Cuisine Wine

NZ Pinot Noir Tasting results

29 April 2016 (Cuisine magazine Issue 176)

This year’s quest for pinot perfection yielded plenty of fine examples, writes John Saker.

We call it the “annual pinot safari”, our three-day quest to find some of the best pinot noir recently produced in New Zealand. This year, as is customary, prior to setting out each expedition member shared their views on the qualities they were seeking. For panel chair John Belsham, ageability was a priority: “We have to identify wines that will age. Great wines all have a swagger, even when they’re young.”
Cameron Douglas was looking for what he described as ‘pinot noirness’ – “it’s not a flavour, but a heartbeat, a soul, poise and tension”. For John Saker, structure was all-important: “Wonderful fruit needs some serious scaffolding. Tannin management is the big challenge.” From a field of 172 wines, some fine examples emerged, with 11 receiving the maximum five stars.

Top 10 NZ Pinot Noir

Wairau River Reserve Pinot Noir 2014 (Marlborough)

This is a ripe, succulent wine, well-endowed with welcoming fruit and a warm, enveloping textural embrace. It arrives on the palate with a quiet, complex intensity, its red and dark fruit flavours laced with a herbal thread. “It has depth, flows beautifully and lingers,” noted John Belsham.

| $40
→ more 1 View All Results in the Wairau River Reserve Pinot Noir 2014 (Marlborough) Tasting

Star ratings for this tasting

» How ratings work

  • Outstanding 11
  • Excellent 13
  • Very Good 30
  • Good 57
  • No Award 61
  • Total Entries 172