2017 Schubert Wines “Block B” Pinot Noir, Wairarapa, Martinborough, New Zealand (Alcohol 14.5%, Residual Sugar 2 g/l) LCBO Vintages $69 (750ml)

You know, it is extremely rare for me to choose to award a bottle of wine five apples out of five; it may have happened only around a handful of times since we first started Good Food Revolution just over 11 years ago. So, in 2021, when I award a wine five apples it means that I am seriously fond of it, and without gushing with too many superlatives, it means that it’s really bloody good!

Opening this exceptional organic Pinot Noir from Wairarapa, New Zealand whilst interviewing winemaker Kai Schubert, I was reminded of just how much I adore really terrific Martinborough Pinot Noir. This bottle was a sheer joy to taste drink.

To say that this wine was complex simply doesn’t do it justice; this wine is so layered and yet it is still so young and could do with a few years to completely integrate, evolve, and open up. I, however, found it to be drinking remarkably well for a 2017.

The expressive and perfumed bouquet brings ripe brambles, riper dark cherries, campfire, woodsy spices, anise, dried, rocky herbal elements (rosemary/thyme/bay), and a gorgeous meatiness that I really crave in this particularly generous style of Pinot. The palate shows really impressive depth and medium-plus-plus weight, with a deep, dark red/black fruit core, a touch of liquorice, smooth but firm tannins, a defined wood spice profile, and a divine, seemingly endless ripe fruit and wood/baking spice finish.

You have to experience this bottling for yourself.

(A rare five out of five apples!)

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Edinburgh-born/Toronto-based Sommelier, consultant, writer, judge, and educator Jamie Drummond is the Director of Programs/Editor of Good Food Revolution… And he really simply loved that wine.