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Pinot with purity and power

Greystone pinot noir vines (Photo: Bob Campbell MW)

After tasting a small flight of pinot noir, I singled out four pricey wines from four different regions and re-tasted them to test their regional definition.

The 2015 Margrain Reserve Pinot Noir from Martinborough seemed to speak more eloquently about the two Dijon clones used to make it than the often more muscular, dense and black-flesh plum characters that I often find in the region’s wines. It’s a beautiful wine that practically defines purity and subtle power. (NZD $65)

2013 Seresin Rachel Pinot Noir from Marlborough is a blend of wines from three vineyards that did seem to have the sort of red fruit characters and sappy tannic structure that I find typical of pinot noir from the Southern Valley district of Marlborough. (NZD $52.50)

The 2015 Greystone Thomas Brothers Pinot Noir from Waipara is made from grapes grown on the steep “Brothers Block” on free-draining clay soils over white limestone. It was fermented in the vineyard using wild yeasts. I do recognise a “Waipara hills” character in the wine, although the wine’s serious concentration and impeccable balance suggest house rather than regional influence. (NZD $95)

2011 Mount Edward Muirkirk Vineyard Pinot Noir from Central Otago is moderately typical of it’s region, although the savoury, barnyard bottle development character does slightly blur that distinction. (NZD $65)

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