Where the 2020 Aroha Pinot Noir is obvious in its outlay of pleasure (the fruit, the tannins and the whole bunches are all distinct characteristics within the wine as a whole), the 2021 Aroha Pinot Noir is a far more svelte, flowing affair with a seamless transition between fruit, tannin and whole bunch (32%). It is characterized by black cherries, a hint of kirsch, black tea, star anise, clove and dehydrated orange peel, jasmine tea, raspberry and a hint of graphite and cocoa dust. This is a really exciting wine here, and it’s a statement for New World Pinot
The 2020 Aroha Pinot Noir leads with roasted cherry, pink peppercorns, Sichuan peppercorns and pomegranate molasses on the nose. In the mouth, the wine is taut and fine, with a silky flow of flavor that trickles through the fine tannic structure. All things are in place. It is both svelte and harmonious, powerful and long, and it’s exciting drinking; the 70% whole bunch brings a swathe of exotic spice to the show and sits within the fruit and experience as a whole. This has a long future ahead, make no mistake.
Aroha (meaning ‘love’ in native New Zealand Māori language) is made from two low-yielding parcels (one planted to the Abel clone) on the slope of an elevated terrace of the Te Muna Road vineyard. Wild yeast fermented, it uses 32% whole bunch fruit and ages in barrique, 30% new, for 12 months, then bottled unfiltered. Anne Krebiehl MW: Smooth, dense fruit, tannins that crackle with peppery and briar spice, vivid crunch. Such freshness and perfect balance. Justin Knock MW: Pretty red fruits, perfumed, citrus, wild herbs, earthy hints. There’s really fine attention on the palate, crisp, pinpoint, expertly balanced. This is a very fine wine. Dirceu Vianna Junior MW: Seductive, inviting ripe forest fruits, pepper and a hint of sweet spices. Excellent fruit concentration, harmonious structure and silky in texture.
Medium ruby-purple in color, it opens with vivacious notions of cranberry preserves, pomegranate, lavender, and jasmine tea, with star anise and Sichuan pepper in the background. The medium-bodied palate is bright and youthful, with lively red berry flavors and herbal undertones, framed by fine-grained tannins, finishing long and perfumed.
This elegant ruby-colored Pinot Noir has aromas of red raspberry, cherry, bramble, and sliced cremini mushrooms. It’s gentle upon entry, with flavors of red berries, red plum, lavender, and forest floor all wrapped in a blanket of soft, round tannins. The finish has great length, with a bright splash of acidity in the post-palate.