa Maria and Wither Hills. Strong producers in the smaller Martinborough region include Escarpment and Te Kairanga. Another region that is starting to shine for Pinot Noir is Nelson, with lighter styled wines, due to a climate that is a little cooler and wetter than Marlborough. Good producers here are Neudorf and Woollaston.

NZ map (courtesy New Zealand Wines)

I have tasted dozens of Pinot Noirs from New Zealand over the past year or so, at a variety of events. One thing I’ve noted among many producers, whose vines are relatively young to begin with, is steady improvement from vintage to vintage.

May 16, 2013, NZ Wine Fair in San Francisco

May 16, 2013, NZ Wine Fair in San Francisco


While there are lots of delicious Pinots to choose from, at very good price points, my top producer recommendations, with one or more wines scoring 92 points or higher, are Cloudy Bay, Escarpment, Felton Road, Loveblock, Mondillo, Mt. Difficulty, Mud House, Nautilus Estate, Pyramid Valley, Rippon, Saint Clair, Villa Maria and Wither Hills. Some of these producers—Escarpment, Pyramid Valley, Rippon–have had high reputations for several years and a big following in New Zealand itself so their wines tend to be pricey—in the $45 to $75 range.

Nonetheless, there are also excellent values to be found amongst NZ Pinots I have rated 92 points or higher. The top values, ranging from $18 to $26 in the U.S. on average, can be found from Wither Hills ($18), Mud House ($20), Mt. Difficulty ($23) and Nautilus Estate ($26).

Nautilus Pinot Noirs

Nautilus Pinot Noirs


There are even more values, from $15 to $20, amongst wines I’ve rated 90 to 91+ points. These include Coopers Creek ($15), Woollaston Estates ($18), Momo by Seresin ($18) and Te Kairanga ($20).

Part of the comparative value in NZ wine prices is due to the favorable exchange rate for the U.S. dollar against the New Zealand dollar in recent years. The NZ dollar has dipped even further in the past couple months.

Another advantage of “buying Kiwi” is that you stand very little chance of getting a wine with a natural cork closure—the kind that can lead to premature oxidation and contamination of the wine with the flavor-removing chemical trichloroanisole (TCA). Instead, virtually all producers in NZ switched to bottling under screwcaps in the past decade, so over 95% of the country’s wines are now under convenient and TCA taint-reducing screwcaps.

Pinot Noirs of this complexity, minerality and balance can hardly be found at this price level elsewhere, so Pinot lovers looking for really good wines at $25 and under owe it to themselves to begin looking “down under.”

NZ expert Chuck Hayward with Erica & Kim Crawford (Loveblock)

NZ expert Chuck Hayward with Erica & Kim Crawford (Loveblock)

Below you will find my tasting notes on 72 recent vintage wines from 46 producers. Nearly half of these I tasted at the New Zealand Wine Fair in San Francisco in May. Others I’ve sampled at Pinot Noir events, or in-store tastings with the winemaker on hand.

Brancott Estate

  • 2011 Brancott Estate Pinot Noir Terraces “T” – New Zealand, South Island, Marlborough
    Medium ruby color; appealing, ripe cherry, cherry pie filling nose; tasty, silky textured, ripe cherry, cherry pie filling tart raspberry palate; medium-plus finish (aged in neutral, 3rd year barriques) 91 points

  • 2011 Brancott Estate Pinot Noir Marlborough – New Zealand, South Island, Marlborough
    Dark cherry red color with pale meniscus; tart strawberry, dried cherry nose; tart cherry, mineral, rosehips palate with medium acidity; medium-plus finish 88+ points

Cairnbrae

  • 2011 Cairnbrae Wines Pinot Noir – New Zealand, South Island, Marlborough
    Medium cherry red color with pale meniscus; tart cherry, sandalwood nose; tart cherry, sandalwood palate; medium finish 87+ points

Carrick

  • 2010 Carrick Pinot Noir Bannockburn Vineyard – New Zealand, South Island, Otago, Central Otago
    Dark ruby color; tart cranberry, baked cranberry, oak nose; deep, tart cranberry, baked cranberry, oak palate; could use 2-3 years for integration; medium-plus finish 90+ points

  • 2010 Carrick Pinot Noir Unravelled – New Zealand, South Island, Otago, Central Otago
    Dark ruby color; fresh, tart cranberry, tart red fruit nose; creamy textured, tart cranberry, tart red fruit palate; medium-plus finish 90+ points

