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Home Winners > Winners 2020 > Pinot Noir - New Zealand

Winner Details

Pinot Noir - New Zealand

It used to be that New Zealand Pinot was the kind of gateway drug to Burgundy, but on this evidence it’s beyond that – at least price-wise. Otago and Martinborough have always been pricey, but as recently as three years ago we were getting plenty of decent Marlborough Pinots at £10 or less.

Well, no more. There was precious little here of any description under £12, with most of the medal-winners £20 or above. On this evidence, Kiwi Pinot is a long way from entry-level.

On the plus side, the top wines showed very strongly. This hasn’t always been the case in SWA – often the winemakers are accused of having ambitions greater than the vineyards can provide. But this year the feedback was unanimous: there’s really good wine here, and it’s worth paying for – handy when Burgundy prices are so high.

Well done to Prophet’s Rock, by the way, whose 2016 Home Vineyard Pinot followed the 2014 to make our Gold List for the second successive year.

From The Tasting Teams

'This was not the most exciting flight of Pinot, but the wines had a nice varietal character – quite rich and easy-drinking.’ Andres Ituarte, team leader

‘I was a bit disappointed. I thought we would find more typicity, more concentration, more elegance. These were rather simple. I’m being a bit harsh here, but it’s because this region has so much potential.’ Diana Rollan, D&D London

‘Otago was an all-round great flight. The wines showed the typicity of the area. Some need time in bottle to let the balsamic notes develop, but overall they were well-balanced and very appealing.’ José Hernandez, Hakkasan

‘I’m quite interested in New World wines, and I liked most of these. Many would be very good wines to pair with light meat like lamb.’ Michele Ciciriello, China Tang at The Dorchester

‘There were a couple of exceptionally good wines from Otago. The country is really showing maturity in winemaking, they’ve got to grips with fruit style, and the vines’ age is showing. It’s living up to its burgeoning reputation.’ Angela Reddin, team leader

‘The Marlborough Pinots are just what you want for a wine by the glass – not complicated, with a great rush of fruit, which is exactly why consumers like them.’ Sarah Jane Evans MW, team leader

‘Otago was slightly pricey – a lot of the wines were priced around £30, so not so cheap – but the quality was there, and I think they would still be easy to sell.’ Janusz Pawel Sasiadek, Mercato Metropolitano

‘The Martinborough wines stood out the most. We were kinder to a more sophisticated, cooler style of winemaking.’ Hamish Lawrie Greening, Twenty Seven by Jamie Rogers

Award winners

Found 24 wines

New World: Pinot Noir, New Zealand

Foley Family Vineyards, Te Kairanga, Runholder, Pinot Noir 2017, Martinborough, New Zealand

Gold medal winner

'A worthy alternative to Burgundy Pinot, this is elegant, complex, floral and earthy, with a lovely savoury finish. A fresh and vibrant wine with ripe, round tannins, all in harmony.' Diana Rollan, D&D London. 'Such a bewitching nose, with dark autumn fruit, cherries and plums and hints of crushed mint, with a well-directed, tannic body, and a long and complex finish. Earns its price point.' Hamish Greening, Twenty Seven by Jamie Rogers.

£18.01 Matthew Clark

Prophet's Rock, Home Vineyard, Pinot Noir 2016, Central Otago, New Zealand

Gold medal winner

'A complex, multilayered wine with really good length and complexity.' Laura Rhys MS, team leader. 'An intense wine with mature red fruits and sweet spices, as well as some tobacco notes, all well balanced by some pleasant acidity.' Janusz Sasiadek, Mercato Metropolitano. 'Black raspberry, orange peel and Asian spice, with well-integrated tannins, and a lasting, fine finish. Excellent stuff.' Angela Reddin, team leader.

£30.55 Bibendum

Craggy Range, Te Muna, Pinot Noir 2016, Martinborough, New Zealand

Gold medal winner

'This has surprising breadth that its tight focus doesn't immediately reveal. A balanced and complete wine possessing lovely charm, with potpourri aromas gracefully entwined with subtle minerality, leading to a precise yet playful palate with sandalwood and fine spice.' Emanuel Pesqueira, Edwardian Hotels London. 'Great structure with an impressive finish. This will evolve beautifully.' Sam Weatherill, Etch. by Steven Edwards.

£24.95 Bibendum

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

Gold medal winner

'A delicate yet intense wine with great structure, showing some development, and notes of earthiness, forest floor and dried dark plums.' Lucie Hammerschmiedova, Portland Restaurant. 'The texture here is brilliant, with soft tannins alongside cherry and cranberry notes, as well as an oaky element.' Aurore Anguenot, Aviary. 'A really polished style, with soft, elegant fruit, sweet spice and silky tannins.' Laura Rhys MS, team leader.

£77.96 Bibendum

Ceres, Composition, Pinot Noir 2018, Bannockburn, Central Otago, New Zealand

Silver medal winner

'A generous nose of ripe strawberries and cherries, with a warm and comforting amount of soft oak and refreshing acidity.' Michael Fiducia, Royal Automobile Club. 'A richer, spicy style, making this an excellent option for food matching.' Laura Rhys MS, team leader. 'A complex wine on the nose and palate, with some beautiful tertiary notes.' José Hernandez, Hakkasan.

£20.92 Matthew Clark

Seresin, Rachel, Pinot Noir 2014, Marlborough, New Zealand

Silver medal winner

'A finely poised bouquet of red cherry, spice, raspberry and a gentle smokiness, with a palate that's vibrantly intense with a full, rich and silky mid-palate, and a very persistent finish.' Emanuel Pesqueira, Edwardian Hotels London. 'Concentrated, pronounced cherry, blackberry and cranberry fruit - this is elegant, with ageing potential.' Harry Ballmann, Folie.

