On wine and wondering

by Andrea Frost
Even though I spend a lot of time wandering in and wondering about nature, I confess I felt foolish being dropped in a vineyard in Marlborough, New Zealand, so I...

Marlborough: The Fear of France?

by Matt Walls
If you like Sauvignon Blanc, you’ll love Marlborough in New Zealand. Of its 22,903 hectares of vineyards, 19,639 of them are planted with it. Undoubtedly this feels like an awful...
95

2010 Seresin Sun & Moon Pinot Noir, Marlborough

( £52.99, 14%, Armit Wines )

Sun & Moon is the top Pinot from Seresin (made in this instance from the Raupo Creek vineyard) with a price tag to match. It is consistently among the best New Zealand reds and that’s the case here with this outstanding 2010, which is maturing with grace and elegance. Concentrated, savoury, yet also refreshing this combines structure with succulence, sustained by acidity and not afraid of tannin. A wine that will age for another ten years. 

BuyDrinking window: 2015-20Similar Wines: £50-£100, 91-95, New Zealand, Red, Pinot Noir
92

2011 Seresin, Leah Pinot Noir, Marlborough

( £20.99, 14%, Armit Wines )

Leah is a blend of the three Seresin estate vineyards (Home, Tatou and Raupo Creek) and is often the most forward of the Pinots from this outstanding Marlborough producer. 2011 was a tricky vintage for Pinot in New Zealand, but this top-notch biodynamic producer has excelled. This is concentrated, spicy and textured with notes of white pepper and red fruits, plenty of concentration, well integrated oak and a complex, earthy finish. 

BuyDrinking window: 2015-20Similar Wines: £20-£30, 91-95, New Zealand, Red, Pinot Noir
94

NV Krug, Grande Cuvée, Champagne

( £80-£100, 12%, Widely available )

A blend of 20 wines from ten different vintages, some of which are 15 years old, Krug’s non-vintage blend is one of a kind. It’s rich, complex and palate coating, with small bubbles, savoury, umami notes, hints of hazelnut and honey and a dry, refeshing palate. The kind of Champagne that works extremely well with food rather than as an aperitif. 

BuyDrinking window: NowSimilar Wines: £50-£100, 91-95, France, Sparkling, Pinot Meunier, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay
90

NV Hambledon, Classic Cuvée, Hampshire

( £28.50, 12% )

Sourced from England’s oldest commercial vineyard (we are talking 1952), this blend of the Champagne grapes, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier, is delicious, a fizz that manages to taste English while showing the complexity and nuances of a top Champagne. It’s chalky and dry, with subtle bubbles, hints of fresh pastry and citrus and a tapering finish: elegant, refined and understated. 

BuyDrinking window: 2015-20Similar Wines: £20-£30, 91-95, England, Sparkling, Pinot Meunier, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay
90

NV Chandon, Brut, Mendoza

( £14.99, 13%, Majestic )

Moët’s sparkling wines in South America have mostly been a disappointment, but this blend of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay is a huge improvement on what has gone before. It’s a rich, toasty style with some sweetness from dosage, flavours of hazelnut and brioche and a baking spicy, well balanced finish. 

Similar Wines: £10-£20, 86-90, France, Sparkling, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay
93

2012 Neudorf, Moutere Pinot Noir, Nelson

( N/A, 13.5% )

Consistently among the top three Pinots in Nelson, the Finns’ best cuvée comes from the famous Moutere clays and tends to be quite a structured red, showing more tannin than many Kiwi Pinots, as well as backbone and acidity. It’s a thinking person’s Pinot that needs food to show at its best. Ambitious, cherrystone, pomegranate and raspberry fruit with a firm finish.  

BuyDrinking window: 2014-19Similar Wines: £30-£50, 91-95, New Zealand, Red, Pinot Noir
94

2012 Kusuda, Pinot Noir, Martinborough

( N/A, 13.5%, Hallowed Ground )

Is this New Zealand’s best Pinot Noir? It’s certainly in the top half dozen examples of the grape, a wine that nods towards Chambolle-Musigny as much as its native North Island. It’s a subtle, fragrant red with silky tannins, sustaining acidity, chalky minerality and a stylishly judged balance of oak, fruit and tannin. Winemaking of a high order. 

BuyDrinking window: 2014-18Similar Wines: £30-£50, 91-95, New Zealand, Red, Pinot Noir
94

2013 Seresin, Osip Pinot Noir, Marlborough

( N/A, 13.5% )

Sourced from the Osip block in Seresin’s Raupo Creek Block, this biodynamically farmed Pinot Noir is a superb expression of its terroir: savoury and stylish with textured, supple tannins, deftly handled oak, bright acidity and remarkable depth and length. Still young, but will develop with age. 

BuyDrinking window: 2014-22Similar Wines: £30-£50, 91-95, New Zealand, Red, Pinot Noir