(2020) The family resemblance to the big brother A1 is umissable here, that same wild and delightful perfume running the gamut from pot-pourri spice to summer berries to hints of truffle. In the mouth deliciously sweet and giving; a generous wine with ripe and supple red fruits filling the mid-palate, and the tannins a little softer and more creamy than the A1 at this stage, absolutely pin-sharp acidity though, and those subtle, gentle spices and vanilla rounding the finish. Drink now while waiting for the A1. It's irresistable. No retail stockists listed at time of review, so price and stockist is for the previous vintage.
(2020) Fabulously perfumed, real complexity and aromatic layering here, the core of sweet and pulpy red fruits, plenty of clove and cardomom spice, vanilla, those sweet truffle and beetrooty notes too in a very arresting picture. Lovely juiciness and firmness on the palate, with a stripe of tannin and a dry, tangy olive and cherry bite to the acidity, but the fruit stays sweet through the mid-palate, the texture builds as the chalkiness of the tannins smooth the finish, the fruit and acid precision and brightness is excellent. A beautiful wine, which PJ expects to have at least 10 years of cellaring potential.
(2020) From the prime Bannockburn region of Central Otago, Valli again uses a variety of Pinot clones in its mix, this wine having loads of tobacco and spices on the nose, something like charcuterie, but a fine dark fruit edged with bay leaf, curry leaf and olive, helped by being whole-bunch fermented. Imported by New Generation Wines.
(2020) Central Otago has emerged as New Zealand's premier Pinot Noir region, with high quality producers and suitably premium pricing. Having toured there just before lockdown I still can't give clues to the actual producer of this wine (Outlook Bay is a Lidl brand, not a specific producer) but at £9.99 it's as cheap as Otago Pinot gets. Nicely pale and transluscent in colour, there's a huge perfume of truffle and beetroot, all those vegetal Pinot aromatics, smokiness and a hint of something floral or like wild herbs. In the mouth sweet and juicy fruit, with a nicely rustic nip of tannin and plenty of spiciness, sweet mid-palate fruit giving way to a peppery, spicy clove finish. The 14.5% alcohol adds a touch of heat, but it's a nice and authentic Otago Pinot.
(2020) Pale and attractive, red berries and a touch of candy apple, quite fragrant with rose petal notes and red fruits. Fragrant Sandalwood spices too; quality oak. Packed with sweet, fleshy ripe fruit, what a lovely wine with smooth and ripe character and perfect creamy texture. Balanced and fine.
(2020) From Wanaka, this has a pale but quite dense colour. There’s a definite herbal edge to this, quite meaty and earthy, the fruit more in the background. Lovely palate, the balance shows through, with fine, dry cranberry and red currant fruit, lovely elegant tannins and a freshening acidity. Beautifully done. Various stockists have this, mostly in-bond.
(2020) The super heavy bottle certainly stands out. From Pisa, a nice pale colour, dry attractive nose where cocoa melds with a fine ashy mineral quality, refined and racy red fruits. A few years in the bottle for this compared to most here, and that certainly adds to the sense of completeness and lovely harmony, a wine with great balance and a long, pure finish. No UK retail stockists listed at time of review.
(2020) A very pale, inviting colour, fine and aromatic, some floral character to the ripe but subtle red fruits, hints of fudge and chocolate way in the background. The palate has juiciness to spare: a cherry ripe but tart fruit that is balanced and attractive, a nice dry, cherry pit acidity and smooth tannins complete and fine picture. From Bannockburn. No UK distribution at time of review.
(2020) Lovely pale colour, and an attractive, quite mineral nose, nutty, stony and truffle, then a more exotic spiciiness comes through, toffee apple and red fruit. In the mouth it is warming, tobacco-rich and very nicely fruited, the ripe cherry and raspberry supported by the creaminess and smoothness of the suede-like tannins. Stylish.
(2020) Lovely pale colour. Gentle earth, mushroom and spice and savoury umami character. A little bit of roasted/chestnut character. The palate has fine, dry cranberry fruit, but the savoury character continues, nice length and a subtle, understated style. Gibbston fruit.