La Pazza Vita Aude Valley Pinot Noir 2015 $21.00

Who says French wines have to be complicated? Here’s a classically earthy example created to tick all those boxes that we know and love in pinot noir. Cherry, masses of it. Raspberry, definitely. Soft, powdery tannins – absolutely. Fresh, youthful acidity – in spades. It’s floral and feisty and just oozes personality for a lightly-styled […]

Good Templar The Shield Marlborough Pinot Noir 2015 $21.99

I like a pinot noir that’s brazenly showy and spicy and that’s why this new vintage of a WineFriend favourite has me grinning. Hints of cassia bark and tea leaf combine with cherry, cranberry and fruit-wood smoke to create a complex, savoury, earth-edged pinot noir that shows classic dried herb and soy notes on the […]

Elephant In the Room Palatial Pinot Noir 2017 $17.99 (3.5 stars)

Crafted from fruit sourced from South Australia, this is a slippery, spicy and seriously succulent little pinot noir with buckets of berry notes that literally leap up the nasal passages and leaves masses of cherry and truffle flavours plunging across the palate. Sweetly-styled and slippery. Widely available.

Stanley Estates Block 8 Marlborough Pinot Noir 2014 ($28) (4.5 stars)

Such a deliciously earthy undercurrent sweeps across the nose and palate of this wine. Gold medal winner at last years Japan Wine Challenge, the Block 8 is a taut, tamarillo-laden lovely that’s edged with spice, wild fruits, bold acidity and chewy tannins – this Awatere Valley-grown pinot noir is definitely one to watch. Actually don’t […]

Corofin Settlement Vineyard Marlborough Pinot Noir 2015 $49.90 (5 star)

With its ever-so-pale pink label of this Omaka Valley-grown pinot, you’d imagine it might be a lightweight, yet it’s as deeply complex and beguiling as a forbidden love. Un-fined and un-filtered, it boasts soft cherry and hedgerow fruits and smells like you’ve walked into a Chinese apothecary. Exotic, earthy and incredibly succulent to sip. Sip […]

Ata Rangi Crimson Martinborough Pinot Noir 2016 $36 (4 stars)

The team at Ata Rangi are head-over-kite nuts about pohutukawa trees and re-establishing native rata in the lower North Island where it once flourished, henceforth, sales of every bottle of this succulent, juicy pinot go towards the Project Crimson charitable conservation trust. Tamarillo, spicy cherry and black quava burst forth on the nose and palate, […]

Madam Sass Central Otago Pinot Noir 2016 $26

Lately this corset-strapped strumpet of a wine has been throwing herself at everyone who looks in her direction or has their ears open, because she’s been bouncing her bustle all over big city radio too. If you’re a fan of big, buxom, cuddly, fruit-soaked pinot noir with a spicy kick then this will sort you […]

Lime Rock White Knuckle Hill Central Hawke’s Bay Pinot Noir 2013 $60 (5 stars)

The White Knuckle is a vertigo-inducingly steep vineyard where large life insurance policies are necessary for the mug that loses the toss to tackle it with the tractor. It’s worth the pain and fear because the ripe cherry and spice-saturated flavours are sensational.  Only made in years when the fruit is exceptional, it smells like […]

Bannock Brae Central Otago Pinot Noir 2015 $52

Heaving with black tea, soused cherries, tamarillo and truffle, this is a flavour-laden, silky-textured and seductive southern star.  Beautifully juicy and edged with allspice, it’s a generously proportioned yet totally sophisticated performer; Adele in a bottle if you will. Sip with: pork and plum casserole.

Hãhã Reserve Marlborough Pinot Noir 2016 $27.99 (3.5 stars)

If you’re all about juiciness in your wine, then this is the sip for you. Soft tamarillo, cherry and rhubarb flavours combine to create a spicy, fruit-fest in your mouth. Savoury elements add a hint of earthy complexity to the wine, and fine-grained tannins give a hint of chew to the finish.  

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