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RED WINE

Te Pā Pinot Noir, Marlborough, New Zealand 2022

  • $38.00

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PINOT NOIR
TART & FRESH and FRUITY
SUSTAINABLE FARMING
CRITIC SCORE 90+, BOTTLE CLUB 2024, and PREVIOUS BOTTLE CLUB FEATURE
MARLBOROUGH
NEW ZEALAND
  • Winemaker: Sam Bennett
  • Farming: Certified Sustainable
  • Varieties: Pinot Noir
  • Terroir: The vineyard sources are Omaka North and Wairau Valley.  Mix of clay and stony loam soils. 
  • Vinification: The wine sees a wild yeast fermentation.
  • Aging 11 months in 228L French oak, 25% is new
  • Tasting Note: Alluring aromas of dark plum and spice hint at a wine of brooding complexity. Further exploration is rewarded with a bright perfume and scents of red cherry, raspberry and lifted floral notes. The palate is full and concentrated with soft silky tannin and a long juicy finish.
  • Critical Acclaim: 90pts James Suckling
  • From our February 2024 Bottle of the Month Club Notes:
  • te Pā Pinot Noir, Marlborough, New Zealand 2022
    San Francisco’s dreary, rainy winters tend to keep me indoors and drinking red wines. But even when nestled under my alpaca wool blanket while catching up on True Detective, I tend to reach for a lighter-bodied red. Pinot Noir is always a great choice, and I’m in love with this juicy Pinot from sunny New Zealand.
    Situated in the northeastern corner of New Zealand’s South Island, Marlborough is the driving force behind the Kiwis’ global wine reputation thanks to the enduring popularity of Sauvignon Blanc. It wasn’t until the 1980s that New Zealand found any success with Pinot Noir – other red varieties were tested but often failed. Despite being one of the sunniest regions in the wine world, Marlborough remains chilly year-round, thanks to the Antarctic influence of the Southern Ocean, making heat-loving varieties like Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, or Grenache extremely difficult. Pinot noir, on the other hand, loves cool temperatures and dry feet, and the coastal, alluvial benchlands of the Wairau River are noticeably perfect.
    Haysley MacDonald, a native South Islander with Maori roots and a vision for sustainable agriculture started the transformation of his family's dairy and crop farm into vineyards in 2003. By 2011, his wine estate te Pā emerged, led by MacDonald, North Islander and winemaker Sam Bennett, and long-time friend and vineyard manager Gareth Exton. Their commitment to biodiversity and healthy soil, grounded in the Maori philosophy of land stewardship, or kaitiaki, is the driving force behind te Pā's success.
    As for the Pinot Noir itself, it's not merely a New Zealand wine; it's an embodiment of Marlborough's character. These 15-year-old vineyards don’t get a lot of rain but do get a lot of sunshine and relatively high UV exposure (being so close to the South Pole brings a thinner ozone layer). The cool temperatures, with an average barely topping 64°F in the growing season, keep acids high while the fruit ripens fully. With a small total annual production of 12,000 bottles (or only 1,000 cases), this wine undergoes wild yeast fermentation and matures for 11 months in French oak barrels, a quarter of which is new oak. Alluring aromas of dark plum and spice reveal a brooding complexity that is lifted by the bright perfume of red cherry, raspberry, and violets. The palate is lush with concentrated dark fruit, silky tannins, and a long, juicy finish. Try this wine alongside lamb shawarma or kabobs, cave-aged cheddar cheese, or a winter salad with duck confit. — Cara Patricia