Ara ‘Single Estate’ Marlborough Pinot Noir 2013

With over 400 ha of close-planted vines in the upper Waihopai Valley, Ara Wines is a significant player in New Zealand’s wine industry. The key varietals reflect what this country does best: Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir. Viticulturist Gus Struthers and winemaker Jeff Clarke have made real advances with the Pinot Noir programme, and this was seen in the clear distinction between the 2012 ‘Pathway’, ‘Single Estate’ and ‘Select Blocks’ tiers I tasted in April last year (click here to see my reviews). As the source of the fruit for each tier became more specific, there was a corresponding increase in richness, concentration and definition of flavour, as well as interest and complexity.

It is said the competition and experimentation improves the breed, and this applies in winegrowing as well. In May last year, I had the opportunity of tasting three ‘Limited Release’ ‘Select Block’ Pinot Noirs from the excellent 2012 vintage. (Click here to see my report.) These were special bottlings of unique parcels of fruit that resulted in distinctive, high quality wine. These wines came from the identification of exceptional lots of grapes which required individual handling. The blending of the best portions resulted in the creation of the top tier ‘’Resolute’ wine. Clearly this work improves the breed and the lesser or more accessible tiers also benefit. Here I review the new 2013 ‘Single Estate’ and two of the ‘Limited Release’ ‘Select Block’ Pinot Noirs from 2012, to see how they have progressed with a year’s bottle age.


  • Ara ‘Single Estate’ Marlborough Pinot Noir 2013
  • Ara ‘Select Block K54’ ‘Limited Release’ Marlborough Pinot Noir 2012
  • Ara ‘Select Block M62’ ‘Limited Release’ Marlborough Pinot Noir 2012

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