Cloudy Bay

Cloudy Bay senior winemaker Tim Heath

Cloudy Bay senior winemaker Tim Heath

  • 2011 Cloudy Bay Pinot Noir – New Zealand, South Island, Marlborough
    Medium dark cherry red color; appealing, bright, tart raspberry, strawberry, tart cherry, light roses nose; tight, tasty, tart cherry, cranberry, mineral, rosehips palate with medium acidity; needs 1-2 years; medium-plus finish (20% whole cluster) 92+ points

Coopers Creek

  • 2010 Coopers Creek Pinot Noir – New Zealand, South Island, Marlborough
    Medium cherry red color with pale meniscus; appealing, tart cherry, forest floor nose; tasty, tart cherry, forest floor, cranberry palate; medium-plus finish (good value at about $15) 90 points

  • 2010 Coopers Creek Pinot Noir Hawkes Bay – New Zealand, North Island, Hawkes Bay
    Medium red color with pale meniscus; tart cranberry nose; off-putting entry, tart cranberry, forest floor palate; medium-plus finish 79 points

  • 2010 Coopers Creek Pinot Noir Razorback – New Zealand, South Island, Otago, Central Otago
    Dark cherry red color with pale meniscus; very appealing, floral, raspberry nose; tart raspberry, tart cherry, mineral palate; medium-plus finish 91 points

Craggy Range

  • 2010 Craggy Range Pinot Noir Single Vineyard Te Muna Road Vineyard – New Zealand, North Island, Wairarapa, Martinborough
    Medium dark cherry red color; lifted, tart cherry, stems, savory nose; tart cranberry, tart cherry, stems palate; medium-plus finish 90+ points

  • 2007 Craggy Range Pinot Noir Zebra Vineyard – New Zealand, South Island, Otago, Central Otago Bendigo
    Medium ruby color; earthy, tart cherry, baked strawberry nose; poised, tasty, ripe cherry, raspberry palate with sweet tannins; should age quite well; medium-plus finish points 91+ points

Ellero

  • 2009 Ellero Pinot Noir Pisa Terrace – New Zealand, South Island, Otago, Central Otago
    Medium dark cherry red color; focused, baked strawberry, raspberry nose; baked strawberry, raspberry palate; medium-plus finish 91+ points

Escarpment

Escarpment Pinot Noirs

Escarpment Pinot Noirs

  • 2010 Escarpment Pinot Noir Over the Edge – New Zealand, North Island, Wairarapa, Martinborough
    Medium dark red color with pale meniscus; lifted, ripe berry, black cherry, baked cherry nose; medium-bodied, ripe, black cherry, berry, black raspberry palate with good acidity; medium finish (good value at $15) 89 points

  • 2009 Escarpment Pinot Noir Kupe – New Zealand, North Island, Wairarapa, Martinborough
    Medium dark black red color; appealing, black cherry, floral, black raspberry nose; silky textured, medium-bodied, tart raspberry, black raspberry, black cherry, strawberry, sous bois palate with balancing acidity; medium-plus finish points 92+ points

  • 2009 Escarpment Pinot Noir – New Zealand, North Island, Wairarapa, Martinborough
    Medium dark black red color with pale meniscus; lifted, strawberry, ripe raspberry, cherry nose; plush, ripe cherry, creamy textured, raspberry, baked raspberry palate with good balance; approachable now but could benefit from 1 year of age; medium-plus finish points 90+ points

  • 2008 Escarpment Pinot Noir – New Zealand, North Island, Wairarapa, Martinborough
    Medium dark ruby color with pale meniscus; ripe raspberry, strawberry nose with a sense of salinity; tasty, medium-bodied, creamy textured, tart raspberry, raspberry syrup, cherry and mineral palate with good balancing acidity; medium-plus finish 91+points

  • 2006 Escarpment Pinot Noir Kupe – New Zealand, North Island, Wairarapa, Martinborough
    Bricking dark cherry red color; tart red fruit, strawberry, tart cherry, sous bois nose; a little closed down, tart cherry, sous bois, a little smoky on palate, with good acidity; needs 2-3 more years; medium-plus finish points 91+points

