edited by Sue Courtney
Wine Reviews - Pinot Noir
by Sue Courtney
Last updated 7 Jul 2014
Although some of these tasting notes may be found elsewhere on this site, this page brings together most of my Pinot Noir notes, listed alphabetically by Producer. Click here for rating systems and abbreviations.
Click here for a fact file of Pinot Noir in New Zealand.
[2013/2012/2011]            [1999 and older] [index]
2 Degrees Central Otago Pinot Noir 2009 (sc) Deep Burgundy red with a ruby/garnet edge. A youthful and fresh Pinot Noir with a smoky savoury nuance to the chocolate cherry aroma with red fruit over a smoky savoury backbone with well balanced acidity. Not a fruit bomb style at all but actually quite Burgundian and restrained. 14.5% alc. $35.99. 29Feb2012.
Akarua Central Otago Pinot Noir 2009 (sc) A deep and intense ruby colour with opulent aromas and powerful and succulent flavours. Chocolate and cherry combine with creamy oak, velvety tannins and the succulent finish has an earthy savoury depth. A delicious, rich and generous wine with a gorgeous infusion of spice and bright kick to the finish, I thought it quite outstanding, definitely of gold medal standard and a five star rating. 10 months in French oak, 25% new. 14% alc. $35. 5Mar2010.
Akarua Central Otago Bannockburn Reserve Pinot Noir 2009 (sc) A brilliant rich ruby red colour, showing a little more depth than its sibling, this has a very inviting voluptuous aroma of smoky savoury oak with a hint of game and bittersweet red fruits. A full-bodied pinot in the best possible way, it's spicy and savoury with silk-edged velvety tannins, juicy red and black fruits and a succulent and savoury finish that leaves a powerful impression. The textural complexity gives it the upper hand and thre's a lovely vibrancy as the spice-infused flavours linger. 10 months in French oak, 36% new. 14.7% alc. $57. 5Mar2010.
Amisfield Central Otago Pinot Noir 2009 (sc) Deep dark cherry red with a perfumed bouquet that emanates classic smoky savoury nuances with cherries ad dried herbs. Earthy and savoury with juicy plum and cherry fruit, firm tannins, and a chocolate richness to the spicy finish. That typical "I am Pinot" character through and through. 14% alc. $49.99. 21Mar2012.
Bald Hills Single Vineyard Central Otago Pinot Noir 2009 (sc) Dark red with a ruby glow, the bouquet emanates fruit in the strawberry and cherry spectrum with hints of rose petal and vanilla, and underlying earthiness. Spicy in the palate with much deeper, richer fruit than the bouquet suggests, it's a concentrated wine with cherries, dark fruits, violets and a lovely infusion of thyme with hints of anise and a layer of creamy back forest chocolate as the flavours linger. The tannins are silky but provide structure to the finish. There is no doubt this is Pinot – it has the fruit, the savouriness, the smokiness and the creaminess. Divine. 14% alc. $46. 21Jun2013.
Bannock Brae Goldfields Central Otago Pinot Noir 2009 (sc) Deep rich ruby/purple. Sweet, chocolaty. Intense on the nose and in the palate with chocolate, plum and black fruits and edgy acidity adding verve. Rounded tannins and a long savoury finish. Lots of interest here. 14.3% alc. $29.95. 4Oct2011.
Black Estate Waipara Pinot Noir 2009 (sc) Hints of cherries and chocolate on the bouquet that’s distinctly floral and musky with hints of anise and dried woody herbs that carry through to the palate. Quite dry, with firm dry tannins, and juicy bittersweet fruit and s savoury earthy finish. 14.3% alc. $41.00. 2Aug2011.
Blind Trail Central Otago Pinot Noir 2009 (sc) Dark maroon in colour with a ruby glow. Aromas of Christmas cake, smoke and game lead into a soft smooth palate full of black cherries and mulled wine spices. An ultra-juicy wine with a genuine smoky, savoury backbone, it gets big ticks for its downright drinkability. 14.2% alc. 5Jan2011.
Bouldevines Marlborough Pinot Noir 2009 (sc) Deep in colour, like a shiny black cherry freshly plucked from the tree. Smoky and savoury aromas with a suggestion of concentrated winey sweetness. Gutsy, savoury flavours with a smoky richness balancing the succulent bittersweet red fruits that hint of black cherry and tamarillo, an underlying earthy gamey depth and gorgeous velvety tannins with a fine seam of spice running through the finish. Deep, sumptuousness and satisfactying. 14.2% alc. $31. 27Sep2010.
Brennan Central Otago Pinot Noir 2009 (sc) Dark garnet red in colour with a creamy oak bouquet, it's spicy in the palate with red plums, cherries, cranberries. Very silky texturally with a deep underlying smoky savouriness. 14% alc. $42.99. 6Nov2013.
Burnt Spur Martinborough Pinot Noir 2009 (sc) Perfumed on the nose with bittersweet cherry and white mushrooms, this light garnet coloured wine has a touch of chocolate and given the lighter colour, surprisingly firm yet silky tannins. A mouthfilling wine with vinous richness and a savoury depth, a very good example of the region and variety. Gold Easter. 14.5% alc. $36.99. 6Jun2012.
