Cloudy Bay Te Wahi Pinot Noir 2014
The nose of the 2014 Te Wahi Pinot Noir leads with red and black cherries, black plum and rich Christmas cake spices. As the wine unfolds, smoky flint and floral flavors appear. Complex, earthy and structure, this wine is the definition of a new Pinot Noir place. The wine is youthful on the palate with sweet fruit framed by bright acidity. The texture is supple with a velvety, yet firm tannin structure. The finish is long, focused and complex.
Great pairings for Te Wahi include wild game and duck, venison and wagyu beef.
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
Somehow, I missed reviewing this wine last year, instead looking at the 2015. The 2014 Te Wahi Pinot Noir boasts beautiful aromas of roses, black tea, orange rind and pie cherries. On the palate, it's medium-bodied, with earthy, cola-driven flavors and some charred, smoky overtones but without the extra layers of texture found in the 2015 or 2016.
Cloudy Bay Vineyards, established in 1985, is today a partnership between champagne house Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin and co-founder of Cape Mentelle Vineyards in Western Australia, David Hohnen. The Cloudy Bay team is committed to producing 'wines of region' and strives to enhance the pure, bracing flavors naturally afforded by the climate and soils of Marlborough. The winery and vineyards are situated in the Wairau Valley in Marlborough at the northern end of New Zealand's South Island. This unique and cool wine region enjoys a maritime climate with the longest hours of sunshine of any place in New Zealand. Cloudy Bay has estate vineyards located at prime sites within the Wairau Valley and long-term supply agreements with five Wairau Valley growers. The main varieties grown are Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.
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.
Thin-skinned, finicky and temperamental, Pinot Noir is also one of the most rewarding grapes to grow and remains a labor of love for some of the greatest vignerons in Burgundy. Fairly adaptable but highly reflective of the environment in which it is grown, Pinot Noir prefers a cool climate and requires low yields to achieve high quality. Outside of France, outstanding examples come from in Oregon, California and throughout specific locations in wine-producing world. Somm Secret—André Tchelistcheff, California’s most influential post-Prohibition winemaker decidedly stayed away from the grape, claiming “God made Cabernet. The Devil made Pinot Noir.”