I was looking for a bottle of wine to go with dinner the other night and I came across a little gem that I’d forgotten all about. The wine in question was bought for me as a present a couple of years ago and was a bottle of Villa Maria Marlborough Reserve Pinot Noir 2002. As you’ve probably realised from previous posts I’m a big fan of New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, but I’ve never really tried many of their reds, so now seemed as good an opportunity as ever!
The guys down at Villa Maria have spared no expense in producing this wine; firstly the fruit is all hand harvested, destemmed and crushed in open-top fermenters. While undergoing fermentation it is hand plunged, then after being allowed to go through Malolactic fermentation, it is moved to French Oak barrels to mature for 14 months before being bottled.
On pouring the wine there was quite a bit of anticipation as to what we were going to be drinking, and what we got, had definately been well worth the wait. The colour was a beautifully deep ruby colour, even though it was eight years old, I’d been expecting it to be more tawny than ruby.
On the nose there were these wonderfully pronounced aromas of plums, dark cherries and a touch a spice, predominantly clove. To taste you got all these flavours come through layer after layer with a touch of cocoa to finish it off. Their was a good level of acidity combining with fine silky tannins, creating a beautifully balanced wine with fantastic flavours of fruit and spice.
Is this a wine that I’d recommend, how can I put this, YES. I’ve only seen 2006 and 2007 in the shops lately, but if they’re as good as the 2002, then they are definitely worth buying and cellaring for a couple of years.