Crowded House Pinot Noir 2009 (sc) Ruby garnet red An opulent smelling Pinot - juicy, succulent, brimming with black cherry fruit and savoury oak. A downright, generous, soft juicy pinot - it has the fruitiness, it has the spice and most of all, the essential savouriness. Made from a blend of Marlborough, Nelson and Central Otago grapes. 4 stars.13.5% alc. $18. 27May2010.
Cable Bay Central Otago Pinot Noir 2009 (sc) Dense ruby with a concentrated earthy aroma, this is a dense, thick, meaty wine with velvety tannins and juicy tamarillo and cherry fruit. A generous wine with lovely anise and tarragon notes coming through on the smoky, almost creamy finish. 14% alc. $34.90. 20Aug2010.
Chard Farm Mata-Au Central Otago Pinot Noir 2009 (sc) A light ruby / dark garnet with some transparancy to the hue, the aromas are savoury and ever so slightly minty with woodsmoke in the distance. Oak comes though in the palate and the woody herbs make a statement too. The fruit is reminiscent of cranberry and bittersweet cherry but it's more earthy and herbal than fruity, and the finish is dry. Grapes grown in Parkburn / Lowburn area. Seem like ti is a wine that will blossom with a little more time.13.5% alc. $44. 5Mar2011.
Chard Farm River Run Central Otago Pinot Noir 2009 (sc) A dark garnet hue with some transparency, the wine has a savoury aroma with an infusion of cherry, and a juicy, velvety textured, generous flavour with cherry, herbs and a lovely touch of chocolate. Anise comes through on the last finish and a smidgen of orange peel too. Shows the elegant, floral side of Pinot Noir and does it beautifully. Grapes grown in Parkburn / Lowburn area. Very drinkable and sure to please. 13.5% alc. $28. 5Mar2011.
Churton Marlborough Pinot Noir 2009 (D) Ruby garnet, translucent. Tight savoury nose, with hints of smoky bacon and lovely savoury flavours combining with cherry fruit in the palate.Very dry with a fine tannin structure and an oaky veneer. The fruit expands on the finish and lingers sweetly. 13.5% alc. $44.00. 22Jun2011.
Clearview Estate Des Trois Pinot Noir 2009 (D) A blend of Central Otago, Wairarapa and Waipara and Te Awanga grapes, while light and fairly transparent in colour, it's by no means light in stature. Cedary oak and a lovely fruit profile with an array of strawberry, cherry and brambles with fine but firm tannins, and a deep savoury richness with fine acidity adding brightness to the mouth-filling finish and spicy vanillin oak lingering. ?% alc. $45. 16Aug2011.
Deep Cove Central Otago Pinot Noir 2009 (sc) Ruby garnet in hue with a floral and slightly musky aroma with fragrant dried thyme. The dried herbs come through in the palate with cherries and purple plums. A little stalky but emphatically savoury, it's medium-bodied in style with silky tannins. The musky (floral) nuances appear on the sweet mushroomy finish with a hint of anise coming through. 14.3% alc. $30. 16Aug2011.
Devils Staircase Central Otago Pinot Noir 2009 (sc) Bright ruby with a sweet cherry aroma, this wine needs a little time to evolve but when it does, it expresses earthy gamey flavours and red and purple fruits beautifully. The 'second label' from high-flier Rockburn, this is complex and intriguing. 14% alc. $24.00. 20Aug2010.
Discovery Point Lowburn Vineyard Selection Central Otago Pinot Noir 2009 (sc) Dark garnet red, translucent in appearance, this has a sweet / smoky aroma and a very savoury, earthy, truffle-like palate with smoky oak, nutmeg, a touch of tomato stalk, ripe black cherry and finally chocolate adding an impression of sweetness. Underlying acidity leaves the mouth with a tingle of brightness. Not your typical CO pinot noir, but there's a wonderful savoury complexity that many people will like. 13.5% alc. $23.99. 25May2011.
Domain Road Central Otago Pinot Noir 2009 (sc) A beguiling aroma with a floral allure and chocolatey oak adding to its scented charm. It's dark cherry in hue and initially tastes quite spicy with boiled red fruits, fruits of the forest and plum jam. With firm tannins, a deep savoury richness and lively acidity, it’s a food proposition right now with cellar potential ahead of it. 14% alc. $35.99. 26Oct2011.
Durvillea Marlborough Pinot Noir 2009 (sc) Ruby hued in colour, it's smoky and savoury with firm well-structured tannins and deep, brooding bittersweet red berries, plums and black cherry with a lovely infusion of anise-like herbs and underlying tomato-like acidity that adds brightness to the finish. With its funky, savoury, forest floor characters, it seems older and more grown-up than it actually is. 14% alc. $20. 30Jul2010.
Fairmont Estate Block One Wairarapa Pinot Noir 2009 (sc) Dark Burgundy red with chocolate and cherry scents that lead into a ripe, luscious palate that full of juicy cherry and tamarillo fruit supported by plush velvety tannins with a deep gamey, savoury richness and a spicy kick to finish. Offers stunning value at the price point. 14.5% alc. $23.99. 13Oct2010.
