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Villa Maria Estate Southern Clay’s Single Vineyard Pinot Noir 2012 Wine Review

Villa Maria Estate Southern Clay’s Single Vineyard Pinot Noir 2012

Villa Maria Estate Southern Clay’s Single Vineyard Pinot Noir 2012

Marlborough, New Zealand

Community Score:92/100

Community Reviews: 12

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Price: $59.95

Drink: 2014-2019

Bottle size: 750 ml

Alcohol: 13%

Sweetness: Extra Dry

Wine Type: Red Wine

Winery: Villa Maria

Agent: Philippe Dandurand Wines Ltd.

Natalie's Score: 95/100

This is a heart-stopper -- what a spectacular Pinot Noir on all dimensions: aroma, flavour, depth, length and complexity. Spicy forest floor notes on the nose, almost feral and exciting. Earthiness comes through on the palate with mouth-filling richness. The wine was aged in 30% new French oak for 8 months. The vines grow in heavy clay soils that release heat slowly at night compared to stones. Clay also retains more moisture so the vines struggle. There's a rising crescendo of pleasure on the finish -- and of longing (for more).

This Villa Maria Estate Southern Clay’s Single Vineyard Pinot Noir 2012 was reviewed on October 30, 2015 by Natalie MacLean

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Reviews and Ratings

Mary Anne van Gaal rated this wine as 94/100 with the following review:

This terrific Pinot Noir with cherry notes yields a juicy mouthful of dark fruit with soft spiciness. A smooth, harmonious finish. Great with lamb.
Donna Hargrove rated this wine as 94/100 with the following review:

From one of the last vineyards Villa Maria picks, the Rutherford Vineyard's climate is ideal for producing fruit with a concentrated flavour. And the proof is in the bottle!

Dark cherry aromas and flavours, this wine is velvety on the tongue with a smooth long finish.

This is one of the best Pinot Noirs I've tasted.
Cherie Cole rated this wine as 93/100 with the following review:

This gorgeous wine was made from 100% hand picked grapes sourced from Rutherford Vineyard in Marlborough and matured for 8 months in French oak barrels. On the nose you will find pleasant aromas of black cherry, earth and violet with a hint of baking spices. This wine is not available at the LCBO, so it was indeed a special treat. If you find your way to the Marlborough region of New Zealand, this wine would be a perfect addition to your collection with ageability for 8-10 years.
David Skinner rated this wine as 93/100 with the following review:

Beautiful ruby hue. Layers of aromas burst from the glass. Dark cherry, herbs and spice with floral hints waft from the bowl begging a taste. The flavours of black fruits and spices augment an already well-structured and complex wine. A perfect balance of acidity and tannins derived from 16 months in French oak barrels. The finish is long and luscious. A prime example of a great Pinot Noir from Marlborough and is certainly cellar worthy.

This wine deserves only the best food although it is so flavourful it may best a good bet to just linger over a glass on its own. How about duck ravioli on foie gras with red miso sauce? Yumm.
Lynn van der Linde - Certified Sommelier rated this wine as 93/100 with the following review:

A lengthy ripening time makes this Pinot Noir superb!

Complex floral and ripe red berries in both glass and mouth, with lasting flavours sip after sip. You won't find this at the LCBO just yet, but might have to make a special trip to the Southern Clays region of Marlborough, New Zealand!

The clay soil in the Southern Clays region of Marlborough allow for consistency across the growing season. The clay retains the heat from the warm days throughout the cool nights, and then warms up again slowly throughout the day (versus the quick to heat up stones from surrounding regions), thereby extending the ripening time of the grapes, and imparting complex notes from the very first to the very last sip.
Matt Steeves - Certified Sommelier rated this wine as 92/100 with the following review:

