Villa Maria has been one of the dominant and driving forces in regards to the New Zealand wine industry for a good number of years. They have their hat in many rings and have had great success across their extensive portfolio, in its native New Zealand as well as internationally. Their portfolio is vast and filled with many treasures. Pinot Noir has become one of their specialties and their 2019 Reserve Pinot Noir brings this to light. This particular wine, even though it is varietal to a T, has some serious concentration to its red and dark cherry fruit that really shows beautiful depth in the palate with a spicy overture chiming in nicely on its medium bodied frame.
We tried this up against several highly reviewed Pinot Noirs and the 2019 Villa Maria Reserve Pinot Noir stood out as the clear winner, which says quite a lot as all the wines were exceptional and worthy in their own right. The Villa Maria Reserve Pinot Noir had that extra degree of depth and palate presence that set it apart from the others. It has all the attributes that one looks for from this temperamental varietal with some notable reviews giving it the validity it rightly deserves. There’s no hurry on this one, other than it is downright delicious and pretty hard to resist right now. Anyway you cut it, it’s a serious drop with good complexity and layers of engaging flavors.
For a Marlborough Pinot Noir the 2019 Villa Maria Reserve Pinot Noir has some nice scale to it showcasing good concentration and fruit density. There’s a floral element to the wine’s aromatics, with a touch of herbs and spice lift as well to the darker red berry fruit on the nose. Offering a mix of juicy red and darker cherry fruit flavors on its medium bodied frame, the palate is polished, supple and smooth textured, with nice acidity keeping it fresh while the tannins say that this should hold up nicely over the next 3-4 years quite easily.
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92 pts James Suckling Nov 2021
A fragrant nose of wild strawberries, sour cherries, fresh herbs, forest floor and spice box. It’s medium-bodied with fresh acidity. Round and creamy with plenty of fruit and a succulent finish. Fresh and clean. Drink or hold. Screw cap.
92 pts Wine Advocate June 2021
A fine effort, the 2019 Reserve Pinot Noir combines mixed black and red cherries with subtle cedar, vanilla and spice shadings. It’s medium-bodied, supple and smooth in texture, with a mouthwatering finish. It’s not a big, burly offering, as this wine was sometimes in the past, but a pleasantly elegant bottling to drink over the next 5-8 years. 2021-2028.
90 pts Decanter
A blend of fruit from four sites, including Villa’s prized Taylor’s Pass and Seddon vineyards in the cool Awatere Valley. Aromas of smoky red cherry lead to a high-toned, mineral palate of cherry liqueur that has a brisk seam of acidity running through, and integrated oak spice notes from 14 months in barrel, 35% new. Drink 2021-2024.
90 pts Wine Enthusiast Nov 2021
This is a polished, appealing Pinot that opens with lifted aromas of licorice, savory herbs and violets amidst plump plum and berry fruit. The medium-bodied palate threaded gently with savory tannins. This should gain complexity with a few more years in bottle. Drink through 2029
Part of the Pinot Noir fruit for this Reserve Pinot Noir comes from two vineyards with deep claybased soils in the Wairau Valley. Rutherford and Cowley are in the sheltered north-facing Ben Morven Valley. The remaining Pinot Noir comes from the cooler Awatere Valley, both with
free-draining windblown silt loess soils adjacent to the Awatere River.
Our Marlborough Reserve Pinot Noir showcases bright floral aromas as well as fresh cherries. On the palate is an inviting mixture of dark chocolate and juicy summer berries with hints of fresh portabello mushrooms. This complex wine shows both purity and richness with soft
velvety tannins and toasty oak influence which completes the wine.