Fairmont Estate Wairarapa Pinot Noir 2009 (sc) Deep maroon red in colour with spicy, savoury aromas and juicy blackberry, cranberry and cherry fruit with a hint of chocolate adding to its allure. Tannins are fine and velvety and a gamey character permeates the finish giving it a real sense of Pinot Noir. 14.5% alc. $19.99. 29Sep2010.
Felton Road Bannockburn Central Otago Pinot Noir 2009 (sc) Deep purple red in colour, this is a lovely bright, spicy, tangy Pinot Noir, youthful in its expression with firmness to the tannins, underlying acidity, a minty nuance to the thyme-like herbal notes juicy black cherry fruit, wood smoke and a savoury finish. 14% alc. $56.99. 14Jul2010.
Folding Hill Bendigo Central Otago Pinot Noir 2009 (D) Dark plummy red coloured, this full-bodied, concentrated style initially tastes quite jammy (cf to Pencarrow), but opens up beautifully in the glass to display all its glorious flavour. Perfumed with savoury oak, spice and luscious black fruit, there is an edgy savoury undercurrent to bring everything into balance. With its firm tannins, it's still evolving. 14.5% alc. $39.99. 16Nov2011.
Forrest Marlborough Pinot Noir 2009 (sc) Deeply coloured yet still translucent with a hue tending towards black cherry,. A mouthfilling wine with juicy raspberries and blackberries, soft velvety tannins, hints of chocolate and a spicy flourish to the savoury finish where some mushroom and dried herb nuances come through. Would be a terrific accompaniment to Coq au Vin. 13% alc. $28. 16Aug2011.
Frizzell Central Otago Pinot Noir 2009 (sc) Deep ruby, violet. Smoky savoury aromas embossed with dried herbs and concentrated plum and black cherry fruit are more opulent than the dry taste would suggest. It's a gamey, savoury wine with a herbal backbone, velvety-textured tannins, cake spices an, dark plummy fruit and hints of anise in the background. Best matched with food than for drinking on its own. Lamb chops are good. 14% alc. $23.99. 27May2010.
Gladstone Vineyard Wairarapa Pinot Noir 2009 (sc) Garnet red, Aromatic with scents of sweet earth, thyme and herb flowers. Generous and fruity to the taste with a deep smoky savoury richness and though light in colour, it's deep in flavour, reminding me of savoury gamey Martinborough styles. There's a 'pretty' character to the wine. It's fine textured, focused and clean with a well-balanced fruity sweetness. Very good. 14.7% alc. $45.00. 2Aug2011.
Hawkshead Bannockburn Pinot Noir 2009 (sc) Deep dark red. Smoky scented with fragrant cherries - intense. A ripe savoury wine with some bittersweet cherry fruit, plum and tamarillo, firm tannins and a flourish of rose hips and vibrant cake spice on the full-bodied lasting finish. Succulent and long. 14% alc. $48. 16Aug2011.
Hawkshead First Vines Central Otago Pinot Noir 2009 (sc) Youthful pinky red. Concentrated on the nose with cake spice, orange peel, warm sappy oak and mocha and equally concentrated flavours. It's spicy, and savoury with black cherries, chocolate and mocha. Lots of juicy appeal, then a profound savoury undercurrent that drives the flavours. Has so much more finesse that the 2008 of the label. 14% alc. $45.00. 12May2011.
Hunter's Marlborough Pinot Noir 2009 (sc) Deeply translucent garnet red. Smoky, savoury smelling with lovely vinosity to the scent. Medium-bodied with fine tannins, bittersweet fruit, rhubarb and sweetness to the finish with an earthy savoury depth. An easy-going wine, but seemed a little simple in the tasting. .Greatly improves with time in the bottle. Decant and aerate for best results 14% alc. $24.90. 4Oct2011.
Hyperion Matakana Eos Pinot Noir 2009 (D) Light ruby hue. Hints of sandalwood, nutmeg and incense on the nose - like walking into a new age bookstore. Quite earthy and savoury to the taste and something bittersweet that's hard to describe - Throaties lollies maybe. And Pot! Medium-bodied with fine tannins and an expansive finish with a touch of orange pomander zest and spices lingering. 13.5% alc. $32.00. 4Sep2012.
Jackson Estate Vintage Widow Marlborough Pinot Noir 2009 (sc) The colour is an opaque black-red with a striking intensity and the ripe cherry and chocolate scent is inviting and voluptuousness. This initially seems a big wine, a rich wine, an oaky spicy wine with plums and cherries making it juicy throughout yet the savoury nature of the variety nature shines through. There's a lovely infusion of woody herbs, tamarillo and smoky bacon with an underlying citrussy tang and a long savoury finish. A thought-provoking wine with firm tannins yet a velvety smooth mouthfeel. 14% alc. $35.00. 3Jul2011.
Julicher Estate Martinborough Pinot Noir 2009 (sc) Smoke, cherry and chocolate aromas with mushroom nuances infusing through. Quite oaky to the taste and fruit that sits in that bittersweet spectrum with a juicy inflection, perhaps some dried herbs and tea. Quite dry with strawberry and guava fruit and a long persistent but delicate finish. 14.8% alc. $48.00. 2Aug2011.
