It is very interesting to compare Australian and New Zealand Pinot Noir. In my opinion, there are interesting parallels, for example between Central Otago and Mornington Peninsula on the one hand, and Martinborough and the Yarra Valley on the other.
This was a brief tasting of six high quality wines.
The 2010 Picardy Pinot Noir from Pemberton, W.A. is expected to be a little different. I thought this was an excellent wine. The colour has a tinge of orange, and the flavours are savoury. What makes this wine exceptional is the elegance on the palate. Picardy's best? (94 points)
The 2012 Bindi Original Vineyard Pinot Noir shows more fruit by comparison. It is quite acidic and tannic and linear on the palate. This wine will live for many years (93 points).
The 2012 Yabby Lake Block 2 Pinot Noir is the little brother of the Jimmy Watson winner. I have not tasted these wines before. I found this wine to be quite earthy and lacking some elegance when compared with the first two. It is a well structured wine (92 points).
The 2011 Akarua Pinot Noir from Central Otago was the weakest in this line-up. The wine is a little fruity and lacked structure and length (90 points).
The 2011 Mount Edwards Pinot Noir from Central Otago was a more appealing wine. It has softer strawberry flavours and fine tannins. It reminded me of Mt. Difficulty. (93 points)
The star of this line-up, the 2011 Ata Rangi Pinot Noir, did not disappoint, although it is not their strongest wine ever. It is of medium weight, with good length and soft tannins. The oak integration is excelllent. This wine will live for many years (94 points).
So how about Australia versus New Zealand? The tasting showed, not surprisingly, the very high standard Pinot Noir has achieved in both countries. I call it a draw.