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Cloudy Bay Te Wahi Pinot Noir 2011

Pinot Noir from Central Otago, New Zealand
  • WS91
  • W&S90
14.5% ABV
  • WW94
  • JS93
  • WS92
  • WE90
  • W&S90
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14.5% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Te Wahi 2011 speaks eloquently of its vintage. The perfumed nose reveals subtle aromas of cherry, red licorice and florals. The palate is plush yet defined and balanced. Dark fruit up front finishes to sour cherry with notes of leather, smoke and bittersweet chocolate. Dusty tannins linger on an elegant but generous finish.

Lean wild game such as venison or wild boar is an ideal companion to the 2011 Te Wahi.

Critical Acclaim

All Vintages
WS 91
Wine Spectator
Plush and elegant, with raspberry coulis, wild strawberry and bright cherry flavors that are elevated with layers of spice, smoky tea, pepper, Asian spice and fresh earth notes. Drink now through 2026.
W&S 90
Wine & Spirits
Cloudy Bay sources fruit from Bannockburn, Bendigo and Lowburn to make this pinot noir, a wine with a light, high-toned cherry aroma, its broad, almost leesy tannins corralled by tense acidity. Those structural elements meld into a clean, mineral finish with air, suggesting it will evolve well with a few years in the cellar.
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Cloudy Bay

Cloudy Bay

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Cloudy Bay, Central Otago, New Zealand
Video of winery
Cloudy Bay’s story is one of vision, passion and perseverance.

In 1984 founder David Hohnen and his partner Kevin Judd were convinced of New Zealand wines’ great potential. They set up their winery in the then little-known Marlborough region; Cloudy Bay was born. Cloudy Bay’s Sauvignon Blanc was an immediate hit with wine lovers due to its unique striking aromatics and mineral wine profile.

It captured the essence of Marlborough and put Cloudy Bay on the international wine stage. Thirty years later, Cloudy Bay remains New Zealand’s most recognized winery. In line with David Hohnen’s visionary spirit, Cloudy Bay planted its first Pinot Noir in 1985 when the potential of the region for Pinot Noir was just starting to be realized. Good things take time, especially with Pinot Noir which is a very challenging varietal, and it wasn't until 1994 that Cloudy Bay released its first Pinot Noir wine.

Today Cloudy Bay Pinot Noir reflects many years of hard earned experience and the provenance of Cloudy Bay's unique collection of premium Pinot Noir vineyards.

Cloudy Bay winemaking philosophy is based on transmitting the interpretation of New Zealand wines and terroirs. The team is committed to producing 'wines of the region' and strives to enhance the pure, bracing flavors naturally afforded by the climate and soils of Marlborough and Central Otago.

Central Otago

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Home to the globe’s most southerly vineyards, which are cultivated below the 45th parallel, Central Otago is a true one-of-a-kind wine growing region, but not only because of its extreme location.

Central Otago is more dependent on one single variety than any other region in New Zealand—and it isn’t Sauvignon blanc. They don’t even make Sauvignon blanc there.

Pinot Noir claims nearly 75% of the region’s vineyards with Pinot Gris coming in a far second place and Riesling behind it. This is also New Zealand’s only wine region with a continental climate, giving it more diurnal and seasonal temperature shifts than any other.

The subregion of Bannockburn has enjoyed the most success historically but the area’s exceptional growth has moved to the promising regions of Cromwell/Bendigo and Alexandra districts. Central Otago is known for its fruity and full-bodied Pinot noir. With the freedom to experiment here, growers and winemakers are easily exhibiting the area’s great potential.

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. 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 Villages or Cru level wines.

SWS358625_2011 Item# 142522