Julicher 99 Rows Martinborough Pinot Noir 2009 (sc) Youthful looking purple Burgundy red. A hint of mulled wine spice on the nose with cherries, plums and a savoury accent. First impression in the mouth of this pretty, floral wine is of crisp cherry fruit with a savoury richness and a dry finish. It has a meaty depth and a lasting finish with the ripe cherry fruit surging at the end. A young, tight wine but ultra impressive already. 14% alc. $27.99. 12May2010.
Kate Radburnd Vine Velvet Wairarapa Pinot Noir 2009 (sc) A little stalky on the nose with a sweet dried herb scent, quite lifted in the palate with a fine texture, floral musky notes and a mushroomy depth. A lovely lighter floral style with a beetroot/pomegranate juiciness and hints of bacon, the finish persists and the aftertaste lingers with hints of cake spice and macerated cherries. While it seems quite light, match it to bacon-wrapped steak topped with mushrooms and gosh, it's perfect. 13.5% alc. $17.00. 3Jun2011.
Kiritea Martinborough Pinot Noir 2009 (sc)This light garnet ruby-hued Pinot has smoky savoury aromas tinged with strawberry and cherry that lead into a medium-bodied silky textured savoury palate with woody herbs propping up the backbone and richness of bittersweet fruit. A lovely rush of cake spice lingers on the finish. 14.2% alc. $19.99 10Nov2010.
Lawson's Dry Hills Marlborough Pinot Noir 2009 (sc) Fading Burgundy red. Savoury nose with an intriguing, smoky, wild thyme scent and boiled purple sweet. Savoury, spicy and tangy in the palate with a warm velvety texture. Plenty of bittersweet fruits like cranberry, yet with an underlying sweetness infused with subtle anise-like herbs and hints of violet. Finished a bit short tonight. 13.5% alc. $27.00. 28Dec2012.
Lowburn Ferry Central Otago Pinot Noir 2009 (sc) Aromatic with wild berries and smoky oak the alluring perfume of this rich, juicy, deep ruby purple coloured wine leads into a velvety textured, gamey, savoury palate with herbs and spice, plum and cherries and even a suggestion of cranberry. The savoury flavours are underpinned with mushroom, forest floor and wild thyme, the tannins are supple and a lovely seam of acidity adds brightness and flare to the finish. 14% alc. $47.99. 22Sep2010.
Lowburn Ferry Central Otago Skeleton Creek Pinot Noir 2009 (sc) A deep dark wine both in colour and taste. A rich, succulent, luscious-smelling wine with a chocolatey sweetness, black cherry and thyme. In the mouth it's a dark savoury number from whoa to go. It's smoky, almost charry with firm grippy tannins then juicy ripe blackberry and cherry fruit pushes through. A powerful pinot with a slightly earthy leathery undercurrent, I'd like to see those tannins unlock and soften. 14% alc. $34.95. 3Jun2011.
Maggie's Vineyard Wairarapa Pinot Noir 2009 (sc) A savoury and concentrated smelling pinot with a lovely depth to the flavour. Tasted first in a lineup of six, it's very exciting and sets the bar high with its plush, smooth, rounded texture and fresh, juicy, spicy flavours. There's some nice red tones amongst the fruit, a touch of anise-like spices, herbs on the finish and a meaty richness that lingers. 13.5% alc. $? 3Jun2011.
Main Divide Canterbury Pinot Noir 2009 (sc) Deep in hue with quite a voluptuous aroma of plums and oak that is full and rich. A big wine imbued with creamy oak and a deep savoury backbone with a beetroot and meaty richness finishing soft and supple with plums, cake spice and a bittersweet note that brings any sweetness into check. 14% alc. $24.95. 4Sep2012.
Martinborough Vineyards Te Tera Martinborough Pinot Noir 2009 (sc) Deep ruby with a black core, this is smoky and savoury smelling with black cherry flavours enhanced by integrated spicy oak, a meaty richness and forest floor complexity. With its beautifully fine tannin structure it has lots going on for it and could be another gold medal winner for this label. 14% alc. $26.99. 11Aug2010.
Mission Estate Reserve Central Otago Pinot Noir 2009 (sc) Deep maroon red in colour with a vibrant, floral, rose petal, cherry and 'framboise' perfume, this is classic savoury Pinot Noir with a 'crushed velvet' texture and supple tannins. Made from fruit grown in Pisa (80%) and Bendigo (20%), it has deep flavours of black cherry and plum with dried woody herbs and a fine flourish of acidity adding brightness to the lasting finish, which has very good length. A very good buy. 14.5% alc. $19.99. 26Jan2011.
Momo Marlborough Pinot Noir 2009 (sc) Showing some development to the garnet colour, which is picking up some orange hues, it smells savoury with a hint of cherry and smells distinctively of what it is meant to be. Savoury and earthy tasting with a slight mushroomy taste together with bittersweet red berries, it's tautly structured with lively underlying acidity and an enveloping finish. A light-styled Pinot Noir than I usually drink. 14% alc. $26.95. 21Nov2011.
