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Home Winners > Winners 2018 > NEW WORLD: Pinot Noir, New Zealand

Winner Details

New World: Pinot Noir, New Zealand

2018 Gold 5      Silver 11      Bronze 5      Commended 15
2017 Gold 8      Silver 7        Bronze 5      Commended 19

If we assume that New Zealand’s stellar performance with Pinot last year (when the country doubled its normal Gold tally) was a blip that they were always going to struggle to repeat, then the Kiwis should be pretty happy with this performance.

Not only were there a solid number of Golds and an eye-catching bulge of Silvers to back them up, but all the key regions contributed: Central Otago and Marlborough chipped in with two places each on our Gold List, from £12 to £40, while Wairarapa (Canterbury) added an affordable wine at £10.

It made for a strong range of wines in a variety of styles at a good spread of prices – the ultimate proof of a healthy category.

If there was any criticism it’s a tendency for most (though not all) wineries to want to throw oak at their wines once they get over the £15 mark. It didn’t go down well with any of our tasters, who were looking for sensual and lissom rather than brazen and tarty.

FROM THE TASTING TEAMS

‘As you get more expensive they use more new oak and it hides the variety, it doesn’t need it. But at around £10-£13 they were really drinkable red wines.’ Alex Pitt, Typing Room

‘At the lower end, you’re getting elegant, approachable, fruit-driven styles. As you went higher up in price there was more intensity and complexity, less of that fruity style.’ Laura Rhys MS, team leader

‘At the higher end you’re competing with South Africa, Oregon, and some are getting a bit outdone there. There’s a push for concentration, but that can have a negative effect as well.’ Jonathan Kleeman, Four Degree

‘Outside Marlborough and Central Otago, there’s still a long way to go to identify within each region what their definitive character is. It’s still a very young industry.’ Angela Reddin, team leader

‘There was a breadth of Pinot styles, from savoury and classical to juicy and ripe, and we were quite divided on the wines.’ Hamish Anderson, Tate Catering

‘Some of the Central Otago winemakers know how to make wine but they don’t know when to stop. The wines that we awarded tended to be a bit gentler – fresh and lithe.’ Simon Woods, team leader

Award winners

Found 36 wines

New World: Pinot Noir, New Zealand

Ceres, Artists Collection, Inlet, Pinot Noir 2015, Bannockburn, Central Otago, New Zealand

Gold medal winner

Judges weren’t shy in their praise of this expressive Gold winner, with Andre Luis Martins of Cavalry & Guards Club highlighting ‘perfumed, sour cassis with fresh peppery notes on the nose, deep flavour with gentle red fruit and cassis, as well as light orange blossom hints’, while team leader Simon Woods was impressed by its ‘rich and juicy, lithe and lively character – fresh, balanced and relaxed, with bright, pretty rosehip, red cherry and raspberry fruit tones’. ‘Compact and savoury, with exceptional length, and a match for venison,’ thought team leader Angela Reddin.

£40.00 Matthew Clark

Giesen, Single Vineyard Selection, Clayvin, Pinot Noir 2013, Marlborough, New Zealand

Gold medal winner

Impressed with this ‘full, rich, powerful Pinot’ as it took its rightful spot on the Gold podium, Cheese at Leadenhall’s Robert Mason described ‘fruitcake, sweet spices and chocolate, with meaty and earthy aromas, depth and complexity with bags of elegance and personality’, while team leader Laura Rhys MS spoke highly of its ‘bold, rich, almost jammy dark fruit, spiced bacon and earthy notes on the palate, along with some fairly chunky oak’.

£28.50 H2Vin

Akarua, Pinot Noir 2016, Central Otago, New Zealand

Gold medal winner

‘The full package!’ was Sue Jones of The Harrow at Little Bedwyn’s take on this Gold-medal Pinot, finding it to be ‘soft, silky, delicate and perfumed, with raspberry and red cherry fruit, and some savoury notes too, and a little spice’. Davide Dall’Amico of Royal Automobile Club added his praise, finding ‘ripe red fruit with a touch of black cherry and blackberry, with notes of vanilla and cloves coming through after a few seconds’.

£20.84 Liberty Wines

Gladstone Vineyard, Jealous Sisters, Pinot Noir 2015, Wairarapa, New Zealand

Gold medal winner

Winning hearts, and a Gold medal, for both its style and its great value, this Pinot’s ‘cranberry fruit aromas’ and ‘long body of raspberry and strawberry with moderate tannins’ were highlighted by Kai Mayfair’s Elisa Soggia, while team leader Angela Reddin approved of its ‘smoky aromas of cherry and blackberry, and lovely ripeness in the mouth’. The Harrow at Little Bedwyn’s Sue Jones was impressed by its ‘fruits of the forest, with softness, texture, freshness and good length’.

