New Zealand and Pinot Noir are starting to become synonymous to wine lovers. That’s a good thing because there are a lot of lovely examples coming out of this country. For a long time their Pinot’s were second to their Sauvignon Blancs on our store shelves and in our minds. And while Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand is still certainly a major player, the varietal itself (delicious as it can be) doesn’t inspire quite the same sort of passion that Pinot Noir does. Today I’ll look at an example from Stoneleigh. The Stoneleigh 2008 Marlborough Pinot Noir was produced using fruit sourced in the Rapaura area which is in the north. This offering is 100% Pinot Noir. Fermentation was achieved in a combination of open-top and closed-top fermenters Barrel aging was accomplished over a six month period in French oak. The suggested retail price for this wine is $16.
Baker’s spice notes and fresh black cherry waft convincingly from the nose of this Pinot Noir. Throughout the palate red and black cherry notes dominate, these are joined by rhubarb, raspberry and wild strawberry to form a gentle but full flavored presentation of flavor. Black tea notes lead the finish along with light cocoa, earth, cherry cola, earth and hints of nutmeg and white pepper. This wine is very well balanced and has excellent acidity.
For $16 (less if you shop around), this New Zealand Pinot Noir provides a lot of value and loads of flavor. It’s made in a style that is very true to this great varietal. It’ll pair well with food but is equally enjoyable on its own. Highly recommended.