WINE REVIEWS: Pinot Noir

This tasting includes four single vineyard wines from Grant Taylor's Valli label. With more than 20 vintages in Central Otago, he knows each sub-region well and his wines reveal their origins if you taste carefully.

A couple of  pinots from Waitaki  revealed more complexity than in previous years, showing the benefit of vine age as the North Otago vineyards gain maturity.



BEST VALUE

Rocky Point Central Otago Pinot Noir 2011

$20

Three and a half stars (out of five)

Good value

A young wine that takes a few minutes to reveal its concentrated cherry fruit, savoury undertones, hints of dried herbs, and its dry dusty finish. It's rare to find a wine of this quality at this price.

www.finewinedelivery.co.nz

 

Saint Clair Marlborough pinot noir 2011

$26.50

Three stars

Average value 

A simple wine with attractive spicy fruit suggesting plums and a hint of charred oak. Easy and drinkable with a crisp finish.

www.saintclair.co.nz

 

Waipara Hills Central Otago  Pinot Noir 2010

$30

Four stars

Good value

An attractive wine from a Bendigo vineyard, with lots of spicy, ripe red and dark fruit supported by toasty oak, but with a underlying hint of savoury dried herb and mineral and  a long, soft, textural finish.

www.waiparahills.co.nz 

 

Pasquale Waitaki Pinot Noir 2010

$49

Four stars

Average value

Bright red fruit with darker, savoury undertones, even beginning to suggest hints forest floor, supported by lots of toasty, spicy oak, a  silky texture and fine, dusty tannins on the long finish.

As the vines get older the Waitaki wines are showing more complexity, and will reward bottle
age.

www.pasquale.co.nz

 

Valli Waitaki Vineyard Pinot Noir 2010

$65

Four stars

Below average value

Perfumed and concentrated,  oozing fruit, with hints of dried herbs, spice and licorice, toasty oak and a lively, long aftertaste. A young wine, it takes time to open in the glass and will reward a few years bottle age. This is Grant Taylor's this 20th vintage in Otago - he grew up in the Waitaki at Kurow.


www.valliwine.com 


Valli Bendigo Vineyard Pinot 2010

$65

Four and a half stars

Average value

The Bendigo Vineyard pinot is a new addition to Grant Taylor's impressive collection of terroir-driven Otago wines. Seductive, with lovely silky red fruits, hints of mineral, dark chocolate and underlying savoury notes, supported by spicy oak, this is a lively, beautifully balanced wine, its power and concentration disguised by its charm.


www.valliwine.com 

 

ANOTHER GLASS

Valli Bannockburn Vineyard Pinot Noir 2010

$65

Four stars

Below average value

Typical of Bannockburn with lots of dark cherry, hints of greywacke, spicy, toasty oak and a lively, tingly finish with fine, dusty tannins and a long aftertaste, this wine is young and already delicious but will repay a couple of years bottle age.


www.valliwine.com

 

Valli Gibbston Vineyard Pinot Noir 2010

$65

Four stars

Below average value

Of all Grant Taylor's impressive single-vineyard sub-regional Otago pinots, I always think the Gibbston has the most charm and individuality. This hints of spiced beetroot and dark cherries, with a hint of wild thyme, new leather, mineral and dark chocolate, with an elegance and lively, lingering finish. A lovely wine that will show its true potential with a a few years more bottle age.

www.valliwine.com