Thursday, November 12, 2015

#NZPinot “First Taste of Fall” with Villa Maria Winery

Villa Maria, the New Zealand winery located in Marlborough, introduced their latest release of Pinot Noir by hosting a “First Taste of Fall” #NZPinot twitter tasting.  Senior Marlborough Winemaker Helen Morrison and Marlborough Winemaker Josh Hammond participated in order to answer any questions regarding the two wines. These were the Villa Maria 2014 Private Bin Pinot Noir, Marlborough ($17, 13.5) and Villa Maria 2013 Cellar Selection Pinot Noir, Marlborough ($25, 13.5). Villa Maria is an iconic brand as evident by Drinks International naming the winery the most admired wine brand in New Zealand. And since it's 1961 founding, the winery is still family owned.

Courtesy of Villa Maria
Courtesy of Villa Maria
As for the wines, they shared a similar fermentation and region (Wairau & Awatere Valleys) with the main difference between the two based on plot selection and barrique seasoning. The 2014 Private Bin was aged in a mixture of stainless steel and seasoned French barriques for 10 months. The result is a very approachable, easy drinking wine. It carries some herbaceous and spicy traits which mingle with the red cherry flavors, then finishes with smooth tannins. On the other hand, the 2013 Cellar Selection was aged solely in new and seasoned French barriques for 10 months. This wine starts smoky and fruity with red cherries and raspberries on the soft, creamy palate, then finishes smooth w/subtle tannins and spice.  Both ready for the “First Taste of Fall”. Cheers.

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