Astrolabe Comely Bank Vineyard, Waihopai Valley Pinot Noir 2020 $44

Plush, lithe and lengthy. These are hallmarks of the pinot noir which comes off Jeff and Vanessa Hammond’s Comelybank site near the confluence of the Waihopai and Wairau Rivers, where the Southern Valleys meet. Its handpicked fruit is wild-fermented, hand-plunged, and oak-matured to create an intensely lush wine with earthy spices, slick and velvety tannins, and cherry cola and cocoa notes to finish. The Waihopai is the largest of the Southern Valleys and can be considered a separate sub-region and produces beautifully balanced, tamarillo-tastic pinot that’ll satisfy the fussiest of souls.