New Zealand

2007 Hinton Estate Central Otago Pinot Noir from Pure Noir

It's about time I tried a New Zealand Pinot Noir that really argued the
Posted 17th May 2011        
     

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It’s about time I tried a New Zealand Pinot Noir that really argued the case for this relatively young wine-producing nation’s ownership of the grape.

Obviously nobody French will ever concede defeat on anything wine-related, and I’ve little doubt there are £100+ bottles of Burgundy in existance that are delicious beyond my wildest dreams, but remaining within the constraints of my wildest dreams for a while, Hinton Estate‘s Central Otago region Pinot Noir is the first of the batch from UK wine club Pure Noir that I tried, and the first truly great New Zealand Pinot Noir I’ve tasted.

Perhaps that’s because I’ve rarely ventured above the £10 mark before and New Zealand’s producers on the whole don’t go for the bulk-bottled widely-sourced cheap and cheerful approach that the much larger land-masses of Australia and the U.S.A. afford their businessfolk; it seems to have been a role almost as much carved out of necessity as out of design, but many of New Zealand’s wineries are shaping up to be specialist, small-scale, no-nonsense and quality-driven.

At £23.60 this is the priciest bottle I’ve enjoyed outside of a restaurant this year, but enjoy it I most certainly did; all of the elements that enamoured me of the grape in the first place are present, but there’s a magisterial marriage of the soft and subtle summer fruit loveliness I’ve sampled in the few good Burgundies I’ve had and the punchier, spice-rich, rounded finish I have come to know and love in the high-end ranges of mainstream Chilean producers.

I don’t currently observe a scoring system for the wines I review, but if I did I’d have trouble finding fault with this one.

That the Hinton Estate Vineyard has only been growing Pinot Noir grapes for just over a decade is inspirational, although they do have five generations of growing experience behind them, so they’re hardly amateurs.

The contents of this particular bottle were harvested in Late April (they are on the other side of the world, you know) 2007, and while it’s definitely ready for drinking now I imagine it could probably be kept in a cellar or on a shelf or down a hole for a few years, but why you wouldn’t want to open it immediately is frankly beyond me.

You can order cases of 12 (mixed or otherwise) with a unique 20% RedWine.co.uk discount see here for details – or sign up to the Pure Noir wine club for seasonal deliveries of similarly top-notch NZ Pinot Noirs and you get the same discount on single orders.

     

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Meet the Author:
Alexander Velky
Alexander grew up on Anglesey, almost as far away from civilization as he’d have liked. He studied English at university and subsequently moved to Prague to teach it to Czech people for just long enough that he could say he’d done that. He then returned to the UK to do an MA in Professional Writing, and later moved to London by accident and worked in the music industry for a while. His interest in wine has been developing throughout. He took the WSET Intermediate exam, for which he was rewarded with a certificate and a pin badge, but he probably won't bother doing any more. He now lives in Pembrokeshire with his wife and daughter. He writes, and drinks, for a living. You can follow him on Twitter if that's how you choose to spend your time. Photograph by Léonie Keeble