New Zealand Pinot Noir

*Disclaimer: I received this wine as a sample from Gallo Family Wineries.

I’ve had a few Pinot Noirs from New Zealand. Mostly at a Wines of New Zealand tasting I went to last Spring where there were dozens to taste. I think this is the first time I’ve actually sat down with a a bottle of it to give it some thought and time and taste it in my normal manner with food, without food, etc. Tonight’s bottle was the 2005 Whitehaven Pinot Noir. It had a screw cap closure, clocked in at 13.6% alcohol by volume, and retails for around $20.

On the nose I found smoke, strawberries, caramel, herbs, raspberry, more herbs, earth, leather, smokey cedar spice, plum, and pepper. It had a fairly classic Pinot Noir nose, which is nice to find at this price point. In the mouth I got notes of red cherry, raspberry, tart fruit, smoke, earth, and strawberry. I wished some of the herbal notes had translated onto the palate.


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