Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Wine Blogging Wednesday #17

For the 17th version of Wine Blogging Wednesday, hosted by John at "Corkdork" , the theme is "Red Kiwis". For the wrap-up of all the entries visit his site in a few days.

As I was out last week and didn't have time to press the wine reps for Red Wines from New Zealand, I ventured to a local wine store and hung out in the New Zealand section, which was actually not a section, but some shelf space between Australia and Italy. I wanted to find some Pinot from Central Otago as I had learned from WBW #14 that it is THE new hot spot for Pinot. I mostly found Sauvignon Blancs and a few Reds. (Of interest, I did find a 2000 Stonyridge Blend for $80.) Beside that, I found a 1998 Mills Reef Cab/Merlot, a 2004 Kim Crawford PN and a 2003 Tohu PN.

I passed on the Stonyridge for now, due to budget contraints and concern on storage conditions as I had recently bought an off bottle of 2000 Altos Luzon at this store. As it turns out my choice, 2003 Tohu Pinot Noir was oxidized from a bad cork! But the shop owner easily replaced the bad bottle with a new one with no questions asked. (I saw two other "bad" bottles -- not Tohu's -- next to the register awaiting return to the distributor!)

2003 Tohu Pinot Noir, Marlborough ($20) -- NZ. I can't tell you how the wine fared with dinner last night as the first bottle was oxidized, but the 2003 Vina Borja, Campo de Borja Grenache for $6 was great with the grilled chicken and pesto pasta. What a great $6 wine. Two Buck What?! Don't get me going!

First off for $20 I expect a very good wine as there are many good/drinkable $15 Pinot's. The Tohu is very good with not a big nose, smooth full fruits and ample finish. It is balanced with enough acid to pair well with foods, but also very pleasant on its own. It is almost elegant in a Burgundian way yet with plenty of fruit. I would not back up the truck to buy cases of this wine as a screaming deal, but would certainly recommend.

Once again, I have been impressed by the Pinot's from New Zealand.

PS: Beau at Basic Juice reviewed the 2004 Tohu in November.


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