Various styles of pinot noir

There has been a restaurant trend in recent times to serve an ingredient in more than one form. It’s an opportunity for the chef to showcase their technique, and can also allow them to make a lesser-known cut a hero element of the dish.

Pinot noir comfortably straddles a variety of styles: most commonly as the red wine so beloved in Central Otago, but also vinified as rose (sometimes solo, at other times in a blend with pinot gris and/or other varieties), as a still blanc de noir which is a white wine produced from red grapes and also in bubblies where again it can stand alone, but is commonly blended.

Each create quite different interpretations of the same grape.


2021 Hawkshead Central Otago Rose

Price RRP $31.75
Rating Very Good to Excellent

A twist of the pepper mill, plum, gravelly nuances, savoury notes. A splash of sweet confectionery shifts to darker raspberry and cherry notes with a chewy feel to the texture. A bolder expression, developing fruit pastille characters, with zesty acidity and piquancy to keep it all vibrant. Growing fruit sweetness which will appeal to those who don’t want their wine bone dry.


2021 Domain Road Central Otago Pinot Noir Rose

Price RRP $28
Rating Excellent

Vibrantly youthful nose, juicy fruit gum, musk, strawberry, perfume. Creamy texture, lovely balance and integration, with liveliness and vibrancy. The flavours follow the journey begun by the nose, adding wine gums to the mix and closing refreshingly dry. There’s a nice completeness to this, and it really ticks the box on the refreshment factor.


2021 Rabbit Ranch Central Otago Rose

Price RRP $21
Rating Excellent to Outstanding

Fascinating nose with ripe stonefruits, a touch of pepper and chewing gum, a savoury quality too. Darker berries, stonefruits and gum on the palate, good weight, some appealing chewy grip and refreshing acidity on a dry, supple and rich frame. A saline/sea shell note grows adding to the lovely lip-smacking quality. Elegant and feels rather grown up.


2020 Rabbit Ranch Central Otago Pinot Noir

Price RRP $24.50
Rating Very Good to Excellent

Bold nose, smoky char, raspberry, a dusty quality, ink pen. The palate melds a tarry quality with savoury notes, spices and darker berryfruits with a little dusty char evident on the finish. There’s some drying grip on the close that suggests this would also pair well with food. Open for business and in the slot to enjoy now.


2019 Wooing Tree Beetlejuice Central Otago Pinot Noir

Price Price RRP $28
Rating  Excellent

The nose leaps out of the glass offering liqueur fruits, dark fruits, spices, bonfire embers and savoury characters. Powerfully expressed palate; those savoury and dark fruit notes to the fore, neatly cosseted by the underlying backbone. There’s depth of flavour here, offering good bang for your buck. Finishes attractively dry.


2020 Carrick Unravelled Organic C Otago Pinot Noir

Price RRP $27.50
Rating Excellent

Richness to the nose, the fruit shifting to savouriness, hints of balsamic, dustiness and a little funk too. Mixing red and dark fruits, supported by wild herbs and a touch of black tea. Quite some structure behind this, the tannins supported by some chewy phenolics and bright acidity, which would work well with food.

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