If the momentum of Wine was compared to vehicles, New Zealand Pinot Noir seems to be picking up steam like a freight train. By and large the Pinot Noir's from New Zealand are well made and crafted in a style true to the essence of this legendary grape. While these offerings are coming from numerous regions, Marlborough is perhaps the most well known at this point. The 2007 Stoneleigh Marlborough Pinot Noir is 100% Pinot Noir. Fruit was sourced from 4-9 year old vines. This wine spent six months in French oak. Alcohol is a modest 13%. This offering has a suggested retail price of $16.
This Pinot Noir has a beautiful dark hue, and it's a treat to even look at in your glass. The nose is filled with both red and black cherry notes, underpinned by vanilla. Throughout the palate, cherry characteristics continue, accompanied by rhubarb. Sour cherry emerges on the finish along with leather, tobacco, white pepper and a hint of cola. This wine is framed by tremendous acidity and firm but approachable tannins. This Pinot is delicious and quite drinkable on it's own, but it has the structure to pair with a wide array of foods. Grilled Lamb skewers with portobello mushrooms strikes me as a particularly good match.
What I like best about this New Zealand Pinot Noir is that it's well made, well balanced, and crafted in the correct style for this varietal. For $16 this wine is a steal. It over delivers for it's cost, and is a great introduction to the tremendous Pinot Noirs that are emerging from new Zealand.