2017 Thistle Ridge Pinot Noir Waipara Valley North Canterbury

SKU #1436047 93 points Sam Kim

 A gorgeously styled pinot offering soothing fruit flavours with seductive savoury nuances; the fragrant bouquet shows spiced cherry, dark plum, thyme and almond characters with hints of game and mushrooms. The palate is juicy and beautifully rounded, displaying supple mouthfeel and fine texture, finishing long and silky. At its best: now to 2021.  (11/2018)

Raymond Chan

 Ruby-red colour with a little depth, lighter edged. The nose is softly packed with a firm core of dark-red cherry and berry fruit entwined with dark herbs and a suggestion of earth, nutty oak and minerals. The aromatics are softly presented. Medium-bodied, the palate has restrained fruit flavours of dark-red cherry and berry fruit melded with dark herbs, earth and minerals, unfolding red floral elements. The flavours are integrated and harmoniously interwoven, and the fruitis underlined by soft, supple tannin extraction and integrated acidity. The flavours carry to a gentle finish. This is a light and softly presented Pinot Noir with cherry, berry and herbal flavours with earth and mineral hints on an integrated, smooth, supple palate. Serve with tapas, pasta and pizza over the next 2-3 years. North Canterbury fruit fermented with approx. 5% whole bunches to 12.5% alc., the wine predominantly aged 10 months in seasoned oak with a portion aged in tank. 16.5/20  (10/2018)

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Price: $14.99

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By: Thomas Smith | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 12/24/2019 | Send Email
Thistle Ridge is produced by Greystone, which, along with Pegasus Bay, is among the most acclaimed wineries in the North Canterbury region of New Zealand. The Thistle Ridge is produced from vineyards throughout this icy region, and this cool climate Pinot Noir absolutely over-delivers. On the nose, there is black cherry, blackberry preserves, and a touch of cedar. In the palate this has a ton of zippy cranberry fruit. Super bright, this has that characteristic North Canterbury electric acidity, with a hint of round tannin closer to the finish. And weighing in at a 12.5%abv, this is a perfectly balanced Pinot Noir and a versatile pairing for a weeknight dinner.

By: Kirk Walker | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 12/12/2019 | Send Email
What a deal. Looking at my notes two things jump out with this wine. The first thing is concentration—I went out of my way to mention it to myself twice! In a $15 Pinot? And the second thing is, "yummy." This has to be one of the best deals that we have for this varietal.

By: Miles Philippe | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 12/9/2019 | Send Email
This is a very elegant little wine! Boasting a finesse found mostly in much pricier bottles, this bottle will charm and delight anyone who loves Pinot Noir. It is mostly driven by bright cherries and fresh red fruits, but it's enveloped by a lovely robe of floral qualities on the nose. On the palate, crunchy red fruits are lifted to the sky by the floral aspect while simultaneously being settled back down to the ground by a soft earthiness.

By: Heather Vander Wall | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 12/9/2019 | Send Email
It's back! This is one of my all-time favorite Pinots, from any region. At this price, it's unbeatable. Gorgeous aromas of wild cherry, blueberry, and sage transition to a medium-bodied palate with fine-grained tannin and bright, crisp acidity. If you need a new house Pinot, this is the bottle. And it's best to buy now. It certainly won't last once the cat's out of the bag!

By: Blake Conklin | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 12/5/2019 | Send Email
New Zealand has always managed to make some absolutely stunning pinot noir, from Burn Cottage (shout out to Ted Lemon) to Felton Road, Akitu, and even Mount Edward. Those are the names that come to mind when I think of some of my favorite producers. Then I had Thistle Ridge, and I gotta say... Wow. This pinot is a sold value under $20 bucks. Medium bodied, fantastic acidity, and fantastic notes of cherry, berry, and even some herbal flavors. This is definitely a must have for the holidays!

By: Greg St. Clair | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 12/3/2019 | Send Email
Vibrant flavors, lots of dark cherry fruit, spice and has a good level of ripeness. On the palate you see immediately that this is a wine that comes from limestone soil, the lift and length are so evident, and they accentuate the fruit bringing it to a new level. The finish is long, clear and brings back the dark cherry fruit from the nose. This is a wine clearly playing above its’ price range and shows a real vibrancy, this is not a soft, smooth, easy wine it’s a bit challenging but a perfect food wine.

Additional Information:


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.
Alcohol Content (%): 13.5