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Wednesday, February 17, 2010

New Zealand pinot noir?

Apparently, yes.

Comments (6)

Not so unusual, Oregon has only been over-charging (almost more than Burgundy) for about 20 years now. Besides Sauvignon Blanc can't be that much different a growing climate than Pinot.

On a related note, some of the best Oregon wines are made by New Zealand wine makers.

We visited NZ about five years ago, and stumbled across a fantastic winery in the Otago region. Beautiful pinots. Moderately priced except for the fact that they don't export to the US, so to have them shipped basically doubled the cost from $20 to $40/bottle, so we brought a few back with us, but I've been searching for the winery ever since. This is a nice list of others to try.

I can't drink, but I can at least taste, and I've tried some of those Aotearoan pinot noirs. I say this as a high compliment to both areas when I say that Oregon has some serious competition coming up really soon on quality pinot noir.

Same story for me as for Miles; the Otago winery we visited (in 2001) was Gibbston Valley, near Queenstown, and I still have a bottle of their pinot reserve sitting in a cupboard waiting for a special occasion. I talked to some staff there, and given the opposite seasons, some of them spent time in Oregon during their "off" season.

An an unrelated note, there were also plantations of Douglas fir in Otago. Very homey.

I'd love to try them, but I'd note that Asimov tends to praise lighter, more floral pinot noirs than are made here in Oregon. If you're gong by his evaluation, you should know that preference!

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