2012 Ellero "Pisa Terrace" Pinot Noir Central Otago (Elsewhere $40)

SKU #1181935 93 points Bob Campbell

 Silken textured Pinot Noir with supple tannins giving a pleasantly drying finish. Elegant wine with ripe plum, dark cherry, violet, thyme and liquorice. Attractive Pinot Noir from a good vintage. Accessible now but will age well.

93 points Raymond Chan

 Deep, ruby-red with purple hues. The nose is full and packed with aromas of dark raspberry fruit and plums, along with savoury whole-cluster complexities and suggestions of game. Fulsome on palate, the fruit is sweet and juicy with dark berry fruit, raspberry compote and savoury herb and game elements, supported by plenty of tannin structure and fresh underlying acidity. On the robust side, the textures are the feature and indicate the serious depth of the wine, but there is excellent freshness and a racy aspect. I see this as another step up for this label.

92 points James Suckling

 From the Pisa district of the region, this is a quite bold, brassy and generously fruited pinot that has plenty of ripe, glossy red fruits, loads of cherry and perfumed lift. The palate has a wealth of deep and juicy fruit that delivers an opulent middle palate, toasty oak rolls in through the finish, good tannin, all very young still.  (4/2014)

92 points Wine Enthusiast

 *Editor's Choice* Hints of rosemary and thyme add a sheen to this wine’s already attractive gloss of black cherry fruit. Meaty and tarry elements add richness and depth to the flavors. This is richly textured and long on the finish. A fine effort from this American-owned venture.  (7/2015)

Wine Spectator

 Firm, taut tannins provide a good backbone for the mineral, dried floral and blackberry notes, with plenty of spice box and tobacco flavor on the finish, where the tannins clamp down further. Drink now. 225 cases made. (Web Only - 2015)

K&L Notes

Pisa Terrace is the estate vineyard of Ellero. This beautiful small parcel of vines is becoming recognized as one of the best sites in Central Otago with many winemakers seeking fruit from its precious few acres. The quality of the fruit is partly due to its prime location on a terrace of glacial deposits containing schist and quartz gravels and partly due to John and Roberta's constant and precise hand tending of this certified organic vineyard. The site produces Pinot Noir of fantastic purity and ethereal texture. The tannin structure is super fine and elegant whilst the wine has plenty of depth and concentration. The wine shows lots of ripe red fruits, fresh ground spices and rose petals. It's medium bodied and has silky texture and bright, fresh acidity. This is quite an elegant expression of Central Otago Pinot but I love it for that restraint. (Ryan Woodhouse - K&L NZ Wine Buyer)

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By: Gary Norton | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 8/29/2015 | Send Email
The critics agree! This Pinot is outstanding! Bing cherry and red fruit up front followed up with baking spices and an earthy undertone thereafter. Enjoy this wine with a grilled bone-in pork chop over a wild arugula salad.

By: Jeff Garneau | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 5/29/2015 | Send Email
My list of "outstanding Pinot Noirs from New Zealand offered at unbelievable prices" just keeps getting longer and longer. At the moment we have perhaps a dozen wines in the $20 to $30 range, all of exceptional quality. This 2012 Pisa Terrace bottling from Ellero comes from one of the most coveted vineyards in Central Otago. A melange of spice notes coupled with ripe red and black fruits define this supremely balanced wine. Deliciously sweet yet fresh and lively. Accessible yet with good underlying structure. Perfection in a glass.

By: Randy Hagerman | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 5/24/2015 | Send Email
Wow! This is a serious Pinot Noir. The nose is filled with plum, black cherry, and a hint of herbs. On the palate, this wine delivers black raspberry, black cherry, and spicy earthiness layered in soft tannins that linger just beneath the bright finish. New Zealand continues to deliver the goods when it comes to Pinot Noir!

By: John Majeski | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 3/31/2015 | Send Email
Central Otago has, over the last decade, become the hot spot in New Zealand for Pinot Noir, and there are so many super producers and bottlings that it can be impossibly hard to keep up, but luckily we have Ryan Woodhouse, our inspired explorer and savvy spelunker of all things Kiwi-driven. Ok, maybe not spelunker, unless we’re talking wine caves. The Ellero comes from ‘Pisa Terrace’, a precious parcel of organic vines that may or may not grow on a badly tilted hillside …. anyway, this is a serious, well-wrought wine, combining both fine concentration and clarity, with a brilliant array of silky black and red fruits, savory tea spice, structured tannins and earthy, textural notes on the persistent finish. A masterful stroke of winemaking, likely to evolve beautifully for several more years.

By: Jim Boyce | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 3/2/2015 | Send Email
This is a slightly darker fruited Pinot Noir, full of dark raspberry, black cherry and currant, with great spice (30% whole cluster) and floral components. Great acidity keeps the wine fresh and vibrant, while the fine tanin of the finish really lends great depth. This is a complex pinot that is amazing now and will greatly reward a few years of patience!

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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.
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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
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