We use cookies to operate this website and to improve its usability. Full details of what cookies are, why we use them and how you can manage them can be found by reading our Privacy & Cookies pages. Please note that by using this site you are consenting to the use of cookies.

Accept
Reject
Home Winners > Winners 2016 > NEW WORLD: Pinot Noir, New Zealand

Winner Details

New World: Pinot Noir, New Zealand

2016 Gold: 4 Silver: 6 Bronze: 8 Commended: 7
2015 Gold: 4 Silver: 10 Bronze: 5 Commended: 10


Ask most somms which New World country is best known for Pinot Noir and they’ll almost certainly say New Zealand. Ask them which bit of NZ and they’ll probably reply Central Otago. Yet the home of Lord of the Rings hasn’t really turned on the magic in this competition. Invivo’s Gold this year was only the second one in four years for the region – a performance that’s more Bimbo than Bilbo.

It’s not so much style as price that’s often the issue for Central Otago. The cheap wines are often not very good, and the decent bottles can be pretty pricey. Moreover, for that kind of expense, somms tend to want elegance rather than power, and some of the entrants would stop a marauding orc in his tracks.

Marlborough’s wines tend to be less ambitious, but stylistically more approachable, more consistent and, crucially, better value. This year’s trio (including the astonishingly good By The Glass Award-winning Foley for less than £7) were a case in point, and our tasters were happy to fill most of the places on the list (for what is, all agreed, a ‘must-list category’) with wines from the heartland of Kiwi Sav rather than Gandalf et al.

FROM THE TASTING TEAMS


‘Burgundy has always had a reputation for inconsistency but these [Central Otago wines] were inconsistent too.’ Richard Brooks, Caroline Catering

‘Burgundy doesn’t show this level of consistency [of Marlborough flight].’ Enikő Heidenwolf, 67 Pall Mall

‘New World Pinot Noir has become a must-have on a restaurant list. The danger is the producers sitting on their laurels – and they’re expensive for what they deliver. There’s a danger that consumers will become disillusioned.’ Natasha Hughes MW, team leader

‘I can see why New Zealand Pinot Noir is so popular: some sweetness, easy to drink, bold flavours. But it can lack intensity.’ Andrés Ituarte, Avenue Restaurant

‘New Zealand Pinot Noir should be something you can buy with confidence.’ Sarah Jane Evans MW, team leader

‘I was expecting more raciness.’ Dominique Raclin, consultant sommelier

“The New Zealand wines were, frankly, pretty disappointing, either dilute or overoaked.” Natasha Hughes MW, team leader

“Marlborough Pinot Noir has a place on the menu. It’s approachable and friendly.” Ignacio Campos, Hawksmoor Seven Dials

“If you tasted Burgundy at similar prices, these are way better value – more opulence, better fruit.” Harry Crowther, M Restaurants

 

Award winners

Found 25 wines

New World: Pinot Noir, New Zealand

Delta, Pinot Noir, 2014, Marlborough , New Zealand

Gold medal winner

Delta struck Gold with this 'luscious' wine. 'Bolder, more tannic style, balanced, with hints of coal dust mingling with its concentrated red fruits,' said Andrés Ituarte of Avenue Restaurant. 'Clean, with red fruits and elegant tannins,' added Bovey Castle's Rustem Mingaleev, while Mark Dorber of The Anchor at Walberswick picked up on the 'delicate raspberry and red cherry aromas' and the 'good acidity'.

£11.40 Liberty Wines

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

Gold medal winner

An expanse of flavours on the palate enabled Nobilo to strike Gold. 'Ready to drink and well done,' began Enikő Heidenwolf of 67 Pall Mall, going on: 'Complex nose of fruit, smoke, spice. Super-smooth and long on the palate, lots of fruit such as red cherry, strawberry, sour cherry, and showing some signs of ageing with hints of mushroom and wet leaves.' JKS Restaurants' Sunaina Sethi agreed, saying 'There's a good fruit profile, with underlying minerality, a well-integrated palate, and a long, vanilla finish.'

