Wine Review: 2010 Villa Maria Marlborough Private Bin Pinot Noir

13 06 2012

[This bottle was provided as a sample for review purposes.]

Marlborough spreads its wings…who needs SB?

This wine is the red corollary to the Villa Maria Sauvignon Blanc I reviewed last week, but (through no fault of the SB, which I quite enjoyed) I found myself much more excited to open this bottle because it was uncharted territory for me.  I (and you, and any other casual-or-more wine drinker) have had the famous Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand’s Marlborough region many times before, but I can count the times I’ve had Marlborough wine made from ANY other grape on one hand…actually, one finger.  I was enthralled by The Doctors’ Riesling by Forrest Wines, a producer daring enough to take Marlborough vineyard land guaranteed to sell with SB and plant something else instead, and I’m doubly intrigued to open my very first red from this sacred Sauvignon Blanc area.  The most famous region in New Zealand for Pinot Noir is probably Central Otago, located in the southern half of NZ’s South Island and known for generating Pinots with distinctive, if potentially off-putting, gamey/meaty/Band-aidy aromas; I had no idea if Marlborough would be more of the same or if it would show off its own individual Pinot style.  No better way to find out… Read the rest of this entry »

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Wine Review: 2011 Villa Maria Marlborough Private Bin Sauvignon Blanc

4 06 2012

[This bottle was provided as a sample for review purposes.]

Cold and young: the best way to enjoy NZ Sauv Blanc.

For my generation of wine drinkers, New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc is a white wine mainstay, both a defining expression of the Sauvignon Blanc grape and one of the first whites that comes to mind during a trip to the wine store.  However, this level of penetration into the world’s vinous consciousness is a very new phenomenon:  NZSB didn’t attract international attention until the mid-1980s, when the bright, crisp, fruit-packed bottlings from the country’s star Marlborough region first took foreign palates by storm.  New Zealand has seen exponential growth in its wine production in the nearly 30 years since, and most of the Sauv Blancs you see on the shelves now are a product of this modern white revolution, only recently arrived to the SB scene.  But not this one.  In 2011, Villa Maria celebrated its 50th year as a producer, which, in a country that is relatively new to the world wine limelight, makes it a true New Zealand pioneer.  Its Private Bin bottling of Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc is sourced from grapes grown all over the region and shows that even recent wine history leaves a strong flavour footprint. Read the rest of this entry »








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