Pinot Noir Battle: Canada vs. New Zealand

In this corner at 14% we have a contender from New Zealand from a veteran winery called Thornbury from the Central Otago region in New Zealand’s South Island. Wine fans you may know that New Zealand can be a top-quality producer of not only Sauvignon Blanc and now increasingly Pinot Noir.

The nose suggests a broody Pinot Noir one would wish to avoid in a dark alleyway. Deep raspberry and red cherry are tightly wound on the nose. On the palate smooth with almost clinging raspberry notes tinged with loganberry and a hint of mocha. Short finish. A decent Pinot Noir but not definitely heavyweight champion material.

(Thornbury 2019 Central Otago Pinot Noir, Thornbury Wines, Mangere, New Zealand, $29.90, Liquor Control Board of Ontario # 926245, 14%, 750 mL, Robert K. Stephen a little birdie told me Rating 91/100).

Alright a Canadian Pinot Noir steps into the ring. It is a Henry of Pelham 2019 Pinot Noir. On the nose sweet red cherries and freshly picked raspberries. On the palate there are some light tannins. On the palate overlaying the red cherry would be a gentle net of smoke. A very gentle cut of acid. A good but simple Pinot Noir. Quick finish. As for food a mushroom Stroganoff will win the day. Here’s the recipe

(Henry of Pelham Estate Pinot Noir 2019, VQA Short Hills Bench, Henry of Pelham Family Estates Winery, St. Catharines, Ontario, $ 24.95, Liquor Control Board of Ontario # 268391, 750 mL, 13%, Robert K. Stephen a little birdie told me Rating 91/100).

Might improve with some ageing but consume by end of 2025.

So the judges have made their decision and it is a draw.

Published by Robert K Stephen (CSW)

Robert K Stephen writes about food and drink, travel, and lifestyle issues. He is one of the few non-national writers to be certified as a wine specialist by the Society of Wine Educators, in Washington, DC. Robert was the first associate member of the Wine Writers’ Circle of Canada. He also holds a Mindfulness Certification from the University of Leiden and the University of Toronto. Be it Spanish cured meat, dried fruit, BBQ, or recycled bamboo place mats, Robert endeavours to escape the mundane, which is why he has established this publication. His motto is, "Have Story, Will Write."

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