Matt Pym, Majestic Wine Buyer reports.
Think of New Zealand wines and the chances are your mind will jump instantly to Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc. And while they’re undoubtedly the stars of the show right now, it’s Kiwi Pinot Noirs that are causing the real stir in the wine world.
This sense of excitement should come as no surprise. Pinot Noir is a notoriously fickle grape and there are very few places on earth that can consistently produce the goods – parts of the US West Coast, the cooler regions in Australia and of course its homeland Burgundy. The land of the long white cloud is a welcome and wonderful addition to this exclusive club.
That New Zealand is currently producing some of the most exciting Pinot Noirs in the world is largely a result of two factors. The first is a marginal climate in which the grapes only just ripen, creating all of the finesse and subtlety of great Burgundies. Add to this the growing confidence and maturity of Kiwi winemakers, and you end up with some incredibly complex and interesting wines.
Around the regions
Pinot Noir is the most commonly planted red varietal in the country, with around 1,400 of vines grown in four main regions. Martinborough and Waipara Pinots are characteristically earthy, spicy and savoury, contrasting with the delicacy and sprightly acidity of Marlborough wines and Central Otago’s complexity and forward purity of fruit.
£9.99 or £7.99 when you buy 2 bottles*
Vibrant wild thyme, spice, liquorice, rich raspberry jam and cherry aromatics, with typical Central Otago elegance and a soft yet powerful tannin structure. Great with seared tuna.
£11.24 or £8.99 when you buy 2 bottles*
A delicious example of Burgundian styling with New World ripeness, showing strawberry and raspberry flavours and just a touch of spice on the finish.
£14.99 or £11.99 when you buy 2 bottles*
From one of Martinborough’s best vintages and producers, this sexy Pinot displays gorgeous chocolate and plum notes on the nose, layers of dark fruit on the palate and silky smooth tannins.
£17.49 or £13.99 when you buy 2 bottles*
Elegant and well-structured with good length of fruit revealing raspberry, plum and a touch of spice. Oak ageing has lent warm savoury notes, with a long lingering finish.
£12.49 or £9.99 when you buy 2 bottles*
*All prices valid until 1st February 2010