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8 of the best Pinot Noirs of 2020

Our pick of the top 8 Pinot Noirs of 2020 from the New World Wine Awards. Each one 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 2020 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.

Read our Pinot Noir Wine Guide.

 


Sugar Loaf Southern Valleys Pinot Noir 2019

Variety: Pinot Noir
Region: Marlborough
Style: Medium Bodied Red Wine
Price: $20 to $25
Key flavours: Cherry fruit, cranberry

Judges Comments:

From the Marlborough sub-region of the Southern Valleys comes an extraordinarily graceful Pinot Noir. Grown on clay soils, this is a delicious expression of the terroir. Perfect with dishes like slow cooked red wine beef casserole or slow roasted pork-belly. Bold tannins with good fruit flavours of black cherry and cranberry in balance. A very powerful expression, youthful with lots of fruit and glorious length of flavour.

Pairing Recommendation:

Complementing a wide range of dishes from reasonably robust to restrained and elegant. Great with salmon or the Sunday roast, burger and ribs or steak, sausages, chicken, lamb, pork belly and game, take to a pot-luck dinner or BBQ. Versatile enough for antipasti, cheeses like brie, camembert, feta and mozzarella, pizza and pasta.


Mount Brown Estates Pinot Noir 2019

Variety: Pinot Noir
Region: Canterbury
Style: Medium Bodied Red Wine
Price: $15 to $20
Key flavours: Cherry fruit, mushrooms, spicy

Judges Comments:

From a small winery in North Canterbury operated by a father and daughter team, this is a wine that pairs perfectly with the local lamb. Try a slow roasted shoulder of lamb served with a fresh green salad. Sweet ripe fruit, spicy tannins and a nice savoury mushroom character with great concentration of flavour yet still delicate. Engaging length of flavour with a rich textural finish.

Pairing Recommendation:

Complementing a wide range of dishes from reasonably robust to restrained and elegant. Great with salmon or the Sunday roast, burger and ribs or steak, sausages, chicken, lamb, pork belly and game, take to a pot-luck dinner or BBQ. Versatile enough for antipasti, cheeses like brie, camembert, feta and mozzarella, pizza and pasta.


Framingham Nobody's Hero Pinot Noir 2019

Variety: Pinot Noir
Region: Marlborough
Style: Medium Bodied Red Wine
Price: $20 to $25
Key flavours: Cherry fruit

Judges Comments:

This year's Champion Pinot Noir is outstanding and an excellent example of the high quality of New Zealand Pinot. From the talented team at Framingham, try this with a butterflied chicken cooked on the BBQ and served with a roasted beet salad. Ripe cherry fruit with a hint of spice, the palate is plump, full and rich and very approachable. The tannins are firm but with fine integration and a long lingering finish.

Pairing Recommendation:

Complementing a wide range of dishes from reasonably robust to restrained and elegant. Great with salmon or the Sunday roast, burger and ribs or steak, sausages, chicken, lamb, pork belly and game, take to a pot-luck dinner or BBQ. Versatile enough for antipasti, cheeses like brie, camembert, feta and mozzarella, pizza and pasta.


Borthwick Paper Road Pinot Noir 2019

Variety: Pinot Noir
Region: Wairarapa
Style: Medium Bodied Red Wine
Price: $15 to $20
Key flavours: Cedar wood, cherry fruit, tamarillo

Judges Comments:

From the small, high quality wine-producing area of Gladstone, just over the hill from Wellington. Beetroot, mushrooms and duck are all extraordinary when paired with this Pinot Noir. Perfumed cedar, ripe black cherry and tamarillo fruit aromas extend through the palate, giving a gentle complexity. A very rich, polished wine with great length of flavour.

Pairing Recommendation:

Complementing a wide range of dishes from reasonably robust to restrained and elegant. Great with salmon or the Sunday roast, burger and ribs or steak, sausages, chicken, lamb, pork belly and game, take to a pot-luck dinner or BBQ. Versatile enough for antipasti, cheeses like brie, camembert, feta and mozzarella, pizza and pasta.


The Crater Rim "From the Ashes" Pinot Noir 2019

Variety: Pinot Noir
Region: Canterbury
Style: Medium Bodied Red Wine
Price: $15 to $20
Key flavours: Cherry fruit, dark berry fruits, spicy

Judges Comments:

Here is the single partner to an Italian style dinner – start with bruschetta, follow with pasta tossed with a roast tomato and fresh herb sauce, then chicken cacciatore, and this one wine will pair with them all! Too easy. Produced in Waipara, just north of Christchurch, ripe red fruits with an exotic hint of pepper and an attractive tension between fruit and tannins. Layers of really spicy fruit and a rounded textural mouthfeel, topped with an engaging long finish.

Pairing Recommendation:

Complementing a wide range of dishes from reasonably robust to restrained and elegant. Great with salmon or the Sunday roast, burger and ribs or steak, sausages, chicken, lamb, pork belly and game, take to a pot-luck dinner or BBQ. Versatile enough for antipasti, cheeses like brie, camembert, feta and mozzarella, pizza and pasta.

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 2020. 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.