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Home Winners > Winners 2015 > NEW WORLD: Pinot Noir, New Zealand

Winner Details

New World: Pinot Noir, New Zealand


2015: Gold 4 Silver 10 Bronze 5 Commended 10
2014: Gold 4 Silver 2 Bronze 7 Commended 5


To paraphrase Marvel Comics, ‘with great expectation comes great responsibility’. Our tasters always expect a lot from Kiwi Pinot – partly because the Kiwis tell them they should and partly because the prices more or less demand it. And every year, they’re left slightly dissatisfied.

Yes, they find some good wines (19 medals is an impressive performance – especially for a finicky grape like Pinot), but a bit more finesse and a bit less chunky oak/tannin might not go amiss. Of course, it’s hard, given Kiwi UV levels, but if the country’s winemakers want a bit of unsolicited advice from our tasters, it would be to turn the volume down a bit.

Star Performer

Congrats to Spy Valley. The Envoy made it on to the Gold List for the second year running, joined this year by the winery’s standard Pinot for an impressive one-two.


From the Tasting Teams


‘Central Otago Pinot Noir works well with bolder style foods, things like Asian and Japanese food, such as teppanyaki or yakiniku-style food – dishes where Burgundy would lose out.’ Andrea Fasan, La Petite Maison

‘You definitely have a chance to put more than one NZ Pinot on the list, because the different regions do bring something different.’ Neil Bruce, Studio Alto

‘I don’t need the world from New Zealand Pinot, just a bit of lift and spice. Too many had stewy, squishy fruit and clunky oak. There weren’t enough I wanted to keep on drinking.’ Sam Caporn MW, consultant

‘Central Otago Pinot Noir is a great cross-over on the list. For people brought up on bold New World reds, it’s a great introduction to Pinot Noir, but it can also work the other way, bringing Burgundy and Pinot lovers towards bolder New World fruit.’ Simon Woods, team leader

‘We struggle to sell anything over £45 from New Zealand. People who are looking at bigger money will tend to gravitate towards Burgundy.’ Oscar Miller, Vinoteca King’s Cross

‘They seemed quite expensive for what they delivered. Too much tannin and not enough fruit.’
Guillaume Mahaut, The Jugged Hare

Award winners

Found 29 wines

New World: Pinot Noir, New Zealand

Spy Valley, Pinot Noir 2012, Marlborough, New Zealand

Gold medal winner

Spy Valley return to the Gold podium with not one but two of its PInots. Last year it was one of the Envoys, this year it another Envoy and this one. 'All you want out of a good Pinot,' said Athila Roos of The Arts Club, noting 'tones of dark floral petals and sweet spices'. ‘Toasty oak with orange peel notes and spicy cherry and raspberry, with a hint of mocha on the palate,’ said team leader Tom Forrest, with Neil Bruce of Studio Alto adding: ‘Smoky, oaky, deep, dark and spicy, with firm, silky-soft elegance.’

£12.68 Bibendum

Spy Valley, Envoy, Outpost, Pinot Noir 2011, Marlborough, New Zealand

Gold medal winner

The Envoy Outpost vines perch on a west-facing hill and undergo careful handling, which reveals itself in a delicate style. 'Deep, silky and smooth, showing great class on the nose,' began an impressed Neil Bruce of Studio Alto, adding: 'Lovely balance, poise and elegance.' 'A bit peppery, and very fresh, with high acidity, fine but grippy tannins,' said Sara Bachiorri of Chez Bruce, continuing: 'Delicious and very drinkable. "Gourmand" as the French would call it.'

£16.95 Bibendum

Gladstone Vineyard, Pinot Noir 2013, Wairarapa, New Zealand

Gold medal winner

Richness and texture took Gladstone to the top. ‘Red cherry and raspberry, orange peel and chocolate. Gorgeously textured, silky and smooth. Beautiful wine,’ said an impressed team leader Angela Reddin, with consultant Donald Edwards adding: ‘Balanced fruit and good vibrancy.’ Floral, smoky and spicy, match with carpaccio of venison or crispy duck salad.

