Joelle Thomson

Wine writer and award winning wine author

What I am drinking, reading and savouring each week


Two different takes on Central Otago Pinot Noir

Wild Earth's new Pinots

To be awarded best in the world is a tall order in any industry, let alone the world of Pinot Noir, which reveres Burgundy but generally holds that all other regions of the wine world can't quite hold a torch to it, but there are a growing number of wine regions that are home to extremely good Pinot Noir today. Central Otago is one of them. One of its wines took out the title of best in the world when the 2006 vintage of Wild Earth Pinot Noir was awarded the Trophy for Best Red Wine and Champion Pinot Noir at the world’s largest wine competition. the International Wine Challenge in London. These awards, along with five other trophies in the same year were the beginning of a high gold medal tally that stood Wild Earth wines in good stead. And also helped to cement Central Otago's place on the world's Pinot Noir map.

These two new releases from Wild Earth wines again shine a light on how good Pinot Noir can be from a place that makes wildly different styles to the classic Burgundian mould, but does so in a way that expresses the classic hallmarks that make Pinot Noir such a stand out wine. They include a silky textural mouthfeel, fresh high acidity that adds length to every sip and aids longevity and a delicate profile of red fruit flavours that pack a punch in wines of substance. 


2022 Wild Earth Pinot Noir RRP $46

Wildly tasty Pinot Noir, if you'll excuse the pun, from a year that is shaping up to be an excellent one for Pinot from the deep south. The 2022 harvest took place without a high degree of weather pressure and the resulting wines, such as this one from Wild Earth, are silky in mouthfeel with immediacy and approachability - silky red fruit flavours are enveloped in an earthy depth of taste in a wine with a lingering finish. This wine tastes great and has potential for ageing for at least six to seven years.


2023 Wild Earth Rosé RRP $32

This vibrant young rosé from Central Otago is already full of bright fruit flavours and drinking well with promising aromas of red berries; think of dried cranberries, ripe strawberries, cherries and raspberries, all intermingling in a light bodied, flavour packed wine. This drinks well now and will continue to do so for the next 18 months. Like most rosé, this is a wine to sip and savour while it's young.