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2013 Pinot Noir

Pisa Terrace Vineyard

We’re not alone in finding that the best and most consistent Pinot Noirs in New Zealand are grown in Central Otago. Our search for a great vineyard in the area ended at a wine tasting in Oregon. Roberta Manell Montero, one of the owners of the Pisa Terrace Vineyard, held a tasting as a thank-you event for local winemakers who purchase the barrels she sells. At this tasting she poured many white and red Burgundies along with several white and red Bordeauxs - wines made with the oak she sells (to demonstrate their qualities). She was persuaded to bring some of her own wines made off Pisa Terrace Vineyard for us to try (under the Ellero label). They were my favorite wines of the tasting. 

Thus ended my search for a great source of Pinot Noir in New Zealand.

Another factor which helped tip the scales is that Roberta’s husband, John, manages the vineyard and knows exactly how to make great Pinot happen as he was a winemaker for years at a couple of California’s best Pinot Noir wineries.

The vineyard comprises 17 acres with several clones of Pinot: Pommard, 115, 777, 667, the “Abel” clone along with a bit of Riesling. It was planted in 2002 through 2005 and is farmed (and certified) organically.

This is the wine we’ve been looking to make in New Zealand: fully ripe, with great structure, good natural acidity and loads of intensity. What a treat! It should age very, very well. And, it is a great value in Pinot Noir.

The label art was drawn by the winemaker’s friend Nancy Davis. It was inspired by the Maori art of tattooing.