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Clifford Bay Marlborough Pinot Noir 2010

  • WS89
  • WE88
750ML / 14% ABV
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750ML / 14% ABV

Winemaker Notes

The bright garnet colour opens the door for vibrant aromatics packed with ripe cherries enhanced by subtle spice. It is an expressive wine with a rich, velvety texture, bright aromatics and true varietal character.

Critical Acclaim

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WS 89
Wine Spectator
Robust, offering plenty of fresh black cherry and plum flavors that are extremely juicy and intense, with cigar box and spice details and firm tannins.
WE 88
Wine Enthusiast
This chunky, beefy Pinot Noir offers plenty of flavor for a realistic price. Hints of smoke, violet and tomato leaf add complexity to the black cherry fruit. The finish is long and lightly dusted with tannins. Editors' Choice.
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Clifford Bay

Clifford Bay

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Clifford Bay, New Zealand
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Named for the sparkling bay where the Awatere River meets the cool waters of the Pacific Ocean, Clifford Bay blends the best of the South Island’s famed Marlborough fruit to produce classic Sauvignon Blancs with signature freshness and distinctive aromatics. The Marlborough region is home to diverse landscapes: from expansive flat valleys in the Wairau Valley sub-region to the windswept mountains of the Awatere Valley. Sauvignon Blanc grapes are sourced from estate and grower vineyards in each of these distinct Marlborough sub-regions to produce Clifford Bay’s refreshing Sauvignon Blancs that emphasize the lively, tropical fruit flavors of the Wairau Valley. Since its founding in 1994 Clifford Bay has specialized in Sauvignon Blancs that are finely balanced, refreshing and pure, and which reflect the best of Marlborough and its active, coastal lifestyle.

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Marlborough

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An icon and leading region of New Zealand's distinctive style of Sauvignon blanc, Marlborough has a unique terroir, making it ideal for high quality grape production (of many varieties). Despite some common generalizations, which could be fairly justified given that Marlborough is responsible for 90% of New Zealand's Sauvignon blanc production, the wines from this region are actually anything but homogenous. At the northern tip of New Zealand’s South Island, the vineyards of Marlborough benefit from well-draining, stony soils, a dry, sunny climate and wide temperature fluctuations between day and night, a phenomenon that supports a perfect balance between berry ripeness and acidity.

The region’s king variety, Sauvignon blanc, is beloved for its pungent, aromatic character with notes of exotic tropical fruit, freshly cut grass and green bell pepper along with a refreshing streak of stony minerality. These wines are made in a wide range of styles, and winemakers take advantage of various clones, vineyard sites, fermentation styles, lees-stirring and aging regimens to differentiate their bottlings, one from one another.

Also produced successfully here are fruit-forward Pinot noirs (especially where soils are clay-rich), elegant Riesling, Pinot gris and Gewürztraminer.

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Pinot Noir

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One of the most finicky yet rewarding grapes to grow, Pinot Noir is a labor of love for many. However, the greatest red wines of Burgundy prove that it is unquestionably worth the effort. In fact, it is the only red variety permitted in Burgundy. Highly reflective of its terroir, Pinot Noir prefers calcareous soils and a cool climate, requires low yields to achieve high quality and demands a lot of attention in the vineyard and winery. It retains even more glory as an important component of Champagne as well as on its own in France’s Loire Valley and Alsace regions. This sensational grape enjoys immense international success, most notably growing in Oregon, California and New Zealand with smaller amounts in Chile, Germany (as Spätburgunder) and Italy (as Pinot Nero).

In the Glass

Pinot Noir is all about red fruit—strawberry, raspberry and cherry with some heftier styles delving into the red or purple plum and in the other direction, red or orange citrus. It is relatively pale in color with soft tannins and a lively acidity. With age (of which the best examples can handle an astounding amount) it can develop hauntingly alluring characteristics of fresh earth, savory spice, dried fruit and truffles.

Perfect Pairings

Pinot’s healthy acidity cuts through the oiliness of pink-fleshed fish like salmon and tuna but its mild mannered tannins give it enough structure to pair with all sorts of poultry: chicken, quail and especially duck. As the namesake wine of Boeuf Bourguignon, Pinot noir has proven it isn’t afraid of beef. California examples work splendidly well with barbecue and Pinot Noir is also vegetarian-friendly—most notably with any dish that features mushrooms.

Sommelier Secret

For administrative purposes, the region of Beaujolais is often included in Burgundy. But it is extremely different in terms of topography, soil and climate, and the important red grape here is ultimately Gamay, not Pinot noir. Truth be told, there is a tiny amount of Gamay sprinkled around the outlying parts of Burgundy (mainly in Maconnais) but it isn’t allowed with any great significance and certainly not in any Village or Cru level wines. So "red Burgundy" still necessarily refers to Pinot noir.

FED620440_2010 Item# 122654

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