2006 Aurum Pinot Noir Central Otago (Elsewhere $26.99)

SKU #1045772

Wow - a lovely Central Otago Pinot for a great price. According to Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Matured in French oak for 10 months, the 2006 Pinot Noir is a little raw on the nose at first, herbaceous with a touch of green bell pepper and cranberry, but developing some attractive ripe cherry fruits with aeration. The palate is medium-bodied, cohesive with quite sinewy tannins but a clean, focused finish with blueberry and cherry on the aftertaste." (04/08) $9.99...are you kidding me? This may be the greatest deal in Pinot Noir ever! The 2006 Aurum, which is sourced from all estate fruit, is made by the husband and wife team of Brook Lawrence and Lucy Pouthier-Lawrence. Brook studied in Australia doing stints in Alsace and Domaine De L'Arlot in Burgundy. Lucy did her schooling in Dijon and worked in Alsace, Nuit-St-Georges ansd Meursault. Together they have crafted a wine that offers smoky black cherry, dark strawberry, clove, forest floor and a light meaty note. On the palate there are soft fine tannins with good texture and a juicy mouthfeel leading to a long finish. (Jim Chanteloup, New Zealand wine buyer)

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Price: $9.99

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By: John Majeski |  K&L Staff Member  |  Review Date: 9/4/2009  | Send Email
Traveling vicariously far south to the beating red grape heart of New Zealand— the Pinot paradise of Central Otago, in search of delicious, highly-affordable wine, I tripped over the 45th parallel and discovered gold. Well, Aurum, which is Latin for gold, and the name of the excellent winery responsible for one of the best Pinot values on our beautiful home planet! Joan and Tony Lawrence of Aurum have successfully tuned all the variables to create a wine of balance and integrity, without compromising on aromatics, solid fruit or textural elements. Ten months in oak add toasty spice to the wild cherry and briary aromas, while the palate delivers layers of black and red fruits, crisp tannins and a flourish of nice acidity. Altogether a great Pinot at a bargain price, versatile enough to enjoy with everything from grilled salmon to goat cheese to mushroom risotto. Voila!

By: Chiara Shannon |  K&L Staff Member  |  Review Date: 6/4/2009  | Send Email
For a more Burgundian effort in NZ, this Pinot Noir from Aurum shows lots of brooding, dark-berried character in the nose, marked by that distinct mushroomy "underearth" aroma that I happen to really like. The palate has concentrated fruit - which is where it departs from a Burgundy in overall drinking satisfaction at this price point. Hints of spice and great balance make this one a Pinot to return to.

By: Gary Westby |  K&L Staff Member  |  Review Date: 2/25/2009  | Send Email
What a good bottle of Kiwi Pinot! This wine has all the wild fruit of the best new world Pinot Noir, but is not laden with the high alcohol and flab that so often come along with it. It is ripe, forward and generous, lush textured, and rich. This would fair well on its own or with a roast chicken.

 By: rachel  |  Review Date: 10/29/2009 
Shockingly good for $10! Flavors and nose are right on . Only negative is short finish (but really can't complain.)

Additional Information:

Varietal:

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.
Country:

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.
Alcohol Content (%): 13.5