Bell Hill Pinot Noir

Over the past sixteen years, the vines of Bell Hill have slowly bored their way into the bedrock of New Zealand’s finest pinot noirs. There is now no doubt that this estate has reached the lofty echelons of the top handful of makers in the country, and it is this wine that confirms it. There is a completeness and an enduring harmony at play here, reminiscent of pinot of a calibre rarely seen outside the grand crus of Burgundy itself. Complexity goes without saying: beautifully refined black plums, black cherries, brambles and anise, with hints of coal and notes of mixed spice, becoming forest floor and truffle in time. The flow and persistence are an epiphany, with undeterred line and remarkable, silky persistence. Perhaps most remarkable at all is that it achieves this demeanour while swallowing up every ounce of 100% new oak, providing an immaculate framework for wonderfully silky, supple fruit and finely structured tannins. Quite incredible, really. $140 at Prince Wine Stores.