Innovation and continuous improvement are hallmarks of quality wine producers. Not content to rest on their laurels, they push boundaries and experiment. Sometimes, these innovations fall flat, but often they add considerable value to the market.
Hunter’s Wines of Marlborough are one such producer – not content to be world renowned as amongst the finest producers of Sauvignon Blanc and Riesling, they almost make wonderful Chardonnay and Pinot, and breathtaking sparkling wines. Among their new offerings is the charming ‘Offshoot’ 2019 Marlborough Pinot Noir. Perhaps seen as a NZ Beaujolais alternative, this is light and charming, but has some serious Pinot chops. Malolactic fermentation, a portion of whole bunches and low cropping vines has resulted in a wine of considerable finesse and depth of flavour, while maintaining a light, breezy, summery style. Hunter’s suggest lightly chilling this before drinking, although it is lovely at room temperature as well. 4*
Another producer who strive for improvement are Pegasus Bay from North Canterbury. I have never met a Pegasus wine that I don’t like, and their 2017 Pinot Noir is no exception. Vibrant, bold, full and rich with a gorgeous spiciness throughout. I have a sneaking suspicion I have committed infanticide with this wine, as, although excellent right now, it will continue to evolve and improve with anywhere up to a decade in bottle. One of the very best Pinot’s from the 2017 vintage that I have tried. 4.5*