Yealands Pinot Noir 2009
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
Yealands is inspired by the coast that surrounds the vines, so close to the ocean that the vines are often misted with sea spray. The beauty of this environment influences how Yealands crafts wine, respectful of nature and the land. Yealands’ Seaview Vineyard in the Awatere Valley is one of New Zealand’s most coastal vineyards. Every breath-taking view defines the wines, from the rolling hills and mineral-rich soils, to the wild coastal winds. Yealands’ grapes survive by growing small with thickened skins and wonderfully intense, concentrated characteristics, creating beautiful wines that reflect their distinctive terroir. Yealands believes in sustainable winemaking and creating thoughtfully crafted wines that work in harmony with their landscape. Established in 2008 with the vision to create the world’s most environmentally-friendly wines, Yealands is the first winery in the world to be certified as CarboNZero™ since inception. Yealands’ sustainability efforts are unparalleled, including the installation of New Zealand’s largest solar panel on their winery roof, the burning of vine clippings for energy, vineyard pest control via wildflowers, and the employment of Babydoll sheep as “lawnmowers” to keep vine rows tidy.
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.
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.”