Pinot noir from prestigious wineries is certainly not cheap, but there are sometimes less exalted brands which can give as much pleasure, such as the Mission Martinborough pinot.



Mission Martinborough Pinot Noir 2011


Three and a half stars (out of five)

Good value

It's rare to find delicious pinot noir under $20 but this has dark fruit, savoury undertones, lots of spicy, toasty oak, and a simple, slightly dusty finish. Excellent value on special at $14.



Wooing Tree Beetle Juice Central Otago Pinot Noir 2011


Three and a half stars

Average value

A young wine with hints of sweet cherryplum fruit, spice, silky tannins and a lively edge but nevertheless attractive and easy to drink.



Kingsmill Tippets Dam Central Otago Pinot Noir 200


Four stars

Average value

A mature wine, nicely integrated and mellowed but still lively, with lots of ripe dark fruit and spicy oak. It's concentrated with a firm backbone cushioned by the lush Bannockburn fruit. Drinking nicely at three years old, and for another few years too.


Churton Marlborough Pinot Noir 2010


Four stars

Average value

A youthful, stylish wine, soft initially with rich dark and red fruit supported by spicy oak, weighty and textural in the mouth with fine-grained, dusty tannin on the finish and a long, attractive aftertaste. Drinking nicely now, but will continue to develop with bottle age.


Pasquale Hakataramea Valley Pinot Noir 2010


Four and a half stars

Below average value

A lovely harmonious wine, fragrant with ripe, dark fruits, a savoury undertone and a suggestion of mineral and spicy oak, its structure is unobtrusive under the richness of the fruit. It's young and will develop with bottle age.


Wooing Tree Sandstorm Reserve Central Otago Pinot Noir 2010


Four and a half stars

Below average value

The top of Wooing Tree's range, this is dense and concentrated with lots of everything - oodles of dark and red fruits, lots of spicy oak with hints of dark chocolate, a firm texture and structure with lots of juicy fruit on the finish. It has all the charm and lushness you expect from Cromwell pinot.



Wooing Tree Central Otago Pinot Noir 2010


Three and a half stars (out of five)

Below average value

Fragrant with sweet cherry and red fruits, spicy oak, a hint of freshly ground coffee, a touch of mineral and a firm, crisp and dry finish.



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