Pencarrow 2012 and Palliser Estate 2011 Pinot Noirs

The 2012 Pencarrow and 2011 Palliser Estate Pinot Noirs are fully representative of the high quality styles that have developed on the New Zealand wine scene over the last decade. The second tier wines have improved so much that they regularly win more competition awards than their more seriously constructed and ageworthy flagship siblings. This is the case with Pencarrow and Palliser Estate. There are several reasons behind this outcome. Primarily, with so much quality Pinot Noir fruit available, the standard of many of these lesser labels has never been better. The tight market conditions and reduced demand for the more expensive wines has meant that much of the best fruit now finds its way into the next level down. Also, Pinot Noir producers are ever pushing the limits of complexity and interest in their top-end wines, such that many of them are released at a stage when they are as-yet unformed, or not showing their full character or potential. The wine judging circuit recognises the wines that exhibit balance and drinkability at the time of judging, thus endorsing wines which are more accessible. My review process tries to take into these points and I assess wines with potential and aspiration as significant attributes. It should be noted that the two wines are from different vintages, 2012 with a cooler and later growing season, so the direct comparison is valid up to that point.  The wines are yet to be released. www.palliser.co.nz


  • Pencarrow Martinborough Pinot Noir 2012
  • Palliser Estate Martinborough Pinot Noir 2011

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