Gabe's View

Wine: Reviews, Thoughts & Culture

Culley – Pinot Noir

Posted by Gabe on October 29, 2007

For years now wine lovers have recognized New Zealand as the home of unique, well made Sauvignon Blanc. In the last few years they have also emerged as producers of well made Pinot Noir.

Culley’s 2006 Pinot Noir is made in a Burgundian style.

Classic Pinot characteristics of sour cherry and cola are balanced by firm but not overwhelming acidity.  This Pinot has a nice finish that lingers on the tongue for quite awhile.

This is a medium bodied wine that will marry well with a wide range of cuisine and is also incredibly easy to drink on it’s own.

It will likely drink well for a couple of years if cellared properly.  However I wouldn’t expect it to improve much if at all. 

Pinot Noir is amongst the most difficult wines to find a true bargain on. Coming in at around $12 a bottle the Culley certainly qualifies.

2 Responses to “Culley – Pinot Noir”

  1. My wife and I went to New Zealand earlier this year on our honeymoon. They *love* their Pinot Noir down there. It is the undisputed king and everyone is growing it. I, personally, still think Sauvignon Blanc from Marlborough is the best stuff coming out of New Zealand. That said, Pinot Noirs from Martinborough and Central Otago are getting better and better every vintage.

  2. john flaherty said

    Regarding NZ pinot noir.

    I lived in Wellington NZ 94/95. Tasted a lot of PN at wineries and in Wellington wine stores.

    Martinborough region is about 2 hours N. of Welington on the N. Island. Most of the producers at that time were small, 300 cases and up. The wines priced at around $25 NZ were thin, little body, short finish. And quite frankly mean wines. The only real quality PN came in about $50-60 a btl. Clearly out of my price range.
    The wines from Marlborough were a little better with Central Otago showing the best. Interesting that the climate on the S. Island, is much cooler than the N. At the time I lived there all the wines including sauvigon blanc were expensive. So I ended up drinking a lot of Australian wine which was much cheaper. Maybe things have changed in NZ? When I returned to California in 95 I noticed that I could buy SB for less than in NZ! Even in 2008 there is very little NZ PN available at retail. Lots of SB.
    Interestingly I did find a $15 NZ PN at Costco. Their private Signature label from Central Otago. Very nice wine and recommended if you can find it.

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