YEALANDS PINOT NOIR - 2008
From Marlborough, New Zealand. 13% alcohol.
Transparent red (the way Pinot Noir should be). Huge nose of ripe strawberries. Red fruit explodes on the palate. Delicate with strawberries and raspberries upfront. Good acidity, spice, vanilla and some oak. Bright, pointed flavors. Good structure. Strong finish with some black cherry notes.
SCORE & RECOMMENDATION:
Let's get right to the point. This is an amazing little wine that retails for $12. Not only is this wine extremely well-made it also delivers at a fraction of the price. More expensive Pinots from California and Burgundy fall way short of what is in this bottle. This may be my value wine of the year. As this wine opens up it even gets significantly better. Wonderfully delicate and structured with some solid acidity underneath. Amisfield used to be the steal from New Zealand delivering tremendous Pinot Noir, but that now retails for $25+ a bottle. This is the new player in town. The wine to beat. Like George Mason making it to the final four years ago in the NCAA Tourney, this is the little guy blowing past the ranked Pinots. As an added bonus, the alcohol is kept in check around 13% instead of the monster 15% Pinots that seem to dominate the marketplace.