They produce some of New Zealand’s finest chardonnay, riesling and sparkling wines but Central Otago is still best known for its pinot noir. Here’s why …

1. 2012 Doctors Flat

From a single 3ha site in Bannockburn, the soil is deep gold-bearing gravels laid down by receding glaciers some 480,000 years ago. The complex mix of nutrients to vine roots produces a lovely complex wine with loads of black cherry, violets, red florals and dry herbs. Suave and sophisticated.

Price:

$46

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2. 2012 Rockburn
With grapes sourced from Gibbston and Parkburn north of Cromwell, Rockburn's white wines are equally as good as this red. Another "hands off" approach to allow the wine to be a true expression of where it is from, and it's full of flavours of boysenberry, black cherry, mocha with supple soft tannins. A wine well balanced and perfectly poised.
Price: $50

3. 2011 Folding Hill Orchard Block
Tim Kerruish is big on thinning his Bendigo crop and just picking the best fruit by hand. This obsession with excellence in the vineyard pays off with what finishes up in the bottle, which is unfiltered and unfined. Closed with a Diam cork this is a wine with a more savoury and smoky texture and will reward cellaring for at least another five years. Elegant and perfect with game or lighter pasta dishes.
Price: $55

All wines featured are available at heraldwine.co.nz.