Mondillo Central Otago Pinot Noir 2009 (sc) Deep dark red, radiant in appearance. On the nose there's deep smoky oak and red berries and the flavour is packed with concentrated, juicy, red and black cherries, orange peel, smoke and spice. It's smooth and velvety with hints of chocolate on the bright lifted finish – a very ripe Pinot Noir that epitomises Central Otago – it cannot fail to please. 14.5% alc. $39.99 17Nov2010.
Montana Living Land Series Marlborough Pinot Noir 2009 (sc) Ruby / maroon with some density to its appearance. Rich and savoury on the nose, perhaps a little brooding to start but opens up with time to reveal black cherry and cake spice welling up from within. It's reasonably powerful and concentrated with firm velvety tannins, underlying smoky oak, violets, black cherry, hints of cinnamon and maybe even a inkling of orange zest. The finish is long and savoury with stewed spiced tamarillo as the wine lingers. Succulent yet serious Pinot Noir at an affordable price. 14.5% alc. $19.95. 20Aug2010.
Mt Beautiful Cheviot Hills Pinot Noir 2009 (sc) Ruby translucent appearance. Cherry and herbs on the nose. Savoury, almost gamey in palate with bright red berry fruit, underlying acidity and grainy tannins but later quite silky and savoury. Something a little odd in there (stalky?), but the lingering aftertaste redeems it. 14% alc. $32.95. 5Nov2010.
Mt Hector Wairarapa Pinot Noir 2009 (sc) Ruby garnet in colour with aromas of bittersweet red fruit steeped in mulled wine - I get hints of strawberry, tamarillo and bittersweet cherries. Soft, savoury and spicy to the taste with gentle oak, cherry fruit, woody herbs and bright flush of mulled wine spice - cinnamon, clove and star anise - with freshness to finish, it really hits the spot. 13.5% alc. $12.99 - $16.99. 3Jun2010.
Nautilus Marlborough Pinot Noir 2009 (sc) Deep ruby garnet in colour, this is savoury and smoky on the nose with bittersweet fruit, dried woody herbs and cedar pushing through. Dark sweet fruit permeates through the plush-textured palate with a hint of chocolate binding the concentrated blackberry, raspberry and cherry fruit together. A drinker’s Pinot Noir, it's juicy and succulent with cake spices and an underlying savouriness bringing it all together. An underpinning of acidity hints that it has the potential to age 14% alc. $39.00. 3Jun2011.
Olssen's Jackson Barry Pinot Noir 2009 (sc) A lovely spicy wine, deep in colour, captivatingly aromatic, full-bodied in stature and compounding in flavour with cherry, plum, savoury oak, supple tannins and a long, rich, savoury, gamey finish that has underlying acidity that exudes brightness - expanding like the flare of a peacock's tail. Impeccably refined. Full of class. 13.5% alc. $52.99. 5Jan2011.
Olssen's Slapjack Creek Central Otago Pinot Noir 2009 (sc) Opaque ruby red, perfumed and spicy with savoury oak and a brooding earthy, gamey depth. Generous fruit intensity of stewed plums and spiced cherries and a fine edge to the velvety tannins, perhaps the slightest suggestion of grip – a hint to its cellaring potential that based on past vintages could go 7 to 10 years. Only made in the best years and this is truly the best. 13.5% alc. $94.99. 7Sep2011.
Opawa Marlborough Pinot Noir 2009 (sc) Transparent garnet in hue with a bouquet that is savoury and just a little smoky, the scent is excitingly pinotesque. The palate is fruity with a slight suggestion of raspberry jubes giving it a confectionary overtone, yet the backbone is distinctly savoury. The second label of Nautilus. 13.9% alc. $29. 18Jan2011.
Palliser Estate Martinborough Pinot Noir 2009 (sc) Dark ruby garnet. Smoky, earthy, and a little varnishy on the nose with bloody game meats and venison. This is quite an oaky wine with a gamey and savoury backbone, firm tea-like tannins and a touch of citrus bringing the ripe jammy fruit into balance. Lovely long finish and excellent cellaring potential. 14.5% alc. $52. 16Aug2011.
Pegasus Bay Prima Donna Waipara Pinot Noir 2009 (sc) Deep ruby red. Smoky and savoury on the nose with bright berry fruit, but the funky, savoury, earthy flavours are such a contrast. Then a waft of rose petal and cake spices, and incredibly fine silky tannins. So much going on in this wine. Vinfanticide to drink right now - decant into a big glass, or let it evolve in the cellar. 13.5% alc. $89.99. 2May2012.
Pegasus Bay Waipara Pinot Noir 2009 (sc) Youthful ruby garnet in appearance, perfumed and floral with a little funk and game. Initially more strawberry and cherry flavours with slight grip to the tannins and floral notes, which are a clue to the region, makes it seem more of an 'elegant' style than the Pegasus Bay Pinots of the past, but there's a deep, earthy, gamey, savoury sense and a beautifully expansive and deliciously long finish that lingers for minutes. A beautiful wine to sip and savour. 5 stars. 13.5% alc. $51.99. 1Feb2012.
