Pinot Noir 2011,
Strawberries and cream, chocolate sprinkles, boysenberries and rhubarb flavours combine with soft, easy tannins, plump texture and a warming finish. A good, everyday quaffer that's available in supermarkets or order online at www.rockburn.co.nz
Pinot Noir 2009
Aromas of ultra-ripe cherry, black guava and tea lead to a palate bursting with intensely spicy black fruit, hints of cocoa and smoky undertones. It's a great drink now, but I think another year in the cellar will work wonders. www.amisfield.co.nz
Pinot Noir 2008
Less than 200 cases were made of this smooth and sexy wine by Steve Davies who began his Central Otago apprenticeship by making wine for Akarua in the late 1990s before finding his own hillside property in Bannockburn. Organically farmed and hand-crafted, this older vintage is developing beautifully and showing wild strawberry, cherry and spice flavours, still-youthful acidity and ripe, textural tannins. It's lovely stuff.
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Rippon Mature Vines
Pinot Noir 2009
"This is my sort of vintage," says winemaker Nick Mills. "2009's honed-down transparency and seamlessness gets me excited about pinot and its almost mystic ability to show off our land." I'd agree with him on the seamless side of things because it's silky and slippery from sip to finish. With enticing aromas of leaf-litter, freshly dug soil and hedgerow fruit, and a palate that's both exotic and demure pricked with blueberry and picked plum, it's just delicious. Sourced from vines planted between 1986 and 1994, it's a lightly-coloured wine whose aromatics and flavours take time to unfurl in the glass, yet it has incredible mid-palate presence and length. www.rippon.co.nz