New Zealand

Ara Pathway Marlborough Pinot Noir 2010

A gorgeously designed bottle, this,
Posted 26th November 2012        

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A gorgeously designed bottle, this, giving a sense of the refined subtlety within. This must be the lightest Pinot Noir I’ve had from the Marlborough region of New Zealand, and yet it’s anything but light on character.

This 12.5% Pinot must be from a cooler climate than most of the others I’ve tried from the region. They tend to be on the weightier side of medium bodied, full of spice and with as many dark fruit flavours and aromas as there are red notes. But Ara’s “Pathway” Pinot is one of the reddest red wines I’ve seen; as red as redcurrants and almost as translucent as a rosé.

The body really is much lighter than that of any New Zealand Pinot I’ve previously tried; but it’s not in a watery way. There’s enough strawberry and cranberry fruit, soft oak influence with a really subtle and welcome touch of savory, subtle spice in the mix to make this a very different affair from the two-bit Gamays of the world.

I’m guessing this wine still goes down as “medium-bodied”, but I’d really encourage anyone who thinks they prefer heavier reds, or indeed those who stick to Fleuries and Beaujolais Nouveaux, to give this a try.

This is being sold for £9 at Morrissons right now, finally disproving my long-held theory (well, untested hypothesis would be a better term) that you couldn’t get a good NZ Pinot Noir from a supermarket.

“Better than Burgundy?” posits Morrissons’ consumer reviewer.

Better than Burgundy?


No contest. You won’t get anything this good from France for the same price. Not last time I checked, anyway.

So, yeah; better than Burgundy.


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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