Felton Road

  • 2010 Felton Road Pinot Noir Block 3 – New Zealand, South Island, Otago, Central Otago
    Dark cherry red color; rich, raspberry, cherry nose; tasty, rich, raspberry, cherry, rosehips palate; medium-plus finish 93 points

  • 2010 Felton Road Pinot Noir Bannockburn – New Zealand, South Island, Otago, Bannockburn
    Medium dark ruby color; ripe cherry, baked cherry nose; ripe cherry, baked cherry palate; medium-plus finish points 92+points

Forrest Estate

  • 2010 Forrest Estate Pinot Noir – New Zealand, South Island, Marlborough
    Very dark ruby color; baked red fruit, oak smoke nose; baked red fruit, oak smoke palate; medium finish 86+ points

Fromm

  • 2010 Fromm Pinot Noir Clayvin Vineyard – New Zealand, South Island, Marlborough
    Medium dark ruby color; tart raspberry, floral, cherry nose; rich, ripe raspberry, tart cherry palate with sweet tannins; needs 1-plus year; medium-plus finish 90 points

  • 2008 Fromm Winery La Strada Pinot Noir La Strada – New Zealand, South Island, Marlborough
    Dark cherry red color; brett, tart red fruit nose; brett, tart red fruit palate; short-medium finish (14% alcohol) 86 points

Goldschmidt Vineyard

  • 2009 Goldschmidt Vineyard Pinot Noir Boulder Bank – New Zealand, South Island, Marlborough
    Medium cherry red color; tart cherry, spice nose; tasty, tart cherry, sous bois palate with good acidity; medium-plus finish (good value at about $17) 88 points

Greywacke

  • 2010 Greywacke Pinot Noir – New Zealand, South Island, Marlborough
    Dark cherry red color; reduction, ripe cranberry nose; tart cranberry, tart red fruit palate; needs 1-2 years; medium-plus finish 90+ points

Jules Taylor

  • 2011 Jules Taylor Pinot Noir – New Zealand, South Island, Marlborough
    Medium ruby color; tart cherry, cranberry nose; very tasty, tart cherry, cranberry, mineral palate; medium-plus finish 89 points

Loveblock

Loveblock wines

Loveblock wines

  • 2011 Loveblock Vintners Ltd Pinot Noir – New Zealand, South Island, Otago, Central Otago
    Very dark cherry red color; tart cherry, cherry cola, tart beet nose; youthful, tasty, structured, tart cherry, mineral, rosehips, tart raspberry palate with medium acidity; needs 1-2 years; medium-plus finish (clones 115, 5, 667, 777 and Abel; 14% alcohol; first vintage) 92+ points

Marisco

  • 2012 Marisco Pinot Noir The Ned – New Zealand, South Island, Marlborough
    Very dark ruby color; intense, menthol, tart black fruit nose; intense, menthol, tart black fruit palate that doesn’t suggest Pinot; medium finish 81 points

Matahiwi Estate

  • 2011 Matahiwi Estate Pinot Noir – New Zealand, North Island, Wairarapa
    Medium dark ruby color; tart cherry, spice nose; juicy, tart cherry, tart raspberry, dried cherry palate; medium-plus finish 91 points

Mondillo

Mondillo at SF NZ Wine Fair

Mondillo at SF NZ Wine Fair

  • 2010 Mondillo Pinot Noir Mondillo Vineyard – New Zealand, South Island, Otago, Central Otago
    Very dark red color; appealing, tart cherry, subtle spice nose; tasty, poised, structured, tart black cherry, spice palate; could use 2-3 years; medium-plus finish (11 mos in 30% new French oak; 100% destemmed; 114, 115, 667, 777 and Pommard clones planted in 2001) 92 points

Mountford

  • 2008 Mountford Pinot Noir Liaison – New Zealand, South Island, Canterbury, Waipara
    Light red color with pale meniscus; stems, sous bois, savory nose; tasty, tart red fruit, vaguely smoky palate with integrating oak; medium-plus finish 89 points

  • 2008 Mountford Pinot Noir Estate – New Zealand, South Island, Canterbury, Waipara
    Light medium red color; lifted, cranberry, tart cherry nose; sous bois, tart cranberry, mineral palate; medium-plus finish 90+ points

Mt Beautiful

  • 2011 Mt Beautiful Pinot Noir North Canterbury – New Zealand, South Island, Canterbury
    Dark cherry red color; intense, tart cherry pie filling, baking spice nose; silky textured, intense, tart cherry pie, baking spice palate; medium-plus finish 91 points

