Cuisine’s top pinot noir

May 1st 2016

​Wairau River Reserve Pinot Noir 2014 picked up Cuisine Magazine Top New Zealand Pinot Noir this year. “This is a ripe, succulent wine, well-endowed with welcoming fruit and a warm, enveloping textural embrace. It arrives on the palate with a quiet, complex intensity, its red and dark fruit flavours laced with a herbal thread. “It has depth, flows beautifully and lingers,” noted John Belsham. Try it with sous vide duck breast served with a sage-infused jus.

For some time now, a common Marlborough mantra has been this: “plant pinot noir vines on southern valleys clay”. Well, Wairau River has just put that piece of folk wisdom on notice. Our top pinot was all grown much further north in Rapaura, on or near the banks of the Wairau itself. Wairau River’s winemaking team couldn’t be happier.

“That the wine was all grown on this side of the valley makes us very proud,” said chief winemaker Sam Rose. For Nick Entwistle, left, who makes the company’s red wines, this success has been the result of several years’ hard thinking and hard work. “The fruit we get has to be managed very differently, there’s no doubt about that,” he said. “We bought a French basketpress a few years ago, which is gentler on the fruit. We also have to be careful about the amount of oak we use, about ripeness – we don’t want sugar levels getting too high – and about extraction.” Entwistle adds that they have been helped by changing consumer tastes. “There are a few of us on this side of the valley making these elegant styles that are gaining more favour.”

Wairau Estate Pinot Noir also recieved 5 stars and ranked #8