Rebecca Gibb: My New Zealand Red of the Year 2014

Earth Smoke Pinot Noir 2009 3.11024 x 4.25197 inches

Think New Zealand red, think Pinot Noir but there’s more to New Zealand red wine than one variety: some of the best reds I’ve reviewed over the past 12 months reflect New Zealand’s ability to produce classy Bordeaux styles as well as sexy Syrah, particularly in the warmer climes of Hawke’s Bay.

When it comes to Pinot Noir, Central Otago is the must-have region on most wine lists but quality abounds across the country with key players in the Martinborough and Waipara regions, in particular, continuing to impress in 2014.

My wine of the year was a five year-old Pinot from Canterbury’s Pyramid Valley that is ripe for drinking now. Be quick if you want to get your hands on a bottle as there’s not much left.

Here are My Seven Superlative Reds reviewed in the past 12 months…

Pyramid Valley, Earth Smoke, Pinot Noir 2009, North Canterbury
95/100
Hailing from Waikari in North Canterbury, 2009 was the warmest year owner-operators Mike and Claudia Weersing had experienced in their 9 years on the farm. Yet the wine remains delicate and ethereal. It is now a cloudy garnet in the glass, showing its 5 years of age. The flavours are alluring, offering up smoky notes, game and plum fruit but it is the silken texture that really impresses. And, while it is incredibly delicate and light bodied, it manages to combine this with mahoosive density of fruit, pointing to the site’s low yields. This is all topped off with fine chalky tannins. Well done guys.