New Zealand is filling a personal void by delivering affordable, expressive Pinot Noir that is refreshing during the hot summer months. If I could afford to drink French and American Pinot Noir religiously, I would drink more, but it wouldn’t stop me from exploring.
Few grapes inspire such intense reverence and curiosity for me. Pinot Noir is capable of producing such a profound, almost spiritual, representation of the ground on which it’s grown. The diversity of flavor and character this grape is able to demonstrate, even within a single growing region, is astounding, and it’s quite feasible to have a strong preference or aversion toward an entire Pinot-producing region over another. Its scope can be that broad.
From my tasting notebook:
Sourced from various sites across the Marlborough region, and aged in a mix of French and American oak and stainless steel. Dusty rose colors. Ample nose of violet and rose, cherry, cola and white chocolate. A touch of earth and brine with a foggy dankness. Confident and youthful with exceptionally vibrant, developed fruit—certainly not overly sweet. Fixed with decent back-end tannins and a bit of lingering chalkiness. The finish is a touch disorganized—it most likely will improve with age. Not a deterrent, especially for the price. [$12.99 at Purdy’s.]
Affordable Pinot is the name of the game this summer. There are lots more to come, but I’ll need some ideas. Send your thoughts my way.