/
Close
Newsletters  | Mobile

New Zealand Pinots

Jeff Harris kiwi pinot

Photo: Jeff Harris

After more than a decade of garnering points for its tangy, grassy sauvignon blancs, New Zealand has lately become known for producing true-to-character wines made from that tricky but trendy varietal, pinot noir. It makes sense that a hard-to-grow grape would find a home on the islands where The Lord of the Rings was shot: rugged, windblown, chilly. The 2005 Amisfield ($33, vinfolio.com) from the Central Otago district is a great example, instantly recognizable as pinot by its minerally, slightly meaty aroma without any fruit-in-your face aggression. Yannick Speicher, sommelier at the Fairmont Turnberry Isle Resort, offers Amisfield because the winemakers "respect the character of the grape." He adds: "This is not a wine that will overheat your taste buds, one with overextraction. . . . It's very much like a Côte de Beaune from Burgundy." And it has what wine people call "length." I compared the Amisfield to an equivalent Spanish red recently, and the Kiwi hung back while the Spaniard strutted its stuff then began to fade in the glass. More than two hours later, the Amisfield was still delicious, its pinot notes pitch perfect.

Advertisement

Sign Up


Connect With Travel + Leisure
  • Travel+Leisure
  • Tablet
  • Available devices

Already a subscriber?
Get FREE ACCESS to the digital edition


Advertisement

Advertisement

Advertisement

Marketplace