£20.99 Enotria&Coe

Urlar, Pinot Noir, Organic 2018, Wairarapa, New Zealand

Silver medal winner

'This is showing some good varietal character, with lots of crushed cranberry and redcurrant notes, as well as an undergrowth, herbaceous character that comes out on the finish. Good value too.' Andres Ituarte, team leader. 'Earthy notes, with liquorice-spiced plums and some dried fruits.' Maria Cristina Francescon, Enoteca Sorso di Vino.

£15.76 Enotria&Coe

Akarua , Akarua, Pinot Noir 2018, Central Otago, New Zealand

Silver medal winner

'Vibrant Otago fruit coupled with light spice and some herbal nuances, with some delightful subtle oak hints as well as wild thyme and Asian spice. Reserved, subtle and very fine.' Angela Reddin, team leader. 'Bright, juicy and elegant - a real crowd-pleaser.' Laura Rhys MS, team leader.

£21.80 Liberty Wines

Foley Family Vineyards, Te Kairanga, Pinot Noir 2016, Martinborough, New Zealand

Silver medal winner

'A rich, dense and fruity palate here, with firm tannins displaying some complex fruit, accompanied by some spice and mineral flavours. The alcohol is there but sits well with the whole, with some smoky vanilla and spicy oak. A very complete wine, with a smashing finish.' Angela Reddin, team leader.

£14.68 Matthew Clark

Carrick, Unravelled, Pinot Noir 2018, Central Otago, New Zealand

Bronze medal winner

'Black cherries and nutmeg on the both the nose and palate, with a beautifully leathery finish.' Sam Winterbottom, The Albert Square Chop House. 'Opening with a lifted nose of fresh red cherries and plums, the palate here is dry, offering a rather concentrated version of the nose.' Michael Fiducia, Royal Automobile Club.

£15.09 Enotria&Coe

Yealands Estate, Winemaker's Reserve, Pinot Noir 2017, Awatere Valley, Marlborough, New Zealand

Bronze medal winner

'This has some ripe blackberry character leading to an intense, smoky finish.' Valentin Radosav, Gymkhana Restaurant London. 'Plump and juicy, this is lifted by some mocha notes, as well as some tannins.' Sarah Jane Evans MW, team leader. 'Bright, young fruits with enticing toasted notes. Good value for money too.' Jurijs Nemkovs, StreetXO.

£16.17 Enotria&Coe

Tupari, Pinot Noir 2014, Awatere Valley, Marlborough, New Zealand

Bronze medal winner

'This is texturally silky and elegant on the palate, with fine acidity. It's showing some intensity of flavours that are typical of the variety, with balance, concentration and purity, along with the vibrant fruit characters that Marlborough wines are known for.' Emanuel Pesqueira, Edwardian Hotels London.

£13.93 Ester Wines

Peregrine Wines, Pinot Noir 2015, Central Otago, New Zealand

Bronze medal winner

'A subtle yet complex nose of wild strawberry along with some herbal and sweet spiced notes, leading to a softly structured palate with crunchy fruit grip and reasonable length.' Michael Fiducia, Royal Automobile Club. 'Well-balanced, with red strawberry fruit, herbs and sweet species. Very drinkable.' Janusz Sasiadek, Mercato Metropolitano.

£23.33 Enotria&Coe

Yealands, The Crossings, Pinot Noir 2018, Awatere Valley, Marlborough, New Zealand

Bronze medal winner

'With its fresh and acidic backbone, integrated tannins, exuberant red fruit flavours and a refreshing red fruit finish, this is a great entry to Marlborough's red wines at a reasonable price point.' Charlie Carter, L' Atelier Du Vin. 'Round minerality, gentle black pepper and a herbaceous, leafy note - this has the potential to be served chilled.' Harry Ballmann, Folie.

£8.24 Mentzendorff & Co

Saint Clair Family Estate, Pioneer Block 14, Doctor's Creek, Pinot Noir 2018, Marlborough, New Zealand

Bronze medal winner

'A lovely fruity core with vibrant acidity and soft tannins, and dark cherry and earthy notes, leading to a pleasant, lingering finish.' Charlie Carter, L' Atelier Du Vin. 'A very complete wine that's super-elegant and refined, with great fruit precision and intensity, and a fine mineral finish.' Olivier Gasselin, OenoTrade.

£18.02 Hallgarten & Novum Wines

Giesen, Vineyard Selection, Pinot Noir 2018, Marlborough, New Zealand

Commended medal winner

£11.08 Bibendum

Sileni Estates, Cellar Selection, Pinot Noir 2019, Hawke's Bay, New Zealand

Commended medal winner

£8.45 Boutinot

Te Kano, Pinot Noir 2017, Central Otago, New Zealand

Commended medal winner

Foley Family Vineyards, Vavasour, Pinot Noir 2016, Awatere Valley, Marlborough, New Zealand

Commended medal winner

£12.92 Matthew Clark

Hunter's, Pinot Noir 2017, Marlborough, New Zealand

Commended medal winner

£11.75 Jeroboams

Yealands Estate, Single Vineyard, Pinot Noir 2018, Awatere Valley, Marlborough, New Zealand

Commended medal winner

£12.79 Enotria&Coe

Kim Crawford, Pinot Noir 2018, Marlborough, New Zealand

Commended medal winner

£13.70 Liberty Wines

Akarua , Rua, Pinot Noir 2019, Central Otago, New Zealand

Commended medal winner

£14.02 Liberty Wines

Lake Chalice, The Nest, Pinot Noir 2018, Marlborough, New Zealand

Commended medal winner

 

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