New Zealand Pinot Noir: some top examples from Marlborough

new zealand pinot noir

New Zealand Pinot Noir: some top examples from Marlborough

fromm pinot noir

I’ve tasted a lot of New Zealand Pinot Noir over recent weeks. Here are some of my favourite picks from Marlborough. This is New Zealand’s largest wine region, and it has more Pinot Noir (2400 hectares) than any other region (Central Otago is second with 1500 hectares). The best sites are in the Southern Valleys (with more consistent soils, with some clay, which suits Pinot better than the braided alluvial soils), and in some bits of the Awatere. This is a selection of some of the best examples from the region that I tried at Pinot 2017. [Please note, I’ve not listed all the wines that scored 93 here.]

Fromm Fromm Vineyard Pinot Noir 2015 Marlborough, New Zealand
Fresh, detailed and pure with nice structure under the sappy-edged cherry fruit. There’s some bright raspberry fruit, too. Nice structure here with lovely harmony and fine peppery characters. A really lovely wine with just a hint of reduction. 95/100

Catalina Sounds Sound of White Single Vineyard Pinot Noir 2015 Nelson, New Zealand
This is from the Waihopai Valley. Rich, dense and sweet with good structure. Powerful with some real intensity. A rich style that needs some time, but so much finesse. 94/100


Yealands Winemaker’s Reserve Pinot Noir 2015 Marlborough, New Zealand
This has 15% whole bunch, and it is made in a 3 ton French cuve, from an older vineyard higher up in the Awatere. Fresh, sweet textured cherry and berry fruit with some grip. Has real density and focus. 94/100

TWR Pinot Noir

Te Whare Ra Single Vineyard Pinot Noir 2013 Marlborough, New Zealand
Sappy, detailed nose. Lively palate with some grip and nice savoury detail to the focused berry fruit. Taut with a hint of spice and some warmth. Lovely wine. 94/100


Clos Marguerite Pinot Noir 2015 Marlborough, New Zealand
Very lively, fresh and detailed with high acidity. Vivid and intense with lovely cherry and plum fruit, as well as hints of olives and meat. Quite burly and really delicious. 94/100

Two Rivers Pinot Noir 2015 Marlborough, New Zealand
Very fresh, structured and lively with bright peppery, spicy black fruits and nice grip. Focused and appealing. 94/ 

Corofino Settlement Vineyard East Slope Pinot Noir 2015 Marlborough, New Zealand
This is mixed clone from a vineyard in Omaka. It’s 20% whole cluster with the remainder whole berries. Dense with some spicy, peppery notes and sweet cherries and plums. Lively with some richness and spicy detail. Very fine. 94/100

dog point pinot noir

Dog Point Pinot Noir 2015 Marlborough, New Zealand
Sweetly aromatic and supple with nice density. There’s a silky, lush personality to this wine as well as some brightness and richness. A dense example of Dog Point Pinot, a result of small bunches and small berries in this vintage. 94/100

ask valley pinot noir

Esk Valley Pinot Noir 2015 Marlborough, New Zealand
90% of this wine comes from the Ballochdale vineyard, at the end of the Awatere. Pure and supple with lovely cherry and raspberry fruit. Nice purity: linear with a hint of sappiness and nice finesse. So elegant, and great value. 94/100

Clos Henri Pinot Noir 2014 Marlborough, New Zealand
From heavy clay soil. Smooth and textural with a sweet fruit character. Warm, ripe black cherry and plum fruit. Grainy and detailed with nice precision and lovely depth. 93/100

Churlton The Abyss Pinot Noir 2013 Marlborough, New Zealand
There’s real structure and density to the Churton Pinots: they aren’t always the most elegant, but there’s a lot of interest to them. Sweet, spicy and detailed with ripe black fruits and plum notes. Grippy tannins with nice weight. Fresh and firm, showing real structure. 93/100

Framingham F-Series Pinot Noir 2015 Marlborough, New Zealand
Lovely supple, fine-grained cherry and plum fruit with good structure and purity. Smooth and quite pure with lovely weight. 93/100

Hans Herzog Estate Pinot Noir 2010 Marlborough, New Zealand
Supple and elegant, made in a lighter style with some peppery notes as well as bright red cherry fruit. Suble herby hints, too. 93/100

Lawson Dry Hills The Pioneer Pinot Noir 2015 Marlborough, New Zealand
This comes from the Waihopai Valley, and it’s a barrel selection. Lovely fine cherry and raspberry fruit with a bit of grip. Structured and appealing with berry and cherry fruit. Has real depth. 93/100

Spy Valley Envoy Pinot Noir Outpost Vineyard 2014 Marlborough, New Zealand
Supple and juicy with fresh, lively cherry fruit. There’s some grip here and some peppery fruit. Vivid. Needs time. 93/100

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See also: The Marlborough Pinot Noir Safari, with a film

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