  • 2011 Mt Beautiful Pinot Noir Cheviot Hills – New Zealand, South Island, Canterbury
    Medium dark cherry red color with pale meniscus; tart cherry, ripe cranberry nose with a touch of VA; silky textured, toast, forest floor, tart strawberry, mineral palate; medium-plus finish 89 points

Mt. Difficulty

  • 2011 Mt. Difficulty Pinot Noir – New Zealand, South Island, Otago, Central Otago
    Dark cherry red color; appealing, focused, tart cherry, cranberry nose; Pommard-like, tart cherry, cranberry, mineral palate with medium acidity and grip; medium-plus finish (12 mos in French oak) 92+ points

Mt. Hector

  • 2011 Mt. Hector Pinot Noir – New Zealand, North Island, Wairarapa, Martinborough
    Medium red color with pale meniscus; menthol, smoked cherry nose; menthol, smoked cherry palate; medium finish 86 points

Mud House

  • 2011 Mud House Wines Pinot Noir – New Zealand, South Island, Otago, Central Otago
    Medium cherry red color with pale meniscus; appealing, strawberry, strawberry cream, roses nose; tight, tart cherry, sous bois, tart cranberry, mineral palate with surprising density on a light frame; needs 1-2 years; medium-plus finish (10 different clones) 92 points

  • 2009 Mud House Wines Pinot Noir Central Otago Bendigo – New Zealand, South Island, Otago, Central Otago Bendigo
    Very dark ruby color with pale meniscus and relative clarity; ripe cherry, raspberry, cranberry, cherry cola nose; ripe cherry, ripe raspberry, rhubarb palate with sweetness and low acidity, quite youthful and not fully integrated yet, lacks the acidity needed to pair well with food; medium finish 86 points

  • 2008 Mud House Wines Pinot Noir Central Otago Bendigo – New Zealand, South Island, Otago, Central Otago Bendigo
    Dark cherry red color; mint, smoke, red berry nose; tart cherry, red berry, raspberry, smoke palate with green notes and decent acidity; medium finish 88 points

Nautilus Estate

  • 2012 Nautilus Estate Pinot Noir Opawa – New Zealand, South Island, Marlborough
    Medium red color with pale meniscus; savory, tart cranberry, dried cherry nose; tasty, light-medium bodied, tart cranberry, mineral palate with medium acidity; medium-plus finish (good value at $20) 91 points

  • 2010 Nautilus Estate Pinot Noir – New Zealand, South Island, Marlborough
    Very dark cherry red color; aromatic, dried cherry, cranberry, savory nose; tasty, poised, delicate, tart red fruit, tart cranberry, mineral palate; a little austere now, could use 2-plus years; medium-plus finish 92+ points

Neudorf

  • 2010 Neudorf Pinot Noir Moutere – New Zealand, South Island, Nelson, Moutere
    Medium dark cherry red color; tart cranberry, forest floor nose; cranberry, tart cherry, mineral palate; needs 1-plus year; medium-plus finish (14% alcohol; 15-20% new oak) 91 points

Paliser Estate

  • 2008 Palliser Estate Pinot Noir – New Zealand, North Island, Wairarapa, Martinborough
    Light medium cherry red color; savory, tart cherry, dried cherry nose; savory, tart cherry, dried cherry palate; medium-plus finish 89 points

Pyramid Valley

Pyramid Valley winemaker/owner Mike Weersing

Pyramid Valley winemaker/owner Mike Weersing

  • 2008 Pyramid Valley Pinot Noir Earth Smoke – New Zealand, South Island, Canterbury, Waipara
    Cloudy, bricking, medium dark red color with 5 millimeter clear meniscus; smoky, earthy, soy sauce nose; smoky, earthy, soy sauce, baked berry, brown spice palate; medium-plus finish 92 points

  • 2008 Pyramid Valley Pinot Noir Angel Flower – New Zealand, South Island, Canterbury, Waipara
    Light medium raspberry red color with clear meniscus; raspberry, cherry and sous bois nose with a sense of salinity; tart cranberry, tart red fruit, cinnamon, hibiscus, tart cherry palate with near medium acidity; medium-plus finish 92+points

