WELCOME TO NEW ZEALAND
Oh hey bro’s!
Whilst I want to immediately jump right into some gentle ribbing of our friends across the ditch, I’ll restrain myself to saying they make some really “choice” pinot noir over there (ahem).
But honestly, you’ve been asking for it and we’ve been waiting for the stars to align so we could make it happen so this is the month!
New Zealand makes some incredibly exciting Pinot Noir from a variety of regions all producing styles that are unapologetically unique, special and speak of the land in which they stand.
In Maouri, this concept is called Tūrangawaewae and for this humble Pinot lover, this what is front of my mind when I enjoy pinot noir from Aotearoa.
This month, we take you on a tour of the land of the long white cloud with examples from Marlborough, Martinborough, Central Otago, Nelson and North Caterbury with the intent to give you a baseline of the styles you can expect from each region.
Our Kiwi brethren have been an instrumental part of the Pinot Palooza family since the very beginning of the festival. We ran it there for a number of years B.C. (Before Covid) and we can’t wait to get back and them to join us in person over here. But until then, we’ll enjoy their wines and cheer for them.
THE WINE NOTES (3 PACK)
Delta, 2022 - Marlborough
Primped and preened, fancy hair and nice duds, Marlborough has All The Right Stuff. Dive into the full flavoured, quietly powerful pinot noirs of deadly seduction, texture and ample, rich fruit character. One slug and you’re hooked. This is what goes through our mind when tasting the Delta and pondering where the wine went in our glass and pouring another. Winemaker Heather Stewart delivers and delivers consistently smashable Pinot Noir and this is no exception.
As a side note the region is known for another white variety that seems to be quite popular ATM but its not pinot noir so we wouldn’t know *ahem*.
Palliser "Pencarrow", 2020 - Martinborough
When it comes to an introduction to the wines of the Wairarapa, you’d be hard pressed to find a better example than this. There is a savoury, fleshier style of pinot noir that comes out of this region. A region that really started it all for the variety in NZ. Palliser is a stalwart producer making consistently approachable styles of Pinot nor that punches well above its weight.
Nanny Goat, 2022 - Central Otago
Central Otago is arguably the most striking and epically stunning wine regions of the world. From the minute you descend through the “Remarkables” mountain range into Queenstown, you literally walk around gobsmacked. And that’s before you even start getting stuck into the Pinot Noir. The Nanny Goat wines have been a staple of our festival for years and have taken out their fair share of people choice awards as well. Winemaker Alan, consistently delivers a generous example of pinot noir. Fuller flavor for sure but still light on its feet
THE WINE NOTES (6 PACK)
Neudorf "Toms Block". 2021 - Nelson
I like to think as Nelson as the quieter achiever of New Zealand Pinot Noir. Just quietly getting the job done and not yelling about it. It’s generous, mouth-filling stuff that gets a bit of extra cuddly flesh, in all the right bits. Marlborough might be up the road all glamorous and the like, but we all like the charm of honest to goodness Nelson just as much. Especially when it comes via the wonderfully kind and generous Finn family who planted their first vines in 1978.
Organic. Refined. Perfumed. Subtle. Delicious.
Main Divide by Pegasus Bay, 2021 - North Canterbury
You want the authentic, earthy, vibey Kiwi wine region, right? Get in and amongst the farms and flowers and trees and sing Kumbaya? Well, North Canterbury is kind of a bit like that. It’s happy people, small vineyards, totally unique wines, with a touch of earthy savouriness of good measure. Main Divide is made by Pegasus Bay and you’d be hard pressed to find a more hilarious and generous bunch of humans. If you’ve ever experienced the “vortex” of a cellardoor, you’ll know what we mean (wink wink!).
Ata Rangi "Crimson", 2020 - Martinborough
We had to sneak in a wine from Ata Rangi. The one that pretty much started it all for New Zealand Pinot Noir and continues to produce truly world class Pinot Noir and has a special place in the heart of this pinot noir lover. Established by the wonderful Clive and Phyll Patton back in 1980, Helen Masters now leads the charge with the winemaking and is just a bloody legend. The “Crimson” is a younger vine project and always over delivers.