Pencarrow Martinborough Pinot Noir 2012 (sc) It's a bright ruby garnet hue with an alluring bouquet of baked cherries with smoky spice savoury notes and an infusion of thyme. Spicy and lifted in the palate with cherries, plums and smoky savoury notes. Still so wonderfully fresh and bright – how was the acidity on release I wonder – but it's perfectly harmonious now with tannins that are silky and fine. There is such lovely concentration and richness to this second label from Palliser and it's a perfect match to chicken with bacon and mushrooms braised in white wine. 14.5% alc. $27.99. 2May2014.
Peregrine Central Otago Pinot Noir 2009 (sc) Dark ruby/garnet red with a vivid, intensity. Creamy oak brims forth on the nose with subtle hints of strawberry, cherry and earthy savoury notes adding to the allure of the bouquet. Silky textured with spicy oak, a gamey, forest floor undercurrent and red and black cherry and plum fruit that is so juicy and succulent it simply wows the palate. Add to this a lovely dense structure and a savoury, smoky complexity and it really is very good wine. 14% alc. $35.99. 1Dec2010.
Prophets Rock Bendigo Pinot Noir 2009 (c) (sc) This light coloured Pinot Noir is translucent garnet with a tamarillo-coloured edge. A little shy on the nose and medium bodied to start in the palate with a touch of oak spice, ripe strawberry and cherry fruit, wild thyme, rosemary, silky tannins and increasing vinous richness building to a very powerful finish – more so than the colour would have you imagine. A wine to drink with your eyes closed. It's very good pinot with a deep intrinsic savouriness - a departure from the more typical Central Otago blockbuster style. 13.4% alc. $54.99. 22May2013.
Rock Ferry Central Otago Pinot Noir 2009 (sc) Cherries and chocolatey oak on the nose and velvety textured, mouth filling and dense to the taste with a bright acidic seam that cuts through the fat and keeps the wine clean. With richness and textural appeal, a dry meaty backbone and a savoury bittersweet finish, it is quietly intriguing. 13.7% alc. $39.00. 2Aug2011.
Rockburn Central Otago Central Otago Pinot Noir 2009 (sc) With fragrant aromas and spicy flavours accented with wild thyme, bittersweet cherry and cranberry fruit, this dry wine is ripe, sweet and juicy with a chocolate and strawberry mid-palate richness and an earthy, savoury, gamey finish where a hint of orange zest adds brightness and a lovely hint of tarragon lingers. 14% alc. 7Sep2010.
Russian Jack Martinborough Pinot Noir 2009 (sc) Translucent garnet/Burgundy red with hints of smoky beetroot, almond and stewed plum on the nose, this is deliciously savoury tasting with fine silky tannins, an earthy depth to the wild strawberry and dried herb flavours and becomes more and more complex with every sip. 14% alc. $16.99. 11Aug2010.
Sacred Hill Halo Marlborough Pinot Noir 2009 (sc) Translucent garnet coloured, with cherry aromas and savoury flavours. Silky, rounded and juicy with bittersweet cherry and strawberry fruit and an earthy depth, an easy style to drink and enjoy in a social situation. 14% alc. $19.99. 21Sep2011.
Sacred Hill Marlborough Pinot Noir 2009 (sc) Youthful in appearance with some depth to the hue. Cherry pie aromas with a backing of herb. Quite sweet and goupy to the taste but lacks pinot definition and has a musty, or is it a meaty character that detracts. 14/20. 13.5% alc. $20.90. 2Feb2010.
Sacred Hill Prospector Central Otago Pinot Noir 2009 (sc) Dark rich ruby red with a deep brooding plummy aroma that has a vanillin oak nuance and a succulent sexy savoury depth. Tasting quite youthful with a firm, muscular tannin structure balanced by vinous sweetness, this powerful wine made from Bannockburn fruit is quite different to the controversial 2006, which was from Lowburn. Spicy, concentrated and intense with black fruit, dried herbs and quintessential savouriness, it begs cellaring right now. 14% alc. $54.99. 21Sep2011.
Saint Clair Pioneer Block Block 4 Sawcut Marlborough Pinot Noir 2009 (sc) Rich, voluptuous, spicy, black cherry and a lovely savoury richness. Full-bodied and savoury with a funky, forest floor intrigue. A full-bodied pinot with firm (for pinot) tannins and a finish that tapers off gently. Fruit in the strawberry/raspberry spectrum adds brightness to the savoury flavours, with a creamy veneer as it lingers. 13.5% alc. $33.50. 2Aug2011.
Saint Clair Pioneer Block 5 Bull Block Marlborough Pinot Noir 2009 (sc) Deep black cherry red coloured, with a jubey scent, a hint of chocolate too. Ripe, soft and creamy with bacon infusing the savoury, spicy undercurrent and fruit that’s in the bittersweet cherry-guava spectrum. Supple tannins and a long savoury finish that brings the fruity sweetness into balance. Easy and drinkable. 14% alc. $33.50. 2Aug2011.
