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Te Kairanga Pinot Noir 2004
This Pinot Noir displays a medium purple color. Aromas of fresh cherries, omega plums and a hint of chocolate dominate the nose. An underlying spicy, mushroom complexity is quite evident. Sweet fruit dominates and delivers a big, textured, and concentrated palate with persistence and length. The silky tannin structure and subtle oak treatment complement the rich fruit, giving a beautifully integrated and balanced wine. This wine is ready to drink now. Pair this with red meats, game and mature cheeses.
"Tart, tangy and distinctive for its raw-edge style, offering blueberry, dusky spice and metal flavors that linger on the crisp finish. Drink now through 2007."- 88 pts- Wine Spectator, November 2003
Every year, sunshine and the seasons vary in the vineyard. Each year, nature works a different magic in the grapes. As a small winery Te Kairanga is free to express these differences in the subtle variations of the wines from vintage to vintage.
Pronounced “tee kigh-runger”, Te Kairanga is a traditional Maori place name (Maori are Polynesian people), meaning “where the soil is good and the food is plentiful”. However you pronounce it, it means - great wine!
Part of the Wairarapa region in the southern end of the country’s North Island, Martinborough is a bucolic region full of artisan, lifestyle wine producers. Above all else, their goals are to tend vineyards for low yields and create wines of supreme quality. Pinot noir is the main grape variety here, occupying over half of the land under vine.
Comparing topography, climate and soils, the region is nearly identical to Marlborough except that it produces top quality reds on the regular.
One of the most difficult yet rewarding grapes to grow, Pinot Noir is commonly referred to by winemakers as the “heartbreak grape.” However, the greatest red wines of Burgundy prove that it is unquestionably worth the effort. More reflective than most varieties of the land on which it is grown, Pinot Noir prefers a cool climate, requires low yields to achieve high quality, and demands care in the vineyard and lots of attention in the winery. It is an important component of Champagne and the only variety permitted in red Burgundy. Pinot Noir enjoys immense popularity internationally, most notably in Oregon, California, and New Zealand.
In the Glass
Pinot Noir Is all about red fruit—strawberry, raspberry, and cherry. It is relatively pale in color with soft tannins and lively acidity. It ranges in body from very light to the heavier side of medium, typically landing somewhere in the middle—giving it extensive possibilities for food pairing. With age (of which the best examples can handle an astounding amount), it can develop hauntingly beautiful characteristics of fresh earth, autumn leaves, and truffles.
Pinot’s healthy acidity cuts through the oiliness of pink-fleshed fish like salmon, ocean trout, and tuna. Its mild mannered tannins don’t fight with spicy food, and give it enough structure to pair with all sorts of poultry—chicken, quail, and especially duck. As the namesake wine of Boeuf Bourguignon, it can even match with heavier fare. Pinot Noir is also very vegetarian-friendly—most notably with any dish that features mushrooms.
Pinot Noir is dangerously drinkable, highly addictive, and has a bad habit of emptying the wallet. Look for affordable but still delicious examples from Germany (as Spätburgunder), Italy (as Pinot Nero), Chile, New Zealand, and France’s Loire Valley and Alsace regions.