This week's Xmas shopping list contains two outstanding new Pinot Noirs from two very different wine regions, Central Otago and Martinborough.
Both places are known for making superb Pinot Noir. Both produce incredibly diverse styles of this popular wine.
Here are two great Xmas wines to drink over the silly season or to give to your nearest and dearest.
2019 Prophet's Rock Olearia Pinot Noir RRP $62.99
Here's a bold new Pinot Noir from Prophet's Rock in Bendigo, Central Otago. Winemaker Paul Pujol says he was inspired to make this wine from the steepest part of the Rocky Point Vineyard in Bendigo where schist soils dominate the ground and an earthy, dark, weighty wine is the result. Pujol wanted to explore this small area of the vineyard land to see what style of wine would come from the hard earth on the site.
All grapes were hand picked, fermented with wild yeasts and the finished wine was aged for 17 months in French oak barrels and bottled unfiltered. Just 321 cases made.
This is an excellent wine for adding to your cellar or drink now in large glasses, decanted.
The name comes from the Olearia Lineata, a small dense tree with elegant fine branches and tiny drought resistant leaves that once carpeted the valley floors of Central Otago. There are large numbers of these officially at risk trees in and around Bendigo, which is home to Prophet's Rock vineyards.
2020 Big Sky Celestia Pinot Noir RRP $108.99
Stunning new Martinborough Pinot Noir with impressive full body and structure from a great vintage and adventurous winemaking techniques. The first vintage of this wine is from the superlative 2020 vintage and name comes from the big sky views from Big Sky Vineyard in Te Muna Valley, Martinborough. Celestia Pinot Noir is made with 100% whole bunch fermentation in seasoned puncheons with ageing for two years. It was bottled unfined and unfiltered. The result is a highly perfumed wine with aromas of red florals, black tea, black fruit and undergrowth, with dense and dark fruity flavours and a silky texture.
Jeremy Corban and Katherine Jacobs founded Big Sky Wines in the Te Muna Valley, Martinborough, in 2005. They have since expanded their small vineyard, which is predominantly planted in Pinot Noir.