Saint Clair Pioneer Block 15 Strip Block Marlborough Pinot Noir 2009 (sc) A light Burgundy red colour with a bouquet scented with stewed red fruit at first but soon displays typical Pinot Noir savouriness with an infusion of florals, herbs and red cherries. Spicy and savoury with fine silky tannins and stewed bittersweet red fruits (morello and tamarillo come to mind) with increasing fleshiness, spice and that indescribable pinot noir funkiness that’s sensual and exciting. this medium bodied savoury wine was a fantastic accompaniment to a stack of char grilled eggplant, tomato, basil and whole mushroom. 13.5% alc. $33.50. 29Mar2013.
Seresin Leah Marlborough Pinot Noir 2009 (sc) This is a Christmas wine with its ruby red colour and wonderful smoky-infused bouquet of strawberries, cherries and holly. Medium boded in style with a zesty tingle, the Christmas theme continues with the fruit cake mix and candied peel. Fruit is like macerated strawberries, the tannins are firm and the finish is dry. 14% alc. $38.00. 4Sep2012.
Seresin Rachel Marlborough Pinot Noir 2009 (sc) Ruby garnet hue – the expected colour of Pinot! Smoky, savoury, gamey and spicy with creamy cedar and a nuance of chocolate – this is just the bouquet and it completely hooks me. Everything on the nose carries through to the palate, which is so deep and sensually savoury with fine silky tannins. The fruit has all those intriguing bittersweet connotations with the 'sweet' side so nicely balanced by the savoury layers, and the finish is long and lingering with a touch of violet and woody herbs too. Simply outstanding and a divine accompaniment to slow cooked lamb shanks. 14% alc. $57. 22Jun2013.
Sileni Cellar Selection Hawkes Bay Pinot Noir 2009 (sc) Ruby hued with a smoke-infused cherry aroma, it's spicy to the taste with underlying acidity, bittersweet fruit reminiscent of Throaties lollies, sweet smoky oak, grainy edged tannins and concentration to the lingering tamarillo and smoky bacon finish. 12.5% alc. $21.95. 20Aug2010.
Sileni Estate 'The Plateau' HB Pinot Noir 2009 (sc) Garnet red with moderate intensity. Quite smoky and earthy smelling with nuances of stewed spiced tamarillos – I’m seduced already. It's a big, deep, brooding and savoury wine with a gamey undercurrent, and a spicy infusion. With steak and a salad that has lots of herbs including Thai basil and chives, there's an appealing aromatic nuance revealed in the wine too. With its silky tannins it has subtlety and finesse with a long, expansive and lasting finish. I loved this and rated it 5 stars, 12.5% alc. $32.95. 29Jan2012.
Sileni EV Hawkes Bay Pinot Noir 2009 (sc) Dark ruby / bright garnet in appearance - very youthful for its 4 years of age. Oh, undoubtedly Pinot Noir on the nose – it's savoury with some nice smoky nuances, hints of sweet red fruits, dried rose petals and a touch of violet. The texture is one of the highlights of this wine – it's silky with a velvet rub to the edges. Fruit ranges from dried strawberry to bittersweet cherries and there's underlying spiciness, hints of wood smoke (hot smoke) and a long, complex and lingering savoury finish. 13% alc. $60. 12Nov2013.
Sisters Ridge North Canterbury Pinot Noir 2009 (sc) Savoury with cranberry scents and a suggestion of herbs. A light to medium-bodied style that's silky and savoury, gamey and earthy with underlying acidity adding zestiness, and intriguing bittersweet fruits with vinous sweetness to finish. Like a Villages Burgundy, it is pretty obvious as to what it is. 13.5% alc. $24.95. 17Nov2010.
Spinyback Nelson Pinot Noir 2009 (sc) The aroma is perfumed, a little floral with sweet mushroom tones and cedar. The fruit is quite primary with hints of macerated strawberry and redcurrant, then tending toward succulent black cherry. But quite herbal / stalky in a way and with powdery tannins that want to etch the teeth. Then the aftertaste kicks in and leaves behind flavours that are quite appealing - kind of a mushroomy, meaty funky savouriness, creamy oak, black and red fruits, dried herbs and rose/violet florals. 13.5% alc. $17.95. 3Jun2011.
Stoneleigh Marlborough Pinot Noir 2009 (sc) Dark in colour yet light in stature. A combination of strawberry, raspberry and cherry on the nose and a slight herbal flavour with a citrussy edge. Medium-bodied swith a smooth, silky texture and a savoury finish, I initially it seemed to lack a little oomph, but a very good accompaniment to lamb. However tasting the following day, it had garnered complexity and had all the oomph it needed. 14% alc. $33. 18Jan2011.
Supper Club Central Otago Pinot Noir 2009 (sc) Ruby-hued, translucent in appearance, it's savoury and earthy with a little bit of dirt, bittersweet red fruit and silky tannins, a temptress as it compounds in flavour. It doesn't have the richness and density you'd expect from the Cromwell Basin, but has the savouriness you'd expect from much further north. Made by PW Wines. 13.5% alc. $19.99 20Apr2011.
Takutai Nelson Pinot Noir 2009 (sc) Quite deep in colour with an aroma that's concentrated and savoury with a depth of sweet fruit and thyme. Moderately full-bodied, earthy and savoury, with violet, plum, cherry, cedar and crushed velvet tannins. There's a zesty fruit brightness and a tingling spicy oak finish. A succulent impression with good length. 13.7% alc. $13.95. 3Jun2011.