Award winning Villa Maria's Single Vineyard Southern Clays Pinot Noir is a fine example of high quality, small lot Pinot from the Rutherford Vineyard in Marlborough. Loaded with dark fruits, smoky red berries, sweet baking spice, herbs, and leather, this aromatic and expressive Pinot is ideal with lamb dishes, smoked salmon, or fall stews. The winemakers minimalist approach has preserved the purity of the Pinot giving this wine a truly unique character unlike no other. Tasted September 2015. 92 points. Matt Steeves - www.quercusvino.ca
Monique Sosa - Accredited Sommelier rated this wine as 92/100 with the following review:

A remarkable expression of Pinot coming out of Marlborough. Step aside Central Otago, this small lot, single vineyard, hand harvested Pinot has my attention! Pronounced aromas of red berry fruit (cherry, raspberry), baking spice and smokey minerality stand out. This wine is dry with medium (+) body, integrated acidity, light tannins and a medium-long finish. The finish is slightly pithy (pink grapefruit) but not off-putting, plus some appearance of spicy peppery notes coming through. Pair with fall roasts and stews.
Sean O'Regan - Certified Sommelier rated this wine as 92/100 with the following review:

It's easy to see why this stunning wine from the single vineyard clay soils from the Rutherford Vineyard in Marlborough has won so many awards, with the soils and climate allowing for longer ripening and concentration of flavor in the fruit. Complexity abounds in the nose and palate here with floral, red and dark fruit, mineral and spice from the 30% new French oak aging. The wine has cherry, berry, dried herb, white pepper/minerality and earthy notes with chalky drying tannin all perfectly balanced with good acidity on a long lingering finish. A perfect pairing with lamb chops with rosemay port jus. Tasted Sept 2015 at Villa Maria winemaker lunch. I would love to re-visit this wine in 4-5 years to see the development - 92+
Rachelle O'Connor rated this wine as 92/100 with the following review:

Beautiful color in the glass, this wine is rich and complex. The Rutherford vineyard in Marlborough with its clay and climate translates to this beautifully finish product. Lots of dark cherry, spice and earth - wonderful tannins and a long finish. Definitely cellar worthy.
Gold – Easter Show Wine Awards 2014 (NZ)
Champion Pinot Noir Trophy- Air New Zealand Wine Awards 2014
Reserve Wine of the Show – Air New Zealand Wine Awards 2014
5 Stars – Cuisine
Gold – Royal Easter Show Wine Awards 2015
Vineyards: Rutherford Vineyard, Marlborough
Vintage Yield: 2.5 – 2.75kg/vine
Vintage Detail: The 2012 vintage was cooler than average, with regular rain up to late February, concluding with a long, warm and dry autumn. These factors contributed to excellent vine vitality, fruit flavour concentration and balance at harvest. This facilitated excellent acid and flavour retention.
Hand Harvested: 100%
The fruit was sourced from the secluded Rutherford Vineyard that is situated on the Southern Clays, tucked into the gentle north facing foothills of the Ben Morven Valley in Marlborough. The vineyard is spur pruned to aid in uniformity of fruit development and during the growing season, extensive vineyard husbandry is performed including shoot and bunch thinning. This coupled with an unrelenting attention to vine health maximises the concentration of the fruit. Hand harvesting under superb conditions was performed to ensure the fruit was in impeccable condition when delivered to the winery.
Whole Bunch: No Destemmed: 100%
Cap Management: Hand plunged Fermentation: n/a
Fermentation Vessel: Open top Barrel Type: Fine French
New Barrel: 30% Maturation: 16 months
Fining: Gentle egg white Filtration: Minimal
Malolactic: 100% Bottled: September 2013
Vineyard location highlighted by the superior tight clay and loam soils, has produced fruit of excellent consistency and quality. Crafted using an appreciation of site and a minimalist approach, the resulting wine is a concentrated and complex Pinot Noir showcasing the true purity of the variety. An attractive perfume of ripe red fruits, dark cherry, violets and gentle spice are hallmark traits expressed from this unique site. The palate has abundant layers of dense red and black fruits interwoven with fine grained tannins and respectful oak usage forming a harmonious and silky, yet powerful finish.
Will reward up to 10 years of careful cellaring.

Source: Winery (Villa Maria Estate)

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