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Wairau River Pinot Noir 2011

Pinot Noir from Marlborough, New Zealand
  • RP89
0% ABV
  • RP89
  • W&S90
  • WS90
  • WW90
  • WS88
  • WS90
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0% ABV

Winemaker Notes

This wine displays lifted aromas of ripe cherries and spice. The palate is soft and generous with delicate primary fruit characters of wild berries shadowed by subtle toasty oak. Fine ripe tannins provide weight and add structure resulting in a long and seamless finish. Savor over slow food and sparkling conversation.

Critical Acclaim

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RP 89
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Pale to medium ruby purple in color, the 2011 Pinot Noir gives intense notes of warm red cherries, crushed raspberries and cranberries with hints of smoked meat, cardamom and anise. Medium bodied with a very good concentration of pure red berry flavors, it has a low to medium level of grainy tannins, lively acid and a long finish.
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Wairau River

Wairau River

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Wairau River, Marlborough, New Zealand
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Established in 1978, the Rose family estate vineyards are situated on the banks of the Wairau River. Low crops and ripe fruit produce wine that has become renowned for exhibiting intense fruit characteristics and classical elegance. “The philosophy that we pursue has always been one of elegance and fruit power with the foundation of the style being drinkability. We put a lot of store in the selection of flavors in the vineyard, subsequent small batch vintning and the final touches of the marriage are created at the blending table."

Marlborough

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Home to perhaps the world’s most easily recognizable Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough has a unique terroir that lends a unifying thread to all of its wines. But despite common misconceptions, the wines from this region at the northern tip of New Zealand’s South Island are anything but homogenous. With well-draining stony soils and a dry, sunny climate, the vineyards of Marlborough benefit from wide temperature fluctuations between day and night, which helps to preserve natural acidity in their fruit.

The region’s specialty, 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 and vineyards sites as well as fermentation, lees-stirring, and aging regimens to differentiate their bottlings from one another. Also produced successfully here are fruit-forward Pinot Noirs, elegant Riesling, Pinot Gris, and Gewürztraminer, and a wide range of Chardonnay styles, as well as more experimental varieties like Grüner Veltliner and Syrah.

Pinot Noir

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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.

Perfect Pairings

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.

Sommelier Secret

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.

ULL65243_11_2011 Item# 122457