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David Lawrason’s Weekly Wine Pick: a light, woodsy pinot noir from New Zealand

Weekly Wine PickSacred Hill 2011 Pinot Noir

$18.95 | Marlborough, New Zealand | 88 points
Pinot Noir is the most autumnal of red wines, often described as having the scent of forest floor, dried leaves and mushroom—at least, that’s how pinots from  Burgundy are usually described. The expanding universe of New Zealand pinot noirs, on the other hand, have more obvious raspberry and floral scents. This recent LCBO listing is an exception, finding a nice seam between the New and Old World character.

The taste: This is a quite pale, light bodied, fragrant and savoury young pinot—but don’t look for great depth or extraction. I quite like its wild strawberry, woodsy and herbal bouquet, with just a touch of oak smoke and sweetness. It’s well balanced, fleshy and a touch warm, with earthy tobacco notes on the finish. Good to very good length and good focus.

How to drink it: Plan to enjoy it for Saturday or Sunday dinner, who knows, maybe after raking leaves or gardening. It will go with a wide variety of poultry, salmon, pork, red meats or even light pasta and risotto, and even better with herb and mushroom preparations. Chill lightly.

LCBO 277665