Yealands 2009 pinot noir, from New Zealand

Posted: October 24, 2010

Most people think of sauvignon blanc when New Zealand is mentioned. But Kiwi-land also turns out a stylish pinot noir, too, leaner and more vivid than many American renditions, which can trend so dark and extracted they might as well be plush cabernet.

This pleasant and affordable pinot noir from Yealands, an environmentally friendly "carbon zero" winery in Marlborough, has a brightness that's true to the grape, ruby-toned with strawberry, Bing cherry, cocoa, and easy tannins. But there's also an herbaceous edge I like, too - a nervy aromatic that also buzzes through the New Zealand's white wines - that keeps this young-drinking wine fresh and friendly for light meat dishes. Discounted by $6 off list price in Pennsylvania, this is a perfect chance to sample New Zealand's winemaking talents beyond its iconic sauvignon blancs.

- Craig LaBan

Yealands pinot noir 2009, $13.99, in selected Pennsylvania state stores (code: 30893).

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