  • 2008 Pyramid Valley Pinot Noir Growers Collection Riverbrook Vineyard – New Zealand, South Island, Marlborough
    Dark raspberry red color; big cherry, raspberry black raspberry, vanilla nose; plush, ripe raspberry, tart cherry, hibiscus palate with lowish acidity; medium finish 90+points

  • 2007 Pyramid Valley Pinot Noir Growers Collection Eaton Family Vineyard – New Zealand, South Island, Marlborough
    Medium raspberry red color; big, candied cherry, French oak, caramel nose; tight, ripe cherry, raspberry, French oak caramel palate with some acidity, needs 2-3 years to integrate; medium-plus finish 91 points

Rippon

  • 2008 Rippon Pinot Noir Mature Vine – New Zealand, South Island, Otago, Lake Wanaka
    Medium red color with pale meniscus; maturing, tart cranberry, mineral, savory nose; poised, tart cherry, mineral, floral palate with integrating oak; should age well for 8-10 years; medium-plus finish (reminiscent of a ripe Pommard; 13% alcohol; 30 yr old vines on own roots) 92 points

Rockburn

  • 2012 Rockburn Pinot Noir Devil’s Staircase – New Zealand, South Island, Otago, Central Otago
    Dark cherry red color with pale meniscus; reduction, tart red fruit nose; reduction, tart red fruit, tart cranberry palate; medium finish (stainless steel fermentation) 87 points

  • 2011 Rockburn Pinot Noir – New Zealand, South Island, Otago, Central Otago
    Medium cherry red color with pale meniscus; baked cherry, oak nose; juicy, baked cherry, oak palate; needs 1-2 years to integrate; medium-plus finish (40% new oak) 91 points

  • 2010 Rockburn Pinot Noir – New Zealand, South Island, Otago, Central Otago
    Medium dark ruby color; baked red fruit, toast nose; baked red fruit, toast, charcoal palate; medium-plus finish 89 points

Runnymede Estate

  • 2010 Runnymede Estate Pinot Noir Vintage Widow – New Zealand, South Island, Marlborough
    Very dark ruby color; baked cherry, black cherry nose; baked cherry, black cherry palate; medium finish 86 points

Sacred Hill

  • 2011 Sacred Hill Pinot Noir – New Zealand, South Island, Marlborough
    Light cherry red color; very tart cherry nose; woodsy, tart cherry, cranberry palate with orange acidity; medium-plus finish 89 points

Saint Clair Family

  • 2011 Saint Clair Family Estate Pinot Noir Vicar’s Choice – New Zealand, South Island, Marlborough
    Medium cherry red color with pale meniscus; hibiscus, cranberry nose; creamy textured, cranberry, hibiscus, oak palate; needs 2 years to integrate; medium-plus finish 89 points

  • 2009 Saint Clair Family Estate Pinot Noir Pioneer Block 4 Sawcut – New Zealand, South Island, Marlborough
    Medium red color; savory, pine, tart red fruit nose; tasty, lively tart cherry, pine, mineral palate with bright acidty; medium-plus finish 92 points

Seresin

  • 2010 Seresin Momo Pinot Noir – New Zealand, South Island, Marlborough
    Medium cherry red color with pale meniscus; forest floor, earthy, strawberry nose; tight, ripe strawberry, toast palate; medium-plus finish (14% alcohol; good value at $18) 90+ points

Sherwood Estate

  • 2009 Sherwood Estate Pinot Noir – New Zealand, South Island, Marlborough
    Medium black-tinged red color; appealing, bright, tart cranberry, red berry, sous bois nose; sous bois, tart cranberry, tart red fruit palate with medium acidity; medium-plus finish (13% alcohol; good value at about $17) 89 points

Spy Valley

  • 2010 Spy Valley Pinot Noir – New Zealand, South Island, Marlborough
    Medium cherry red color; stems, savory, tart cranberry nose; cranberry, tart red fruit palate; medium finish 90+ points

  • 2007 Spy Valley Pinot Noir Envoy – New Zealand, South Island, Marlborough
    Medium dark cherry red color; savory, sous bois, cranberry nose; cranberry, spicy tart red fruit palate; medium-plus finish 91 points

Staete Landt

  • 2009 Staete Landt Pinot Noir Paladin – New Zealand, South Island, Marlborough
    Medium cherry red color with .5 millimeter clear meniscus; pretty, tart strawberry, tart cherry, baked cherry nose; tasty, delicate, tart cherry, mineral palate with green notes; medium-plus finish 91+ points

