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Pair of Steals from Mr. Chanty - 09/03/2009 - New Zealand

Jim Chanteloup, a.k.a. "Chanty" found a couple pearls from the opposite side of the world…

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2006 Aurum Pinot Noir Central Otago New Zealand (Elsewhere $26.99) ($9.99)

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)

Staff ImageJohn Majeski | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: September 04, 2009

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!

Staff ImageGary Westby | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: February 25, 2009

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.

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2006 Pegasus Bay Riesling Waipara New Zealand ($17.99)

93 points from Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Meanwhile the 2006 Riesling is a thrilling wine with touches of honeysuckle and limestone on the nose and a palate distantly related to the likes of JJ Prum or Willi Schaeffer. Although winemakers Matthew Donaldson and Lynette Hudson look as if they have just got in from an all-night rave, they are presently producing some of New Zealand’s most exhilarating, Burgundy inspired white wines, their reds suffused with earthy flavors. They are demonstrating the potential of the Canterbury wine region and constitute one of New Zealand's best producers. Their whites are exhilarating and seem best between a year in bottle and around five years." (04/08) 90 points Wine Enthusiast: "Peg Bay continues to push the ripeness envelope on its Rieslings. The 2006 is honeyed and rather sweet, with baked apple flavors at the core, surrounded by hints of spice and apricot. Lime-like acids seem a bit strident on the finish right now; give it a couple of years in the cellar." (09/07)

Find more New Zealand wines at KLWines.com