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Top 10 Pinot Noir – 2022

03-Jun-2022

What's your favourite Pinot Noir? We are lucky in New Zealand that we have so many to choose from, both from the North and South island. Blessed with a cool climate, long sunshine hours during the growing season and diligent canopy management provide ideal environments for this early budding, early ripening and thin skins variety to thrive.

I have compiled a list of Top 10 Pinot Noir, which I had tasted in the last year and are still available in the market.

#8-10

Wild Earth Pinot Noir 2020, Central Otago  https://www.wildearthwines.co.nz/shop

This wine represents Central Otago with fruit selected from multiple vineyards, harvested over a month from different sub-regions for optimal ripeness. A well-balanced Pinot Noir shows a dark fruit spectrum, spice and a velvety palate.

Alexia Fleeting Glimpse Pinot Noir 2020, Wairarapa  https://www.alexia.co.nz/about

A relatively new brand started in 2016, Jane Cooper crafts the wine in her urban winery in Greytown and sourced grapes from her trusted grower partners Julie and Simon at Manuka Flats Vineyard, which situates on the stony silt loam river terraces of the Taratahi plains, just north of Greytown. This is an effortlessly refined beauty with a pure expression.

Nga Waka Lease Block Pinot Noir 2020, Martinborough  https://ngawaka.co.nz/

Winemaker Roger Parkinson has completed 30 vintages at Nga Waka, undoubtedly one of the most consistent producers in New Zealand. 2022 was an exceptional vintage with remarkable colour, texture and depth of flavour; and the brightness in this wine is irresistible.

#7

Neck of The Woods Bendigo Pinot Noir 2020, Central Otago  https://neckofthewoodswines.com/

100% Bendigo Pinot Noir crafted by Jen Parr. Usually, one would expect dark fruit, bold and ripeness from Bendigo, but this wine shows elegance and balance with enticing herbaceous, floral details and a dusty palate.

#5 & 6

Hawkshead Pinot Noir 2020, Central Otago  https://www.hawksheadwine.com/

The fruit for this wine is sourced from Gibbston and Alexandra, two of the sub-regions that show lifted floral and perfume. The 2022 vintage's fruit is concentrated, with savoury elements, and the silky, supple mouthfeel and lacy acidity are integrated harmoniously.

Escarpment Pinot Noir 2019, Martinborough  https://escarpment.co.nz/

2019 was a challenging vintage in Martinborough, resulting in very low crops due to frost. Nonetheless, the quality and concentration of fruit had been captured with Escarpment's signature.

#4

Black Quail Pinot Noir 2019, Central Otago  https://www.blackquail.co.nz/

The Black Quail vineyard is situated in Bannockburn alongside their truffiere and olive grove. Winemaker Jen Parr sums this wine up as "Captivating", and I agree.

# 2 & 3

Valli Bendigo Vineyard Pinot Noir 2019, Central Otago  https://valliwine.com/

Valli Wine is no stranger to producing outstanding Pinot Noir, focusing on four single sub-regions. The fruit for this wine was sourced from Chainman's Terrace, fermented with 58% whole bunch, aged 12 months in French oak barrels and 30% new oak. The wine has power and grace, excellently silky and fine-textured. Vintage 2020 will be available soon, so get your hands on this quickly!

Pegasus Bay Prima Donna Pinot Noir 2017, North Canterbury  https://www.pegasusbay.com/collections/all

Prima Donna Pinot Noir is only produced in exceptional vintages. It's a selection of the best barrels, coming from the oldest ungrafted plantings in the vineyard. Complex, charming and seductive.

#1

Escarpment Kupe Pinot Noir 2019, Martinborough  https://escarpment.co.nz/

The highest points awarded in this Pinot Noir lineup, and the second wine included that was produced by Escarpment. The fifteenth release of Kupe. An exceptional Pinot Noir made with 70% whole bunch, hand plunged and aged in French oak barriques for 18 months with 50% new oak under the guidance of "Price of Pinot" Larry McKenna, who is now retired after the 2022 vintage, leaving Escarpment in the capable hands of an energetic young team led by viticulturist Rowan Hoskins and winemaker Tim Bourne.

Read full reviews in expansions below. Join me to taste all the Top 10 Pinot Noir in Auckland on 20 June. Tickets available on Eventbrite: https://www.eventbrite.co.nz/e/354334031627

FEATURED WINES IN THIS REVIEW

  • Wild Earth Pinot Noir 2020, Central Otago
  • Alexia Fleeting Glimpse Pinot Noir 2020, Wairarapa 
  • Nga Waka Lease Block Pinot Noir 2020, Martinborough
  • Neck Of The Woods Bendigo Pinot Noir 2020, Central Otago
  • Escarpment Pinot Noir 2019, Martinborough
  • Hawkshead Pinot Noir 2020, Central Otago
  • Black Quail Pinot Noir 2019, Central Otago
  • Pegasus Bay Prima Donna Pinot Noir 2017, North Canterbury
  • Valli Bendigo Vineyard Pinot Noir 2019, Central Otago
  • Escarpment Kupe Pinot Noir 2019, Martinborough

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