Kitchen Tips

The best Pinot Noirs from Food's Top Wine Awards 2019

Fruity, velvety and versatile, Pinot Noir never disappoints. Master of Wine Paul Tudor shares his top Pinot Noir picks from Food magazine's Top Wine Awards.

Look out for the Food Top Wine Award stickers on these bottles at supermarkets and selected liquor retailers.
Frontera Chile Pinot Noir Concha y Toro 2017 ($12)
Do not be put off by the rock-bottom price – this fruity, uncomplicated wine is actually a textbook expression of the Pinot Noir variety. Cherry-berry aromatics, light tannins and fresh acidity in the mouth, it is no heavy-duty example, but as an everyday light red, this is fantastic.
Saint Clair Vicar's Choice Marlborough Pinot Noir 2017 ($18)
Another bargain-buy Pinot. This time the dark cherry and plum fruit is striking on the bouquet; not a heavily weighted wine, but concentrated flavours include spice and fruitcake. Easy drinking, everyday wine.
Seifried Estate Nelson Pinot Noir 2017 ($20)
This is a relatively upfront, fruity styled red, with juicy plum and currant aromatics, a fresh and crisp palate, and just a lick of oak but concentrated and balanced in the mouth. Well priced.
Stoneleigh Latitude Marlborough Pinot Noir 2017 ($20)
Light cherry red with smoky, herbal, cherry aromatics and dark plum characters. This is grippy and sappy in the mouth; a firm, crisp wine, pithy, light and simple, but also with great grip.
Wither Hills Marlborough Pinot Noir 2016 ($22)
A more savoury, developed style, this has some smoky, gamey notes overlaying the dark, subdued fruit. There's an almost salty character to taste. A fresh, elegant wine that would be great alongside lamb or venison.
Main Divide North Canterbury Pinot Noir 2015 ($28)
I consider this to be a benchmark for New Zealand Pinot Noir – it exhibits many of the characters people enjoy from top flight Pinot: lifted cherry fruit, yet savoury, complex, secondary characters, lovely soft tannins, but balanced with firm acidity. First-rate wine at an affordable price.
Rockburn Central Otago Pinot Noir 2017 ($40)
A classic Central Otago Pinot, with intense, almost spicy, cherry characters, supported with cedary oak. A generous, creamy wine, with a touch of class, perhaps Rockburn's best ever.
Greystone Waipara Valley Pinot Noir 2016 ($42)
Greystone makes wines with great texture and depth and this wine is no exception. Dark cherry aromas with some spicy undertones. In the mouth it is concentrated and multi-layered; a wine that takes time to open. Still very youthful, but a beautifully poised Pinot.
Ostler Caroline's Waitaki Valley Pinot Noir 2015 ($50)
Lifted aromatics – think wild herbs, red cherry, even rhubarb; the mouthfeel is tight and angular, with a fairly dry finish. An interesting, distinctive Pinot for when you want to splurge.