A Swish New Zealand Pinot Noir at a Succulent Price

This glorious New Zealand Pinot Noir is outstanding value on special offer, says wine editor MARY DOWEY

Pencarrow Martinborough Pinot Noir, Palliser 2016

Pinot Noir, the grand red grape of Burgundy, is on almost everybody’s wish list these days. With its racy elegance it has made previous runaway red successes like Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon seem a bit clumsy, a bit mundane. The big problem is that good Burgundy has become fiendishly expensive – and New Zealand, Burgundy’s main rival in the world Pinot league, knows how to slap on giddy prices too. This NZ Pinot, a fair deal at its standard price and outstanding value now on special offer, stands out as a glorious exception.

It comes from a very fine winery indeed, the Palliser Estate in Martinborough, a region at the south end of the north island famous for its Pinot Noir. The main difference between the estate Pinot and Pencarrow is that this one includes a small proportion of fruit bought in from other growers. The majority comes from Palliser’s own vineyards. It’s fermented using 95% wild yeasts and spends ten months in French oak barrels, less than a fifth of which are new.

The result? A beautifully silky, subtle wine. Enticing aromas of raspberries, cherries, vanilla and spice lead into pure, perky flavours on the palate. There’s a real sense of energy here as well as the good judgment that produces perfect balance.

While this smart red is especially delicious with duck and pork – best friends to most Pinot Noir – it will also go with poultry and ham (hosts of The Dinner take note), mild-to-medium curries and most grilled vegetable dishes. I say this with authority, having tried the bottle that was open on my kitchen counter with all of these things across three or four evenings. It kept its silky charm, too.

Alcohol: 14% 

From www.wineonline.ie, usually €25, on special offer at €19 until the new year.


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