Only two weeks after a Pinot Noir Tasting trip to Oregon’s Willamette Valley, I find myself in New Zealand’s Central Otago region. As one of the world’s great Pinot Noir growing regions, I had no choice but increase my knowledge of these local varietals.
Luckily, I had an excellent plate of breads, meats and cheeses to help me make my way through a multitude of wines. So here’s the list of New Zealand Pinot Noirs from the Central Otago I tasted last night:
- 2012 Gibbston Valley School House: Full bodied, loved it, 90.
- 2012 Valli Gibbston Pinot Noir: Also full bodied and loved it, 90.
- 2012 Valli Waitaki Pinot Noir: Medium bodied, liked it, 88.
- 2010 Pasquale Pinot Noir: Full bodied, loved it, 90.
- 2009 Tarras Estate Pinot Noir: Zingy, spicy and warm, loved it, 91.
- 2011 Hawkshead First Vines Pinot Noir: Liked it, 88.
- 2011 Carrick Pinot Noir: Light bodied, didn’t like it.
- 2012 Mondillo Pinot Noir: Tasted like cough medicine.
- 2012 Alex Gold Pinot Noir: Big, bold, liked it, 89.
Since I was in Queenstown, I stuck to Pinots that were a little closer to home than the lighter bodied cousins from Marlborough. I barely scratched the surface and so I encourage you to explore all the wonderful wines Central Otago on the south island has to offer the next time you find yourself in this part of the world.