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5 of the best Pinot Noirs of 2021

Our pick of the top 5 Pinot Noirs of 2021 from the New World Wine Awards. Each one is a Gold winner and at under $25, there's no reason not give them all a try!

A wine for all occasions. Pinot Noir is one of the most versatile red wines, at home at a summer BBQ, with a Sunday roast chicken, or even a grilled salmon.

To enjoy some award-winning New Zealand wines that best showcase the rich and velvety flavours of Pinot Noir, browse our selection from the 2021 New World Wine Awards. 

Each of these wines are under $25, plus they have a ‘morish’ quality that will leave you wanting just a little bit more.

Looking for a Pinot Noir food pairing?

Pinot Noir is lighter in colour and richness than some reds but does not lack in power to enhance a wide range of dishes. Fabulous with duck confit with duck fat roasted potatoes, rack of lamb with herb crust and meltingly delicious slow-cooked pork belly. It can partner poultry as well as beefy casseroles, and the iconic pizza margherita is absolutely yummy with Pinot.

Related article:

Read our Pinot Noir Wine Guide.

 


Luna Estate Pinot Noir 2019

Variety: Pinot Noir
Region: Wairarapa
Style: Medium Bodied Red Wine
Price: $15 to $20
Key flavours: Cherry fruit, dark berry fruits, dried herbs, forest floor, leather, mushrooms, plums, savoury, spices, thyme
Special features: Sustainable

Judges Comments:

Burgundy region in France has a famous dish called beef bourguignon. This richly gratifying stew uses Pinot Noir as the base of its opulent sauce. You'll need two bottles - one for the pot and one for the meal shared with good friends. This Martinborough beauty is plump and smooth with sweet cherry, clove, almond and mushroom flavours, ideal for making this sophisticated dish and to accompany it.

 


Madam Sass Central Otago Pinot Noir 2020

Variety: Pinot Noir
Region: Otago
Style: Medium Bodied Red Wine
Price: $20 to $25
Key flavours: Cherry fruit, cranberry, dark berry fruits, plums, raspberry, red berry fruits, smoky, tamarillo, violet.
Special features: Sustainable

Judges Comments:

Upfront and generous, this delectable Central Otago wine is filled with dark berry, roasted nut, violet and warm spice notes with a dash of savoury undertone. Plush and flavoursome while remaining groovy and mellow, it's a gorgeous wine to take it to a BBQ or have a glass with pizza while binge watching your favourite drama series. 

 


McArthur Ridge Brassknocker Pinot Noir 2020

Variety: Pinot Noir
Region: Otago
Style: Medium Bodied Red Wine
Price: $15 to $20
Key flavours: Forest floor, leather, mushrooms, plums, savoury, spices, tamarillo, thyme.
Special features: Sustainable

Judges Comments:

It's remarkable that Central Otago's dramatic landscapes and the extreme climate can produce Pinot with grace and fineness. From their vineyard on an elevated plateau on the outskirts of Alexandra, this seductively tasty wine shows dark plums and raspberries with nuances of baking spice and subtle oak, well supported by smooth rounded mouthfeel. Splendidly delicious. 

 


The Ned Pinot Noir 2019

Variety: Pinot Noir
Region: Marlborough
Style: Medium Bodied Red Wine
Price: $20 to $25
Key flavours: Cherry fruit, cranberry, floral, plums, raspberry, red berry fruits, strawberry
Special features: Sustainable, vegan friendly.

Judges Comments:

Part of Marisco Vineyard, established by the enormously experienced winemaker Brent Marris, The Ned wines emphasise bright fruit expression, varietal purity and approachability. Immediately appealing notes of Black Doris plum, mulberry, olive and fragrant spice are beautifully complemented by fine texture, making it a fabulous partner to dishes such as mushroom risotto. 


Toi Toi Central Otago Clutha Pinot Noir 2020

Variety: Pinot Noir
Region: Otago
Style: Medium Bodied Red Wine
Price: $20 to $25
Key flavours: Cherry fruit, cranberry, dark berry fruits, dried herbs, forest floor, mushrooms, raspberry, red berry fruits, savoury, spices, thyme.
Special features: Sustainable

Judges Comments:

By blending grapes from three distinct areas (Pisa in Cromwell Basin, lower river and upper terraces of Alexandra), the team at Toi Toi have smartly captured the essence of Central Otago in this stylish wine. Gorgeously composed with dark cherry, floral, anise and hazelnut characters, it's supple and velvety in the mouth, making it most pleasing and appealing.  

The most popular Pinot Noir

 

Ready to try some award-winning New Zealand Pinot Noirs? All of our Gold medal-winners are available online now from your local New World. 

Best get in quick, as stocks of some of these wines are very limited.

Want to find more award-winning wines for under $25 a bottle? Take a look at our pick of the best New Zealand wines of 2021. Or, use our wine finder tool to search for a wine that takes your fancy.

Related articles:

If you’re already a fan of Pinot Noir, you might be interested in the new ‘red revolution’ quietly sweeping the country. It’s called Syrah, and you can find out all about it in our guide to the latest wine trends.

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Jim Harre - about the author

After studying viticulture and winemaking at Hawkes Bay’s Eastern Institute of Technology, Jim worked several vintages, both in New Zealand and Internationally as a winemaker. 

Identified as having a very good palate for quality assessment of wine, Jim has been a major part of New Zealand’s Wine Judging competitions for over 25 years. Now a well respected International Judge, he works as a Chair of Judges in Wine Competitions in USA, Japan, China, Australia and, of course, New Zealand. 

He is also regarded as a world authority on the effect of how wine perception changes in aircraft, a panel chair at the world’s largest competition; the International Wine Challenge, held each year in London; as well as Wine Consultant to Air New Zealand.

It is Jim’s love of education and teaching people about wine that makes him one of New Zealand’s most recognised Wine professionals.