£10.76 Boutinot

Endeavour Wines, Catalina Sounds, Pinot Noir 2016, Marlborough, New Zealand

Gold medal winner

Plenty of ‘depth of aroma and flavour’, began team leader Tom Forrest in praise of this Gold medallist, finding ‘ripe strawberry and cherry, creamy vanilla and baking spices, yet light on the palate with some toastiness, ripe fruit and balanced length’, while Typing Room’s Alex Pitt enjoyed its ‘expressive, fruity nose of cherries and redcurrants, silky red fruit on the palate with a moreish spiciness and generous finish’.

£11.99 Boutinot

Allan Scott, Estate, Pinot Noir 2016, Marlborough, New Zealand

Silver medal winner

Robert Mason of Cheese at Leadenhall found a ‘perfumed nose, floral violets with hedgerow and cranberry aromas, good body on the palate with fresh acidity, ripe red fruits, nice richness with finesse and good length’, with team leader Laura Rhys MS commenting on its ‘elegant style’.

£12.01 Fine Wines Direct

Ceres, Composition, Pinot Noir 2015, Bannockburn, Central Otago, New Zealand

Silver medal winner

‘A soft style, with ripe red berries and cherries on the nose,’ began Royal Automobile Club’s Davide Dall’Amico, noting ‘just a touch of oak spice to complete the bouquet, some flower nuances and a pretty long finish’. ‘Light spicy cassis underlined by fresh herbal aromas, elegant peppery notes and good balance,’ added Andre Luis Martins of Cavalry & Guards Club.

£17.49 Matthew Clark

Saint Clair, Pioneer Block 22, Barn Block, Pinot Noir 2016, Marlborough, New Zealand

Silver medal winner

Team leader Laura Rhys MS enjoyed this for its ‘lovely weight, wild strawberry, Morello cherry, bold and juicy fruit’, while L’Enclume’s Pierre Brunelli highlighted a ‘savoury nose with beetroot notes, restrained style with a touch of reduction, but lightly salty mineral palate with spice and dried herb notes’.

£17.96 Hallgarten & Novum Wines

Esk Valley, Pinot Noir 2016, Marlborough, New Zealand

Silver medal winner

‘On the nose it’s more about forest floor, pine, wet grass notes, gamey and savoury, but on the palate it’s very well put-together, with black cherry compote character, very fresh and a beautiful finish,’ said The Don’s Carlos Ferreira, clearly convinced.

£10.05 Hatch Mansfield

Giesen, Single Vineyard Selection, Ridge Block, Pinot Noir 2014, Marlborough, New Zealand

Silver medal winner

‘Some floral violet, some perfume, but bright cherry and strawberry fruit to the fore,’ said team leader Tom Forrest, enjoying its ‘nice elegant fruit character and oak spice on the palate, with a light, peppery finish’. Meanwhile The Don’s Carlos Ferreira picked up notes of ‘white pepper and vanilla, with big tannins on the palate’.

£28.50 H2Vin

Tiki, Estate, Pinot Noir 2016, Waipara, New Zealand

Silver medal winner

‘Light summer fruit basket nose, rosehip scents with some herbal notes on the palate,’ began team leader Angela Reddin, while for Tate Catering’s Hamish Anderson it was ‘complex and food-oriented, with a savoury nose, excellent, classical, fresh and cool fruit, spice and savoury grip’.

£12.33 Castelnau Wine Agencies

Tiki, Koro, Pinot Noir 2016, Central Otago, New Zealand

Silver medal winner

Its ‘full flavour of cherry and underripe redcurrants’ was complemented by ‘delicate spices, strong but not overpowering acidity, and a long finish’, said Jonathan Kleeman of Four Degree, with team leader Simon Woods describing a ‘broad-shouldered, narrow-waisted style, powerful but restrained with dark, deep cherry fruit and some spice’.

£20.67 Castelnau Wine Agencies

Tiki, Koro, Pinot Noir 2016, Waipara, New Zealand

Silver medal winner

Elisa Soggia of Kai Mayfair enjoyed this ‘succulent and elegant wine, very balanced between tannins and body in particular, with red fruit, black plum and woody notes’, while for Tate Catering’s Hamish Anderson it was ‘dark and dense for a Pinot, grippy and needs food, but impressive balance for a powerful wine’.

£19.93 Castelnau Wine Agencies

Delta, Hatters Hill, Pinot Noir 2016, Marlborough, New Zealand

Silver medal winner

Team leader Laura Rhys MS liked this wine’s ‘bold and generous’ style, showing ‘juicy blackberry fruit on the nose, lots of complexity on the palate, with velvety tannins and a chocolate-mocha finish’, while L’Enclume’s Pierre Brunelli also picked up notes of ‘intense spices and candied beetroot’.

