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Spy Valley Pinot Noir 2010

Pinot Noir from Marlborough, New Zealand
  • WS92
  • WE90
14% ABV
  • RP90
  • WS92
  • WE90
  • JS92
  • WS90
  • WS91
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14% ABV

Winemaker Notes

A garnet color with a bouquet of red fruits, plum and sweet cherry are underpinned with fragrant notes of spice and dried sage. Fruit forward with a long supple structure, licorice and cocoa notes are typical of our vineyard site.

Critical Acclaim

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WS 92
Wine Spectator
Digs deep into the spice box, with nutmeg, clove and allspice flavors that perfectly frame the ripe, supple wild black cherry and raspberry notes. Comes together on a supple frame, with plenty of staying power on the finish. Drink now through 2015. 13,000 cases made.
WE 90
Wine Enthusiast
Round and supple without being excessively weighty, Spy Valley's 2010 Pinot Noir delicately balances smoky, bacony notes against those of dust-coated ripe cherries. It's a winning combination that finishes long and elegantly.
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Spy Valley

Spy Valley

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Spy Valley, Marlborough, New Zealand
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The brand name Spy Valley is derived from the presence of a satellite communications monitoring station within a few kilometers of the winery. Situated on the sunny southern side of Marlborough's Wairau Valley, nestled on the terraces of the Omaka River are the vineyards of Johnson Estate. Established in 1993 by the Johnson family, Johnson Estate was one of the pioneering vineyard companies in the Marlborough sub-region and remains family-owned. Eight varieties of grapes grow over 380 acres of free-draining, stony soils producing exceptional fruit for Spy Valley Wines. In ten years, production has risen to place Spy Valley as one of Marlborough's leading family-owned companies. Youthful and exuberant wines are crafted using modern winemaking techniques by winemaker Paul Bougeois and his team.

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.

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.

ALL8109449_2010 Item# 109807