2012 Te Whare Ra (TWR) Pinot Noir Marlborough New Zealand (Elsewhere $40+)

SKU #1139064 94 points James Suckling

 Smooth, dark-cherry fruits on display here, dredged in exotic spice and showing hints of roasting meats, licorice and wafts of game and sous bois. Nice flow of fruit across the palate: again spicy cherry and dark plum along with a slight meaty aspect. Finely poised on the finish. Drink now.  (10/2014)

K&L Notes

93 points Sam Kim Wine Orbit: "A beautifully proportioned pinot, the attractive bouquet shows red/black cherry, floral and subtle spice aromas. It’s equally appealing on the palate with excellent fruit weight and fine texture. The wine shows concentration and focus as well as poise and promise." Te Whare Ra is a small, organic, family-run winery in New Zealand that we loved so much that we decided to import them directly! The couple that owns and runs the winery, Jason and Anna Flowerday, are so meticulous with their Pinot Noir that they sort their fruit berry by berry! The fruit comes from their 32 year old vines in the heart of the Wairau Valley. Fruit is farmed organically and semi-biodynamically. The fruit is carefully handpicked, de-stemmed (without crushing) and then sorted by the individual berry. The ferment takes place in tiny one ton open fermenters where it is gently punched down by hand four times per day. The wine then spends 12 months in top quality French oak with 35% being new wood. Winemaker notes:"This Pinot Noir exhibits fragrant notes of ripe strawberry, and cherry with hints of mocha, violets, spice and some complex savoury undertones. The finely textured, silky tannins combine with vibrant flavours of ripe strawberries and omega plums. The palate carries onto more savory and complex flavors and finishes with a lingering persistence of fruit, fine tannin and well integrated oak. Bottled unfined and with mineral filtration."

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Price: $26.99
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Staff Image By: Jim Chanteloup | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 3/10/2014 | Send Email
Another winner from "TWR", the 2012 Pinot offers a bit more mid-palate flesh than the '11 we first had, and I'd say an even more crowd pleasing style. The nose has ripe strawberry, plum, cherry, violets, clove and a light white pepper spice. Their attention to detail in hand-picking and sorting shows in the pure quality of fruit on the palate that is medium bodied with silky tannins, integrated use of oak and a complex long finish.

Staff Image By: Mike Barber | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 3/8/2014 | Send Email
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Classic New Zealand Pinot from this cool weather estate. This beauty is bright and sharp, with lean red fruit, plenty of acidity, and a long finish.
Top Value! Drink from 2014 to 2019

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Pinot Noir

- One of France's most legendary grapes and the grape that earned Burgundy its reputation. The parent of varietals like Pinot Gris/Grigio and Pinot Blanc, Pinot Noir is blue to violet to indigo in color with relatively thin skins, and it is said to have been cultivated in France for more than 2,000 years. At its best, Pinot Noir creates elegant wines that are filled with primary red fruit aromas and flavors while young, revealing with an array of secondary characteristics like earth, smoke, violet, truffle and game with age. The varietal is also known, perhaps better than any, for its ability to translate terroir, or a sense of place. While the best Pinot Noir still comes from Burgundy, it is being produced with increasing success in cooler climates around the world. In France, it is part of the trifecta of grapes that can go into Champagne, and it is also grown in Alsace, Irancy, Jura, Savoie, Lorraine and Sancerre. Outside of France it is produced under the names Pinot Nero and Blauburgunder in Italy's mountainous regions, as Spätburgunder in Germany and as Blauburgunder in Austria. In the US, Pinot Noir has found suitable growing conditions in the cooler parts of California, including Carneros, the Russian River Valley, the Anderson Valley, the Sonoma Coast, Monterey County, the Santa Lucia Highlands and Santa Barbara County, as well as in Oregon's Willamette Valley. In recent years, New Zealand has demonstrated its ability to interpret this hard-to-grow varietal, with successful bottlings coming from careful and attentive growers in Central Otago, Martinborough and Canterbury. Chile is also an up-and-coming region for Pinot Noir, creating fresh, fruit-forward, early-drinking and affordable Pinots from the coastal Casablanca Valley and the Limari Valley.

New Zealand

- New Zealand is an extremely diverse wine-growing nation. The long history of producing wine started in the 1830s with wineries such as Mission Estate (1850) and Te Mata Estate (1896) still producing wine today. The two islands hold a multitude of different growing climates ranging from warmer areas such as Hawke’s Bay to very cool regions such as Waitaki, and Awatere. Most regions are defined as Maritime with the exception being Central Otago that has a moderate Continental climate with the high elevation creating dramatic diurnal swings in temperature. The plethora of grapes grown in New Zealand reflects this diverse microclimate make up. Everything has a place here, Bordeaux varietals and Syrah in Hawke’s Bay, Chardonnay and Pinot in Nelson, Pinot Noir and Riesling in Central Otago , aromatic whites in Waipara and pretty much everything you can imagine in Marlborough. New Zealand is also one of the “greenest” wine producing nations on earth (94% of wine certified sustainable in 2013) with a strong focus on organic and Biodynamic farming.