Tatty Bogler Central Otago Pinot Noir 2009 (sc) Black red in colour - intense and concentrated - what NZ Pinot Noir can effortlessly do. The bouquet is woody and leathery and infused with sumptuous black cherries, and the oak carries through to the smoky, cedary palate with strawberries and cherries and a lovely bittersweet expression. The wine is not as big as the colour implies. Fine tannins, seamless, yet quite firm, deep and savoury on the long, concentrated and expansive finish. 13.5% alc. $35.00. 4Sep2012.
Te Mania Nelson Pinot Noir 2009 (sc) Deep translucent garnet red with considerable depth. Savoury aromas with lovely vinosity and raspberry and cherry fruit. Savoury and supple with black and red fruit flavours, a modicum of grip to the tannins and a long savoury finish with some interesting funk and bacon nuances coming through. Dry in style, not OTT, just very good. 13.5% alc. $21.99. 4Oct2011.
Te Mania Nelson Reserve Pinot Noir 2009 (sc) Light red with moderate density. Intensely rich and concentrated with a beguiling ripe fruit scent. Sweet oak joins the tantalising potpourri of aromas and the taste is ripe and juicy with wonderful intensity of ripe black cherry and savoury earthy flavours with a spicy intonation and a lovely zing of brightness on the finish. Finely structured with soft, round tannins. 14% alc. $34.99. 2Aug2011.
Thornbury Central Otago Pinot Noir 2009 (sc) Inviting aroma of chocolate oak and cherry with a hint of wild thyme. Ripe, juicy and succulent to the taste with chocolate coated cherries, smoky savoury oak, wild thyme and just the right amount of spice on the finish with a touch of acidity that adds brightness. Juicy with lots of appeal. 14.5% alc. $27. 16Aug2011.
Tohu Marlborough Pinot Noir 2009 (sc) Deep in colour with savoury aromas and a juiciness to the lovely, smoky, savoury flavours that are well balanced with silky tannins, and edge of tomato-like acidity and a pleasing suggestion of tarragon adding subtle anise to the finish. A juicy wine, with a pleasing veneer, I rate it very good and excellent drinking. 13.5% alc. $27.95. 18Jan2011.
Waipara Hills Equinox Waipara Pinot Noir 2009 (sc) Dense ruby with a maroon-like hue and an aroma that is expressive and powerful with spice, savoury oak, and macerated mulled-wine fruit. The power carries through to the palate where a fruit driven sweetness balances the deep, gamey, earthy savouriness. With its silk-edged velvety tannins and succulent richness, it has a funky sexy allure. 14% alc. $29.99. 23Mar2011.
Waipara Hills Waipara Pinot Noir 2009 (sc) Light Burgundy red in colour and medium-bodied in palate weight, this has an earthy, savoury scent that hints of macerated cherry and spiced plums. It's fine and silky in texture with cherry and raspberry fruits and a tingle of spice on the long, savoury finish. Sam called this an 'elegant style'. 13.5% alc. $16.99 17Nov2010.
Wild Earth Central Otago Pinot Noir 2009 (sc) Ruby garnet. Concentrated cherry with subtle smoky oak on the nose, and the first impression in the velvety smooth palate is earthy and savoury. It's ripe, almost raisiny with plums and black cherries, a nice touch of spice, hints of anise, and lovely brightness, zest and length to the finish. Still very much alive. 14% alc. $29.99. 26Jun2013.
Wild South Marlborough Pinot Noir 2009 (sc) Showing a little development in the hue, which makes you think it is older than it is,the aromas are earthy and savury with a hint of barnyard and the flavours are with tamarillo and cherry with a spicy sweetness with underlyng acidity. A lighter style. 14% alc. $18. 17Aug2010.
West Brook Marlborough Pinot Noir 2009 (sc) Moderate depth of garnet ruby hue and an aroma that is savoury yet chocolatey too. With a fine texture, yet also with a meaty richness, this is a beef consommé wine with a herbal edge and a savoury depth. Then a plush, chocolatey richness comes through with mocha and cherry. It finishes quite fruity while retaining the quintessential savouriness. 14% alc. $24.99. 23Mar2011.
Wooing Tree Beetlejuice Central Otago Pinot Noir 2009 (sc) The colour is deep, rich ruby red and the aromas are savoury and smoky with herbs, pomegranate concentrate and cherries. This is plush, generous Pinot Noir brimming with concentrated red fruits that are so succulent and juicy it's hard to resist. But there's enough grip to the velvety-textured tannins and a little funk to the savoury backbone to make this deadly serious and these characters will become more pronounced with cellaring. 5 stars. 14.8% alc. $28. 30Jan2011.
Wooing Tree Central Otago Pinot Noir 2009 (sc) Youthful, ruby garnet with some opacity to the hue. Perfumed with dry thyme and smoky oak, it's a dry wine with cake spices, bittersweet cherry and chocolate that adds generosity to the flavour. It's silky-textured, savoury and intense with great focus and drive through the palate and lovely dried herb notes coming through as the wine lingers. 14.5% alc. $39.99. 20Jul2011.