After a number of mixed experiences lately, I wanted an exciting wine drinking experience. I went for the 2010 Kusuda Pinot Noir. This wine from Martinborough, New Zealand's leading Pinot Noir region (yes!), is rare as hens' teeth. I met the Japanese winemaker a couple of years ago, and his meticulous approach is similar to what you would experience at a Tokyo fruit market. Every grape is treated individually, both in the vineyard and the winery. No split or unripe grape would ever make it to making wine.
After opening the wine, by pulling out an extra long cork (reassuring!), fragrant and enticing aromas escape the bottle. On the palate, attractive strawberry and red cherry flavours dominate, and darker mushroom flavours join in. This wine is quite feminine, elegant, and delicious, but it has intensity and cut-through as well. It finishes on silky tannins. This is a terrific Pinot Noir.