£13.40 Boutinot

Sileni, Cellar Selection, Pinot Noir 2014, Hawkes Bay, New Zealand

Gold medal winner

Smooth, rich and dark, with a good savoury edge and liquorice notes. Consultant Sam Caporn MW liked its: ‘Light colour and crunchy red berry fruit with a touch of spice. Pretty, with decent length and balance.' ‘Sweet red cherry fruits with a fresh earth hint,’ added team leader Angela Reddin. Match with braised lamb, game, or swordfish.

£8.00 Boutinot

Nobilo, Icon, Pinot Noir 2013, Marlborough, New Zealand

Silver medal winner

‘Dark fruits, spice, complexity and elegance with lovely balance,’ began team leader Laura Rhys MS, with Oscar Miller of Vinoteca King's Cross adding: ‘Light, soft red fruits, quite restrained but well balanced.' Sara Bachiorri of Chez Bruce described it as: 'A sexy PInot Noir. Delicious at the table or, with its soft round tannins, on its own.'

£15.40 Matthew Clark

Ara, Single Estate, Pinot Noir 2013, Marlborough, New Zealand

Silver medal winner

‘Spicy oak and red cherry on the nose, with soft, squishy red fruits and cedar spice on the palate, with a hint of rhubarb, balanced and juicy on the finish,’ said team leader Tom Forrest of this complex, serious wine, while Kate Hawkings of Bell's Diner noted 'spice, cherries, and a nicely lingering finish'.

£10.33 Negociants

Ara, Select Block, Limited Release, M62, Pinot Noir 2012, Marlborough, New Zealand

Silver medal winner

‘Very forward, but very clean, healthy fruit, grippy tannins and low in spices,’ said Oscar Miller of Vinoteca King's Cross. ‘Palate concentrated and balanced with soft tannins and refreshing acidity,’ added Charles Van Wyk of FJB Hotels.

£14.85 Negociants

Ara, Select Block, Limited Release, K54, Pinot Noir 2012, Marlborough, New Zealand

Silver medal winner

‘Complex and elegant with smoky fruit concentration,’ said Matteo Malquori of Hakkasan Hanway Place, with Neil Bruce of Studio Alto adding: ‘Lovely, ripe, rich and smoky, with raspberry/plum character.’ 'Dark and aromatic, with good concentration, there's a lot of wine for the money,' said team leader Martin Lam.

£14.85 Negociants

Babich, Marlborough Pinot Noir 2013, Marlborough, New Zealand

Silver medal winner

'Savouriness and complexity alongside the slightly bitter cherry fruit, with an edge of dark chocolate – there's plenty hiding under that overly fruity nose,' said Athila Roos of The Arts Club of this good value Pinot. Charles Van Wyk of FJB Hotels added: ‘Good red fruit of raspberry and cherry, with palate fruit driven by a hint of spice.’

£8.74 Bibendum

Tinpot Hut, Pinot Noir 2013, Marlborough, New Zealand

Silver medal winner

‘Dark fruits on a meaty, smoky nose,’ began team leader Laura Rhys MS, continuing: ‘Lean and elegant on the fruit and acidity, but showing a lot for the money.’ ‘Perfumed violets combined with redcurrants and smoky undertones,’ agreed Charles Van Wyk of FJB Hotels.

£10.90 Liberty Wines

Mt Difficulty, Single Vineyard, Long Gully, Pinot Noir 2012, Bannockburn, Central Otago, New Zealand

Silver medal winner

‘Lovely, heady, relaxed style showing plump and floral aromas and lovely, restrained raspberry and plum fruit on the palate,’ said team leader Simon Woods. ‘Precise, elegant nose with a bit of a kick,’ added Andrea Fasan of La Petite Maison. Match with rich dishes such as bison or game.

£39.05 Ellis of Richmond

Nga Waka, Pinot Noir 2011, Martinborough, New Zealand

Silver medal winner

‘Lovely, lifted fragrant fruit, good oak and balance,’ began consultant Sam Caporn MW, with The Jugged Hare’s Guillaume Mahaut adding simply: ‘Lovely palate, lovely fruits.’