£15.45 Matthew Clark

Foley, Awatere Pass, Pinot Noir, 2014, Marlborough , New Zealand

Gold medal winner By the glass

Wonderful value for money alongside a friendly palate gave Foley a By The Glass Trophy on top of Gold. 'Typical red fruit characteristics on the nose, vibrant with good balance of acidity,' began Nausicaa Rotolani of Roka Mayfair, with FJB Collection's Charles Van Wyk noting 'redcurrant and plum, hints of green apple, a slight greenness on the palate with hints of spice and clove', and team leader Tom Forrest picking up spicy cherry fruit on the nose and cinnamon on the palate.

£6.80 Greene King

Invivo, Michelle's Pinot Noir, 2014, Central Otago , New Zealand

Gold medal winner

'Nice complexity', 'good texture', 'yum!' – just some of the opinions that propelled Invivo to the Gold podium. 'Elegant yet robust nose with a generous, smoky fruit style married with balanced oak, giving very good value,' said Chris Wood of Chelsea Vintners. 'Smooth, approachable and well balanced,' agreed Timothy Connor of Bread Street Kitchen. 'Aromas of strawberry jam and smoky minerals with a tannic finish,' added Mauro Pirovano of New Street Grill.

£17.50 Invivo Wines New Zealand

Delta, Hatter's Hill, Pinot Noir, 2012, Marlborough , New Zealand

Silver medal winner

Andrés Ituarte of Avenue Restaurant found this wine 'great value, very well balanced with focused fruit concentration', noting 'sage and rosemary with moderate, gritty tannins', while Ignacio Campos of Hawksmoor Seven Dials highlighted its 'leafy, earthy nose with red fruit and cooking spices'.

£14.25 Liberty Wines

Blank Canvas, Pinot Noir, 2014, Marlborough , New Zealand

Silver medal winner

'Attractive red berry notes on the nose, very complex and structured on the palate,' began team leader Andrea Briccarello, continuing: 'Sophisticated style, with good acidity and a complex finish.' 'Wow, shows good concentration and vibrancy,' added FJB Collection's Charles Van Wyk.

£16.95 Liberty Wines

Ara, Resolute, Pinot Noir, 2012, Marlborough , New Zealand

Silver medal winner

'Soft, succulent palate of forest floor, bright red fruits and notes of sage herbs, with very good length,' said Andrés Ituarte of Avenue Restaurant, while Bovey Castle's Rustem Mingaleev found 'clean fruit, good intensity with redcurrant, red plum and moderate tannins'.

£22.91 Bibendum Wine

Mansion House Bay, Pinot Noir, 2014, Marlborough , New Zealand

Silver medal winner

'Pretty nose of red candied fruit and floral notes, followed by a ripe fruit palate showing good focus, with tannins and acid nicely married,' said Harry Crowther of M Restaurants, while Victor Amaro of Hotel du Vin Tunbridge Wells noted 'mineral stone fruit aromas, nice leathery, wild cherry fruit and good intensity'.

£12.55 Enotria&Coe

Prophet's Rock, Pinot Noir, 2012, Central Otago , New Zealand

Silver medal winner

'Elegant nose of black and red fruits, good spices and oak level on a very well-balanced palate with a good, long finish,' said Carlos Ferreira of The Sign of the Don, while team leader Sam Caporn MW added: 'Lovely fragrance, balance and structure. Tasty.'

£26.02 Bibendum Wine

Mount Holdsworth, Pinot Noir, 2014, Wairarapa , New Zealand

Silver medal winner

'Earthy and spicy, sour cherry aromas, medium-bodied palate with more sour cherry and good fruit on the finish,' said Georgi Mihov of Bohemia Bar and Restaurant, while Richard Brooks of Caroline Catering found 'attractive tangy fruit on a pleasantly priced accompaniment for lamb or some cheeses. A versatile food wine.'

