New Zealand Pinot Noir produces deliciously smooth wines, with especially silky tannins and juicy red summer fruit. The grape, native to Burgundy and notoriously fickle (it is world class only in cool-climate regions), has found in New Zealand a home away from home.
Winemakers tease a tantalising array of distinctive regional and terroir-driven styles from the land. Common to all, however, are Old World structure and elegance overlaying New World power and fruit-driven intensity.
Typical regional styles
Climate is the major factor in the distinction of regional styles.
Darker fruit aromas, often with a savoury component. Rich, full, sweet fruit on the entry with flavours in the dark plum and chocolate spectrum. The structure of the wines are based especially around the long and fine tannins.
Why not try: Ferndale, Pinot Noir.
Fragrant, complex, earthy and savoury textured wines with rich, spicy, cherry and plum flavours. In addition, these wines have excellent concentration, balance and they are supple with fine lingering tannins.
Why not try: Seresin, Leah Pinot Noir.
Fragrant, lush fruit underpinned by taut structure, silky texture and true intensity.
Why not try: Mount Edward, Wanaka Road Central Otago Pinot Noir.
1) Pinot noir is especially present in the cooler southerly regions. The huge diversity in climates and soils enables a wide range of styles from the five main Pinot producing regions;
2) Since the 1990s, plantings have expanded throughout all regions in the South Island and also in a few selected sites in the North Island;
3) Pinot Noir is now second only to Sauvignon Blanc in production volume, with major plantings especially in five key regions;
4) There has been 129% growth in export sales of New Zealand Pinot Noir in the last five years, with 9.5 million litres exported in the 12 months to June year-end 2011.
New Zealand Pinot Noir: Food Matchings
The supple richness of New Zealand Pinot Noir complements especially a range of savoury dishes. Firstly, try it alongside game birds such as quail, turkey, and duck; with a fillet of New Zealand salmon. Finally, it is equally great with pork, veal, lamb or venison.
CREDITS & IMAGES
New Zealand Wine: http://www.nzwine.com/wine-styles/pinot-noir/
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