£16.40 Liberty Wines

Rapaura Springs, Pinot Noir 2015, Marlborough, New Zealand

Silver medal winner

Team leader Laura Rhys MS was pleased with this Pinot’s ‘good value, clean and elegant fruit, red cherries and raspberries with minerality and elegance on the palate’.

£8.58 Maisons Marques et Domaines

Endeavour Wines, Super Nanny, Pinot Noir 2015, Central Otago, New Zealand

Silver medal winner

Andre Luis Martins of Cavalry & Guards Club found ‘fresh, wild red berries with light candied notes, then more fresh red berries on the palate with gentle minty and sweet spice notes, refreshing on the finish’, while Davide Dall’Amico of Royal Automobile Club picked up ‘spicy sour cherry and black cherry dominating with a touch of greenness, but smooth and long’.

£17.02 Boutinot

Vidal, Reserve, Pinot Noir 2016, Marlborough, New Zealand

Bronze medal winner

‘Ripe, soft berry fruit, milk chocolate with sweet spice notes, generous and a little smoky,’ said team leader Laura Rhys MS, while Cheese at Leadenhall’s Robert Mason noted a ‘slightly green herbal nose, lots of cherries and redcurrants in a soft, easy style’.

£10.05 Hatch Mansfield, Matthew Clark

Akarua, Rua, Pinot Noir 2017, Central Otago, New Zealand

Bronze medal winner

‘A lovely wine, gently perfumed with cherry and plum aromas,’ began team leader Simon Woods, admiring its ‘confident but never OTT style, good fruit and slightly herbal finish’.

£13.95 Liberty Wines

Delta, Pinot Noir 2016, Marlborough, New Zealand

Bronze medal winner

Appealing for its ‘soft bramble crumble notes and silky cranberry dryness on the finish’, said Coworth Park Ascot’s Michael Fiducia, with Typing Room’s Alex Pitt enjoying its ‘really nice concentration of acidity and fruit, a touch of grip on the finish but lots of juiciness’.

£13.10 Liberty Wines

Babich, Rongopai, Pinot Noir 2017, Marlborough, New Zealand

Bronze medal winner

A ‘gorgeous fruity style, with gentle, soft tannin and lots of drinkability’, began Typing Room’s Alex Pitt, with The Don’s Carlos Ferreira noting ‘strawberry jam and cherry liquorice aromas, with slightly high acidity, but that will work well if paired with cheese’.

£9.08 Molson Coors

Craggy Range, Pinot Noir 2016, Martinborough, New Zealand

Bronze medal winner

With some ‘struck match, bonfires and mulch’ on the nose, this revealed ‘cherry pie and peonies on a very elegant palate’, said team leader Angela Reddin, appreciative of its ‘delicate strength and sustained finish, for a lovely wine’.

£23.31 Bibendum

Constellation Brands, Nobilo, Icon, Pinot Noir 2016, Marlborough, New Zealand

Commended medal winner

£21.37 Matthew Clark

Matahiwi, Mount Holdsworth, Pinot Noir 2016, Wairarapa, New Zealand

Commended medal winner

Allan Scott, Scott Base, Pinot Noir 2015, Central Otago, New Zealand

Commended medal winner

Rockburn, Pinot Noir 2015, Central Otago, New Zealand

Commended medal winner

Saint Clair, Omaka Reserve, Pinot Noir 2015, Marlborough, New Zealand

Commended medal winner

Ata Rangi, Crimson, Pinot Noir 2016, Martinborough, New Zealand

Commended medal winner

£17.40 Liberty Wines

Tinpot Hut, Pinot Noir 2016, Marlborough, New Zealand

Commended medal winner

£12.97 Liberty Wines

Broadland Wineries, Te Pā, Pinot Noir 2016, Marlborough, New Zealand

Commended medal winner

Huia, Pinot Noir 2014, Marlborough, New Zealand

Commended medal winner

£6.50 Bibendum

Spy Valley, Pinot Noir 2016, Marlborough, New Zealand

Commended medal winner

£6.50 Bibendum

Sileni, Cellar Selection, Pinot Noir 2016, Hawke's Bay, New Zealand

Commended medal winner

£7.82 Boutinot

Prophet's Rock, Home Vineyard, Pinot Noir 2014, Central Otago, New Zealand

Commended medal winner

£29.62 Bibendum

Invivo, Pinot Noir 2016, Central Otago, New Zealand

Commended medal winner

£13.32 PLB

Babich, Black Label, Pinot Noir 2016, Marlborough, New Zealand

Commended medal winner

Lake Chalice, The Raptor, Pinot Noir 2016, Marlborough, New Zealand

Commended medal winner

 

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