Top 6 Pinot Noir (Under $50)


New Zealand is a Pinot country, and we sure have many great Pinot Noir; hence I decided to split the category into 'Under $50' and 'Over $50'. The Top 6 of Pinot Noir under $50 are nothing short of quality and age-worthiness.

Grasshopper Rock Earnscleugh Vineyard Pinot Noir 2017 from Alexandra, beautiful expression of Central Otago Pinot Noir with higher acidity and floral elegance. Maori Point Pinot Noir 2017 has similarity, showing sour cherries and lots of beautiful subtleties. 2017 was a cooler vintage with low yield in the region; the concentration intensified the flavours, makes a great quality for long term ageing.

Misha's The High Note Pinot Noir is from vintage 2019, high rainfall in spring and a severe frost in Oct affected flowering in many parts of Central Otago, with moderate temperature throughout the growing season and again late frost in April near harvest. Luckily Misha's Vineyard is set on steep slopes, and a frost-drained site managed to get through it and picked in late April, so the grapes have enough time to develop flavours. You will find the wine has beautiful balance and silky tannin palate.

2019 in Martinborough had early spring frost, following that good rainfall until Christmas then a dry summer; warms days and cool night with a long ripening period. Matahiwi Estate Holly South Series Pinot Noir 2019 is elegant and typical Martinborough with incredible minerality and fineness.

Te Kano Pinot Noir and Neck Of The Woods Pinot Noir are both 2018, a hotter vintage. They were picked earlier to ensure there's good acidity balance and managed to show off delicate floral complexity, both with great balance and power.

It seems that I'm favouring Central Otago in this Top 6 selection, there were a couple of wines from other regions in the original Top 6 were no longer available, that's a reminder for us that there are so many smaller producers in this country, the stock doesn't last, so get them while you can.


  • Grasshopper Rock Earnscleugh Vineyard Pinot Noir 2017, Central Otago
  • Misha’s Vineyard The High Note Pinot Noir 2019, Central Otago
  • Neck of the Woods Pinot Noir 2018, Central Otago
  • Maori Point Pinot Noir 2017, Central Otago
  • Matahiwi Estate Holly South Series Pinot Noir 2019, Wairarapa
  • Te Kano Pinot Noir 2018, Central Otago

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