We are always on the look out for great values and we have found one in the 2020 Stratum Pinot Noir out of the Waipara Valley, which is situated about 40 miles north of Christchurch on the South Island of New Zealand. Recognized as one of New Zealand’s coolest wine growing regions, the area has enough summer warmth with long autumns that allows for fickle varietals like Pinot Noir to thrive. The reds of the highly acclaimed 2020 vintage in New Zealand are just starting to trickle in, and from the first offerings we have tried it looks like there are going to be some noteworthy wines coming down the pipeline. One of the better ways to get an idea on the quality of the vintage is by the entry level wines, which are the first wines to show up. If the quality is there than you know the bigger hitters following up are going to be impressive. So how does the start look on the first release of a value oriented 2020 Kiwi Pinot Noir on first impression? Pretty darn good when you factor in pricing and drinking enjoyment. The 2020 Stratum Pinot Noir arrived a few months back and has settled in nicely and it’s got a lot of positives that will bring you back for another glass. Cherry, raspberry and strawberry notes with an underpinning of earthiness, cola and baking spice go along with a silky smooth palate that brings forth all that Pinot wonderfulness we look for, all for under $15. Not a bad way to start things out. This is a perfect wine for the season as it has great diversity and will work with a number of food options.