Te Kairanga

  • 2009 Te Kairanga Pinot Noir – New Zealand, North Island, Wairarapa, Martinborough
    Dark red color with pale meniscus; appealing, tart cranberry, tart red fruit nose; tasty, delicate, tart red fruit, tart cranberry palate with medium acidity; medium-plus finish 91+ points

Te Pa Family

  • 2011 Te Pa Family Vineyards Pinot Noir – New Zealand, South Island, Marlborough
    Light medium ruby color with clarity; appealing, ripe raspberry, ripe cherry, roses nose; tasty, tight, tart cherry, tart raspberry, mineral palate; could use 1-2 years of bottle age; medium-plus finish 91+ points

The Crossings

  • 2010 The Crossings Pinot Noir – New Zealand, South Island, Marlborough, Awatere Valley
    Dark cherry red color; lifted, tart cherry, red berry, cinnamon nose; tart cherry, red berry, cinnamon palate; medium-plus finish 89 points

Tiki

  • 2012 Tiki Pinot Noir Single Vineyard – New Zealand, South Island, Marlborough, Wairau Valley
    Medium dark ruby color; appealing, ripe strawberry, dried cherry nose; ripe strawberry, dried cherry palate with greenness and medium acidity; medium-plus finish 89 points

  • 2011 Tiki Pinot Noir Koro – New Zealand, South Island, Otago, Central Otago
    Medium dark ruby color; appealing, tart baked cherry, strawberry rhubarb nose; tart baked cherry, strawberry rhubarb, mineral palate; medium-plus finish 90+ points

Ti Point

  • 2012 Ti Point Pinot Noir – New Zealand, South Island, Marlborough
    Medium dark ruby color; roses, tart red fruit nose; tasty, tart red fruit, rosehips, tart cranberry, mineral palate; medium-plus finish 88 points

Villa Maria

Villa Maria general manager Alastair Maling MW (right)

Villa Maria general manager Alastair Maling MW (right)

  • 2011 Villa Maria Pinot Noir Private Bin – New Zealand, South Island, Marlborough
    Very dark cherry red color; forest floor, tart cranberry, reduction nose; forest floor, tart cranberry, reduction nose; tasty, tart red fruit, cranberry, mineral, barnyard palate with medium acidity; medium-plus finish 90+ points

  • 2010 Villa Maria Pinot Noir Private Bin – New Zealand, South Island, Marlborough
    Medium cherry red color; oak, red fruit nose; oak, ripe cherry, raspberry palate; medium finish 86 points

  • 2010 Villa Maria Pinot Noir Single Vineyard Taylors Pass – New Zealand, South Island, Marlborough, Awatere Valley
    Medium dark cherry red color; tart cherry, tart red berry nose; tasty, silky textured, tart cherry, cranberry palate with medium acidity; medium-plus finish 92+ points

Wild South

  • 2012 Wild South Pinot Noir – New Zealand, South Island, Marlborough
    Medium ruby color; reduction, tart red fruit nose; reduction, tart red fruit palate with greenness and ungainly acidity; medium finish 83 points

Wither Hills

  • 2010 Wither Hills Pinot Noir – New Zealand, South Island, Marlborough, Wairau Valley
    Medium dark cherry red color with pale meniscus; lovely, tart cherry, floral, tart raspberry nose; tasty, balanced and rounded, tart cherry, raspberry, tart strawberry palate with medium acidity; medium-plus finish (good value at $22) 92+ points

Woollaston Estates

  • 2011 Woollaston Estates Pinot Noir – New Zealand, South Island, Nelson, Waimea Plains
    Dark cherry red color with pale meniscus; reduction, barnyard, very tart red fruit nose; delicate, light-medium bodied, tart cranberry, tart cherry palate with surprising grip; medium-plus finish 91+ points

Yealands

  • 2011 Yealands Estate Pinot Noir – New Zealand, South Island, Marlborough
    Medium red color; tart red fruit, rosehips nose; tart cranberry, baked cranberry, rosehips palate; medium-plus finish 88+ points

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One Response leave one →
  1. July 19, 2013

    The above price is the estimated retail price given by the wine maker when it was submitted for review. It may not reflect the actual current market price. USD pricing is a simple currency conversion from NZD and may not reflect the actual US retail pricing.

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