New Zealand Red Wines

To us New Zealand red = Pinot Noir. For several years a huge amount of attention has focussed on the Pinots coming out of Central Otago, but care is needed in selection.

Land prices swiftly soared, and there are plenty of ambitious "boutique" producers there pumping out highly priced, trophy-seeking Pinots of minimal charm and authenticity.

The pursuit of ripeness, deep colour and concentration often leads to over-extracted, over-oaked and over-alcoholic wines which completely lose sight of Pinot’s fragrance and elegance. So we continue to recommend wines from Marlborough, with their lighter style, paler hue and fresher fruit. Dare we whisper that the Marlborough Pinots are often more Burgundian?

At the same time any qualifications about Central Otago Pinot do not apply to Felton Road. Global demand is driving prices up for these wonderful wines but we continue to ask for as much as we are offered. Expatriate Englishman Nigel Greening is convinced that growing vines biodynamically (all certified), allows each of the wines produced here to best reflect their origins. Winemaking philosophy is for minimal intervention: gravity flow into open-top fermenters, leaving about 20% of the grapes in whole bunch clusters; fermentation using natural yeasts; and, after ageing in only French oak, bottling without fining or filtration.

We do occasionally list a Bordeaux blend from the Gimlett Gravels zone near Hawkes Bay and the odd Kiwi Syrah; but we have some concerns about the value offered by the former and the ripeness and authenticity of the latter.

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Wine Type

Red

Style

Grape Variety

Country

Region

Grower

Organic / Biodynamic

Vintage

Jules Taylor, Pinot Noir, Marlborough, NZ, 2020

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Save £23.40

Jules Taylor, Pinot Noir, Marlborough, NZ, 2020

Very ripe, complete and refined for a Marlborough Pinot, with proper oak buttressing, lush...

Our Rating

Light > Full

OriginNew Zealand

RegionMarlborough

ColourRed

ABV13.5%

Bottle75cl

CodeJUL620

GrapePinot Noir

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Felton Road, Cornish Point Pinot Noir, Central Otago, 2018

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Felton Road, Cornish Point Pinot Noir, Central Otago, 2018

 Cornish Point is a vineyard almost surrounded by water, on loess soils over gravel. Owner...

Our Rating

Light > Full

OriginNew Zealand

RegionCentral Otago

ColourRed

ABV13.5%

Bottle75cl

CodeFET718

GrapePinot Noir

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Mount Riley, Pinot Noir, Marlborough, 2019

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Save £16.50

Mount Riley, Pinot Noir, Marlborough, 2019

We were really impressed by the generous raspberry and cherry fruit, just smoothed with a lick...

Our Rating

Light > Full

OriginNew Zealand

RegionMarlborough

ColourRed

ABV13.5%

Bottle75cl

CodeMOU619

GrapePinot Noir

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Felton Road, Bannockburn Pinot Noir, 2018

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Save £46.20

Felton Road, Bannockburn Pinot Noir, 2018

Felton Road make the best Pinots in New Zealand: the driven perfectionism of English owner...

Our Rating

Light > Full

OriginNew Zealand

RegionCentral Otago

ColourRed

ABV13.5%

Bottle75cl

CodeFET618

GrapePinot Noir

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Felton Road, Calvert Pinot Noir, Central Otago, 2018

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Save £55.20

Felton Road, Calvert Pinot Noir, Central Otago, 2018

Usually the most precocious of the single vineyard wines: gorgeously ripe; expansive strawberry...

Our Rating

Light > Full

OriginNew Zealand

RegionOtago

ColourRed

ABV13.5%

Bottle75cl

CodeFET818

GrapePinot Noir

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