ounded by Sir George Fistonich back in 1961, Villa Maria was the first wine company in New Zealand to champion the use of screw caps. In 2002, the winery chose to bottle their entire 2001 vintage without any cork. And today, just about every winery in New Zealand is proudly cork-free. Now if that’s not trendsetting, we don’t know what is!
The 2013 Marlborough region’s grape growing season was warm and dry with mild temperatures. The resulting Pinot noir became a lovely deep garnet red, filled with aromas of cherries, black currants and raspberries, along with eucalyptus, mocha and baking spices.
Once we tasted this wine, we immediately loved the silky, lush mouthfeel and bright, tart acidity. In our mouths, we found some of the same flavors we smelled, including those of slightly unripe raspberries and black currants. More layers began to kick in– eucalyptus, cinnamon and other baking spices swirled around in our mouths, with a black pepper finish that lingered on our tongues long after we swallowed the wine. Aged in new and used French barriques for 10 months, the oak influence was subtle yet added that wonderful lushness in the mouth and spice notes on the finish.
The winery tasting notes suggest dining on lamb, duck and other wild game or a beetroot and feta salad while sipping this Pinot. We think this wine would also be very complementary with roasted chicken, grilled salmon as well as a creamy mac and cheese, with or without bacon on top.