The 2016 vintage was awarded 91 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their July 2018 edition article on New Zealand Pinot Noir (see blue link below). It is, however, some way from arriving into the UK (we'll keep you posted).
Yealands Estate Pinot Noir Winemaker Reserve 2015 - July 2018 Decanter review
Thinking differently is what they do at Yealands. Crafting award-winning wines in harmony with nature has seen them lead the world in sustainable winegrowing. But most importantly, it means great tasting wines which don’t cost the earth.
The grapes for this wine come from the Willowflat Vineyard, Awatere Valley. The block comprises of a North facing slope that has an altitude of 180 metres above sea level. The soils are free draining river gravels with a top loess layer.
Regular hand plunging has helped to craft a wine with elegance and balance. 10% of the blend was whole bunch fermented in a small format French oak Cuve. The wine was aged for 12 months in French barriques in a selection from my favourite coopers, 15% of which were new. Malolatic fermentation commenced naturally during spring. The blend received no fining and was lightly filtered prior to bottling.
Winemaker’s notes: “This parcel of fruit has been selected from one of our Awatere Valley river terrace blocks that are so well suited to high quality Pinot Noir production. We work very hard in the vineyard to minimise crop levels and this fruit does get quite a bit of sun exposure to ripen sufficiently the tannins and all aspects of the wine. What intrigues me about this wine is the beautiful floral notes and elegance. We aim to enhance these attributes of the wine with French oak barrels but are always very careful not to include too much new oak. It is always a bit shy right after bottling but I believe the wine will continue to evolve in the bottle positively for years to come. An elegant Pinot Noir showing ripe red fruit and floral characters enhanced by well-integrated oak and a velvety texture. Cellar up to 10 years.”
This wine is suitable for vegetarians and vegans.