Joelle Thomson

Wine writer and award winning wine author

What I am drinking, reading and savouring each week


Wines of the week - trio of Pinots

When we think of Pinot, it tends to be Pinot Noir but there are many variations on the theme, most of them white, including the perenially popular Pinot Gris, which features in this week's top three wines of the week. While Pinot Noir is often characterised by its naturally high acidity, which adds tension and freshness to wines, the opposite can often true of Pinot Gris which can be low in acidity, even though both grapes are genetically the same in terms of their DNA. Variety is the spice of life, however, even when DNA does not suggest a difference. 

2021 Rockburn Pinot Noir RRP $43.99

Powerful Pinot Noir from the deep south with flavours dried cranberries, intense red cherries and the complexity of dark caramel and spice. This is a full bodied PInot Noir with pronounced tannins balanced by juicy acidity adding length and depth to each sip. An impressive Pinot Noir from a top producer and winemaker Malcolm Rees-Francis.

2020 Rockburn Central Otago Pinot Gris RRP $27
Smooth and fruity with aromas of ripe pear, peach and red floral aromas, thanks to ripe grapes which were given minimal winemaking. This is a drink me now Pinot Gris with weight thanks to being medium dry with 17 grams residual sugar, which adds intensity and depth to each sip. Drink now or in the next two to four years. 

2018 Giesen Clayvin Pinot Noir RRP $56.99
It may be four years old but Giesen's 2018 Clayvin Pinot Noir is a youthful wine that begs for time in the cellar, due to its red fruit aromas and zingy structure. Clayvin Vineyard was the first to be planted on a hillside in Marlborough when Mike Eaton planted it, in the 1990s. It's now owned by Giesen and is certified organic with BioGro New Zealand, which is one of the many incremental steps this winery has made, which translate into this full bodied, red fruited Pinot Noir.