New Zealand's best-value pinot noirs
Want to know what to drink this autumn? Well, here's your guide to NZ's top pinot noirs on shelves now, as well as the best value options...
Cuisine magazine's latest pinot noir tasting drew 180 entries, of which 55 were awarded four stars or higher.
The top spot went to Lowburn Ferry Home Block Pinot Noir 2013 (Central Otago), RRP$55.
"It's a powerful, hedonistic style, but still has delightful freshness and definition," noted judge Sam Harrop (Master of Wine, winemaker and international wine consultant).
Pure dark fruit flows seamlessly and silkily across the palate, enlivened by fresh acidity, and the finish is long and fine. As a food match, try slow-cooked lamb shoulder, spiced with preserved lemon, cumin and coriander seeds.
Roger and Jean Gibson bought their 40-hectare spread in the Lowburn Valley in 1991, but it wasn't until 2000, after they'd converted the original old stone stable to be their home and were running a flock of merinos, that they decided to plant pinot vines.
As a soil scientist, Roger was well placed to assess the suitability of the land for vines and his judgement has clearly paid off: from its first vintage in 2003, Lowburn Ferry Pinot Noir has won numerous plaudits and gold medals.
It's a boutique operation with an average of only 1700 cases produced annually, but Gibson says the plan is to put in more vines over the next few years. He's also full of praise for his winemaker, Pete Bartle. "Pete doesn't have a big ego and he's not a control freak… I can't speak more highly of him and his team."
For other excellent pinots to enjoy this autumn and winter, take a look at Cuisine's Top Ten and Best Buy lists below. Plus, read the full results, including tasting notes, in the latest issue of the magazine, on sale Monday 13 April.
TOP 10 PINOT NOIRS (all five stars)
1 Lowburn Ferry Home Block Pinot Noir 2013 $55
2 Villa Maria Reserve Pinot Noir 2013 $50
3 Rockburn Central Otago Pinot Noir 2013 $50
4 Pisa Range Estate Black Poplar Block Pinot Noir 2013 $56
5 Terra Sancta Shingle Beach Pinot Noir 2013 $48.95
6 Saint Clair Pioneer Block 12 Lone Gum Pinot Noir 2013 $37.90
7 Jules Taylor Wines Marlborough Pinot Noir 2013 $33
8 Black Grape Society Central Otago Pinot Noir 2013 $59.90
9 Charcoal Gully Sallys Pinch Pinot Noir 2013 $32
10 Villa Maria Single Vineyard Southern Clays Pinot Noir 2013 $55
BEST BUY PINOT NOIRS
Charcoal Gully Sallys Pinch Pinot Noir 2013 $32
Framingham Marlborough Pinot Noir 2013 $30
Giesen The Brothers Marlborough Pinot Noir 2013 $33
Jules Taylor Wines Marlborough Pinot Noir 2013 $33
Four 1/2 stars
Catalina Sounds Marlborough Pinot Noir 2013 $27
Grasshopper Rock Earnscleugh Vineyard Central Otago Pinot Noir 2013$32
Coopers Creek SV Marlborough Gibson's Run Pinot Noir 2013 $25
Mud House Central Otago Pinot Noir 2013 $19
Pencarrow Pinot Noir 2013 $28.85
Roaring Meg Central Otago Pinot Noir 2013 $30
Saint Clair Marlborough Premium Pinot Noir 2013 $26.50
Te Kairanga Estate Pinot Noir 2013$25
Vidal Reserve Pinot Noir 2013 $26.50
- What's your top drop?