The Pinot Noirs of New Zealand
New Zealand has always been a dark horse amongst the popular winemaking regions of the world, exporting over 12.2 million liters a year as of the end of June 2016. The maritime climate provides a variety of conditions for producing a wide range of wines, with Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir being the two most popular.
There are five regions of New Zealand that produce the most Pinot Noir out of the entire country: the Wairarapa, Marlborough, Nelson, Canterbury & Waipara, and Central Otago. These are the more Southerly regions that boast a diversity of climates and therefore, an interesting span of styles of Pinot Noir.
Below are five of some of the best Pinot Noirs to come out of New Zealand that can be found here in the United States:
Decibel 2014 Single Vineyard Pinot Noir: Hailing from Martinborough, the leading region for Pinot Noir production, this bottle is silky and smooth. The medium to full-bodied nature intertwines with a bit of cinnamon and dark fruits like cherry and pomegranate. $28
Loveblock 2014 Pinot Noir: The Loveblock is intense and deep like a Pinot Noir should be, with notes of pepper and baking spice to tingle your taste buds. It’s fairly tannic but not overpowering, which means it will pair nicely with red meats and will age well. $30
Big Sky 2013 Te Muna Road Pinot Noir: This bottle comes from a little sub region of Martinborough called Te Muna Road, and it’s got its own vineyards, set apart from the rest. Enjoy the traditional smoky, fruit flavors of a Pinot Noir with a lovely tannic finish. $30
Palliser Estate 2015 Pinot Noir: The Palliser Estate Pinot is one of full-bodied oak with a silky smooth finish. Enjoy delicious notes of vanilla and baking spice, tangled with some cedar and mocha to really make this a full-flavored wine. $35
Coopers Creek 2013 Pinot Noir: This one comes from Hawkes Bay, a different region of southern New Zealand, and there is a huge difference in taste. It’s light and crisp, with flavors of tart cherries and just a hint of oak. $16