Date:November 20, 2015

2014 Villa Maria Private Bin Pinot noir

2014 Villa Maria Private Bin Pinot noir2014 Villa Maria Private Bin Pinot noir

Marlborough AVA
New Zealand


e’ll be the first to admit that we’re not very familiar with the Pinot noir coming out of New Zealand. And with such wonderful Pinot noir growing minutes from our home, we don’t often seek out wine from across the globe. But we were pleasantly surprised by the Villa Maria Pinots we had recently. Not only were they quite good but also reasonably priced.

Harvested by hand and machine, the Private Bin Pinot noir was fermented using both indigenous and cultured yeast, then aged in stainless steel and used French barrique barrels for 10 months before bottling. Villa Maria was the first winery in New Zealand to shift over to screw caps and have been championing that cause ever since. Their influence has been great– today, virtually all wineries in New Zealand have abandoned cork and adopted a screw cap enclosure.

The wine was a gorgeous garnet red color with a nose not much different than the Pinots we have in the Willamette Valley. We smelled red fruits including cherries and raspberries which then became more complex. An interesting aroma similar to freshly turned black soil began emitting from our glasses. We also noted eucalyptus, cherry cola, black currant and a smokey quality in this wine. It had lively acidity with a fresh tartness and flavors of black currant, brambly berries and a nice white pepper finish.

The winery suggests pairing this Pinot noir with red meats, smoked salmon and mature cheddar cheese.

SRP $17.

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  1. Marlynn @ UrbanBlissLife Reply

    I do enjoy Villa Maria wines. They’re excellent with cheese & charcuterie platters!

    • Michele Francisco
      Michele Francisco Reply

      We drank ours with cheese and crackers! It was fun to taste a Pinot from so far away, yet the varietal characteristics are still the same.

  2. Pech Reply

    I prefer opening up screw caps to corks, but there is often still a stigma that it must be cheaper wine because there’s no cork. I wish more Oregon wineries would go towards this easier enclosure and promote it!

    • Michele Francisco
      Michele Francisco Reply

      We agree Pech! Chehalem Wines has been using Stelvin screw cap closures for over 10 years now. I’m working on a post about the 10 year vertical we got to taste recently. Stay tuned!

  3. Rachel Lloyd Reply

    YUM! I love discovering new and tasty wines!!! This one sounds like a winner.

    • Michele Francisco
      Michele Francisco Reply

      And very easy to find too Rachel. Please let us know what you think if you try it.

  4. Kelley Reply

    I’ll keep an eye out for it. I also prefer screwtops–I’ve broken too many corks recently. Bumming yourself out is no way to start a new bottle of wine.

    • Michele Francisco
      Michele Francisco Reply

      You are so right Kelley!

  5. Kristi Reply

    It’s 3:15 on Friday afternoon and this is giving me serious wine cravings right now. I’ll keep an eye out for NZ Pinot. Would never have even considered them until now. Thanks!

    • Michele Francisco
      Michele Francisco Reply

      Hi Kristi- please let us know what you like in the NZ Pinot wines!

  6. Rosie from Blog To Taste Reply

    Sounds like a tasty bottle! I also prefer a screw top bottle, but since i started carrying a folding corkscrew in my purse I have had a lot of wonderful interactions with strangers needing a bottle opened (at weddings, and on a recent trip to London and Paris). I’ve decided I can never leave home with it!

    • Michele Francisco
      Michele Francisco Reply

      LOL Rosie! Were you a girl scout? I’m sure everyone you help is grateful for your preparedness!

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