£9.80 Berkmann Wine Cellars

Rockburn, Pinot Noir, 2013, Central Otago , New Zealand

Bronze medal winner

'Aromas of raspberry, bright red fruit on a palate of medium length that's smooth with balanced acidity,' said Timothy Connor of Bread Street Kitchen, while Carlos Ferreira of The Sign of the Don noted 'black cherry, spicy plum and mushroom with spicy oak notes'.

£19.43 Hallgarten & Novum Wines

Tinpot Hut, Pinot Noir, 2014, Marlborough , New Zealand

Bronze medal winner

'Cherry and raspberry on the nose with nutmeg and cinnamon spices, and slight medicinal notes,' said Ignacio Campos of Hawksmoor Seven Dials, adding: 'Light body and tannins, black cherry notes with currants and red fruit, and spice coming through on the finish.'

£10.90 Liberty Wines

Framingham, Pinot Noir, 2014, Marlborough , New Zealand

Bronze medal winner

Nausicaa Rotolani of Roka Mayfair found 'nice evolution, showing good fresh strawberries on the nose, and a fairly long finish', while team leader Andrea Briccarello felt it was a 'good mix of cranberry and pomegranate with vibrant acidity, complex yet elegant'.

£11.70 Les Caves de Pyrène

Yealands, Estate, Winemaker's Reserve, Pinot Noir, 2014, Awatere Valley, Marlborough , New Zealand

Bronze medal winner

'Nice woody red fruit on the nose with good attack on the palate, full and long on the finish,' began consultant sommelier Dominique Raclin, with Andrés Ituarte of Avenue Restaurant finding 'cherry pie and cocoa notes, silky texture with great oak management, spice and vanilla'.

£12.34 Enotria&Coe

Carrick, Pinot Noir, 2012, Bannockburn, Central Otago , New Zealand

Bronze medal winner

Ian Howard of The White Hart Inn at Lydgate highlighted its 'fruity nose, cranberry and raspberry with good oak and acid balance on the palate', while Carlos Ferreira of The Sign of the Don noted a 'meaty and farmyard character, with fruit sweetness and black spices'.

£19.47 Enotria&Coe

Aitken's Folly, Riverbank Road, Pinot Noir, 2012, Central Otago , New Zealand

Bronze medal winner

'Light-bodied, with strawberry jam and cherries on the palate, picking up notes of red fig on a very good finish,' said Carlos Ferreira of The Sign of the Don. 'Bright fruit, good weight and an interesting finish,' added team leader Laura Rhys MS.

£14.00 Smellyoledog Wines Ltd

Akarua, Rua, Pinot Noir, 2014, Central Otago , New Zealand

Bronze medal winner

'Nice elegant fruit, supple tannins and good value for the price,' began team leader Laura Rhys MS, with Ian Howard of The White Hart Inn at Lydgate adding: 'Jammy red fruit and oak, but good acidity and length.'

£12.95 Liberty Wines

Julicher, Pinot Noir, 2011, Martinborough , New Zealand

Bronze medal winner

'Reductive note on the nose, but the palate has some good red fruit and spice, while being supple with gently crunchy tannins,' said team leader Natasha Hughes MW. 'Intense on the nose, good balance of wood and ripe fruit,' agreed Ivan Vegas of Fox Fine Wines & Spirits.

£16.75 Berkmann Wine Cellars

Babich, Classic, Pinot Noir, 2014, Marlborough , New Zealand

Commended medal winner

Kim Crawford , New Zealand, Pinot Noir, 2014, Marlborough , New Zealand

Commended medal winner

£10.10 Liberty Wines

Spy Valley, Pinot Noir, 2013, Marlborough , New Zealand

Commended medal winner

£12.68 Bibendum Wine

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

Commended medal winner

£13.99 González Byass

Marisco, Fernlands, Pinot Noir, 2013, Marlborough , New Zealand

Commended medal winner

Saint Clair , Pioneer Block 5, Bull Block, Pinot Noir, 2013, Marlborough , New Zealand

Commended medal winner

Akarua , Pinot Noir, 2012, Bannockburn, Central Otago , New Zealand

Commended medal winner

£18.95 Liberty Wines