Joelle Thomson

Wine writer and award winning wine author

What I am drinking, reading and savouring each week


Wine of the week... 23 January 2023 - Clayvin Pinot Noir

When is the best time to drink Pinot Noir - when it's young or when it's old?

Like people, wines age in very different ways and there's no reliable barometer, but a five year old Pinot Noir from Marlborough makes a great case for waiting half a decade, especially seeing as this wine comes from one of New Zealand's top vineyards, created by a visionary and now owned by a family of similarly minded winemakers.

This is the first wine of the week for 2023... Many more to come.

Wine of the week


2018 Giesen Clayvin Pinot Noir, about $60, if you're lucky enough to find it

Clayvin is the name of the first hillside to be planted with grapes in Marlborough and was established in 1991 by Mike Eaton, whose vision shows in the subtle, silky, soft and smooth flavours of red fruit in this wine. Subtle earthy aromas cuddle up to impressive structure with a nerve bone of acidity running through every delicious sip. Full bodied, long on taste and in a beautiful drinking window right now. 

Giesen Wines now owns the Clayvin Vineyard which is organically certified and located on the north facing slopes of Brancott Valley.