If you are in Central Otago this summer, be sure to pick up a wine map and visit a few wineries. It's interesting to compare the dark cherry flavours of Cromwell and Bannockburn pinot noir with the the floral ones from Gibbston and the mineral ones from Alexandra.



Terra Sancta Bannockburn Pinot Noir 2011


Four stars (out of five)

Good Value

A lively, textural wine with black cherry fruit and hints of dark chocolate and spicy oak, this has firm, dusty tannins but a fresh finish. It's drinking nicely now but will develop with another year or two's bottle age.




Pisa Moorings Pinot Noir 2008


Three and a half stars

Average value

At four years old this has developed into a rich, fragrant wine with a lush, velvety texture, soft fruit suggesting cherries and strawberries supported by spicy, toasty oak, and finishing with a fresh lingering aftertaste. Drinking nicely now.



Ellero Pisa Terrace Pinot Noir 2010


Four Stars

Good value

Lush, seductively sweet, juicy cherry and red berry fruit supported by toasty, spicy oak with suggestions of dark chocolate cushion the firm underlying tannin structure in this powerful, concentrated wine. Another few years bottle age, or at least some decanting will help it integrate.



Staete Landt Map Maker Marlborough Pinot Noir 2010


Three stars

Average value

Spicy plums with a hint of toasted oak and a lively edge make this simple Marlborough wine attractive and easy to drink.




Gibbston Highgate Estate Soul Taker Reserve Pinot Noir 2011


Three and a half stars

Average value

This is a light pinot with hints of rhubarb, raspberries and pepper, a velvety texture, a bright, crisp finish and a lingering aftertaste.




Julicher Martinborough Pinot Noir 2010


Four stars

Average value

With savoury aromas typical of Martinborough pinot, this is soft and rich in the mouth with nicely integrated fruit, a hint of licorice and toasty oak and a bright, lively finish.

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