Wine: Paramount Pinot Noirs

Jo Burzynska selects the standout pinot noirs of 2016


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Pyramid Valley Vineyard “Growers Collection Calrossie Vineyard” Marlborough Pinot Noir 2015 $48
An exquisite new addition to Pyramid Valley’s Growers Collection, this pinot noir hails from a hillside vineyard that stands on its own between the Awatere and Wairau Valleys. With only 10 per cent aged in new oak, its focus is on the purity of its cool silken and fresh raspberry and mulberry fruit, threaded with pretty lifted aromatics of rose, greenery and sweet clove spice. (In conversion to organics with biodynamic inputs applied.)

Burn Cottage Vineyard Central Otago Pinot Noir 2014 $63
This exciting vineyard becomes more expressive and its wines more refined with every vintage. Its pinot noir really shines in Central’s strong 2014 vintage, with fragrant aromas of forest floor and peppery herb and spice leading into a palate of red plum and red berry fruit, savoury and mineral notes suspended within a frame of bright silky acid and fine tannins. (Biodynamic — non certified.)

Pegasus Bay Waipara Valley “Prima Donna” Pinot 2012 $90
Notes of spice and herb combine on the fresh and fragrant entry into a satiny pinot noir that unfurls to reveal concentrated fruits running the spectrum from red to dark, over a rich savoury undercurrent suggestive of charcuterie, mineral and earth. A complex wine in a long line of great pinot noirs from Pegasus Bay that, while drinking wonderfully now, is built to last. (SWNZ.)

Mount Edward Central Pinot Noir 2013 $45
There’s a classic Central Otago opulence to the velvety black cherry fruit of this pinot, sourced from three vineyards across the region. Joined by notes of exotic spice, cocoa, savoury and dried leaf, its ripe fruit is supported by a tight minerally acid and fine tannins that give the wine elegance and poise. (Organic — Non Certified.)

Blackenbrook Nelson “Family Reserve” Nelson Pinot Noir 2014 $38
Blackenbrook’s Reserve pinot from its Nelson Home Block is one of the most beguiling pinot noirs under I have tried this year. Silky, sweet and tangy red cherry fruit is to the fore in an example with good mid-palate weight and an aromatic profile of sweet spice and herb. (SWNZ.)

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