£14.75 Laytons

Framingham, Pinot Noir 2013, Marlborough, New Zealand

Silver medal winner

‘Full of red fruits with hints of leather,’ noted Matteo Malquori of Hakkasan Hanway Place, adding: ‘Good typicity, balance and elegance with a complex, long finish.’ Team leader Tom Forrest added: Tutti frutti cherry aromas with some vanilla spice.’

£11.70 Les Caves de Pyrène

Julicher, Pinot Noir 2011, Martinborough, New Zealand

Silver medal winner

'Mature red berries on the nose with jammy fruit on the palate and a slight spritzy prickle, but decent structure and a nice finish,' said consultant Donald Edwards, with Guillaume Mahaut of The Jugged Hare adding: 'Plenty of oak but shows some complexity and good fruits.'

£13.29 Berkmann Wine Cellars

Spencer Hill, Mariner, Pinot Noir 2013, Nelson, New Zealand

Bronze medal winner

‘Quite a butch style,’ began team leader Angela Reddin, ‘but has substance and style. Smoky, spicy nose, redolent of bonfires, lovely depth of fruit, taut, smooth tannins and a lovely finish.’

£11.30 Jackson Nugent Vintners

Gladstone Vineyard, Jealous Sisters, Pinot Noir 2013, Wairarapa, New Zealand

Bronze medal winner

‘Vibrant, showing some signs of early maturity and good structure, with some nice hints of vegetal undergrowth,’ said consultant Donald Edwards. ‘Loamy undergrowth with black/raspberry fruit and an element of spicy wood,’ agreed team leader Angela Reddin.

£9.25 Boutinot

Ara, Select Block, Limited Release, J52, Pinot Noir 2012, Marlborough, New Zealand

Bronze medal winner

‘Deep and ripe, with a lovely, smoky black fruit nose,’ began Neil Bruce of Studio Alto, continuing: ‘Dry, silky, soft and ripe with many layers, if a little young.’

£14.85 Negociants

Kim Crawford, Pinot Noir 2013, Marlborough/Central Otago, New Zealand

Bronze medal winner

‘Very pleasant, delicate red cherry nose and a juicy, delicate palate that carries through well, with good structure on the finish,’ said Guillaume Mahaut of The Jugged Hare, with team leader Angela Reddin adding: ‘Summer berry compote.’

£9.85 Liberty Wines

Mt Difficulty, Bannockburn, Pinot Noir 2013, Central Otago, New Zealand

Bronze medal winner

‘Big, thick, ripe and young, this is powerful with a nice cherry intensity and great promise,’ said team leader Simon Woods. ‘Classical style, tight-knit and grippy, needs time,’ added consultant Michael Harrison.

£17.55 Ellis of Richmond

Invivo, Pinot Noir 2012, Central Otago , New Zealand

Commended medal winner

£13.32 Grupo Codorníu

Boutinot, Moko Black, Pinot Noir 2013, Marlborough, New Zealand

Commended medal winner

£9.35 Boutinot

Delta, Hatter's Hill, Pinot Noir 2010, Marlborough, New Zealand

Commended medal winner

£14.25 Liberty Wines

Rockburn, Devil's Staircase, Pinot Noir 2013, Central Otago , New Zealand

Commended medal winner

Jackson Estate, The Settler, Pinot Noir 2013, Marlborough, New Zealand

Commended medal winner

£13.99 González Byass

Marisco Vineyards, Fairhall Cliffs, Pinot Noir 2014, Marlborough, New Zealand

Commended medal winner

Spencer Hill, Latitude 41, Pinot Noir 2013, Nelson, New Zealand

Commended medal winner

Rongopai, Pinot Noir 2012, Marlborough, New Zealand

Commended medal winner

£8.25 Molson Coors

Ara, Select Block, Limited Release, M36, Pinot Noir 2012, Marlborough, New Zealand

Commended medal winner

£14.85 Negociants

Hunter's, Pinot Noir 2012, Marlborough, New Zealand

Commended medal winner

£10.12 Laytons

 

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