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  News and Accolades
Beetle Juice 2007 Cuisine Nov Issue, 5 stars, top 10, NZ Pinot Noirs!!!
Cuisine's record-breaking Pinot Noir tastingThursday, 23 October 2008, 2:19 pm
Press Release: Cuisine

Wed 22 October 2008

Cuisine's record-breaking Pinot Noir tasting the best line-up ever

With Christmas fast approaching, Cuisine magazine has reviewed an impressive and unprecedented number of New Zealand Pinot Noirs and sparkling wines from around the globe to produce the definitive guide for enjoying the festive season.

A record number of 29 five stars were handed out in a Cuisine New Zealand Pinot Noir tasting with 91 wines receiving either four or five stars. Judge Larry McKenna said it was the best line-up of current vintage Pinot Noirs he had ever seen in any show at any time.

Pinot Noir may have a reputation for being "tantrum-prone" but the Cuisine judging panel described the 2007 vintage across the regions to be simply outstanding.

The exceptionally high entry rate (242) was another record breaker. "In terms of numbers of wines presented and overall quality, it's the most significant showing of one-year-old Pinot Noirs I've ever seen," said panel chair John Belsham.

Top honours went to the Villa Maria Single Vineyard Seddon Pinot Noir 2006, with the panel "unanimously enraptured" from the outset.

Following its great annual tradition, the Christmas issue of Cuisine has also assessed the best bubbles - a great guide for buyers looking for quality and value. Separate tastings of Champagnes and Sparkling Wines showcase just what's on offer and demonstrate you don't need a deep pocket to enjoy world class sparklers.

Sifting through the heavenly French beauties in the Champagne tasting was demanding but pleasurable. This year's expert Cuisine panel found the line-up "worthy of the best tables and the best company" and, surprisingly, some of the lower-cost wines gave nothing away to their more pricey peers.

The stand-out Champagne was Pol Roger Vintage Brut 1999. "Nutty and bready complexities add elaborate dimensions to opulent peaches-and-cream-like fruit character...a simply lovely Champagne to share with the closet of friends," was the panel's description.

On the sparkling side, the panel found the wines from both sides of the Tasman just "keep getting better", clearly outclassing competition from the rest of the world.

Leading Australian sparkler Yellowglen Vintage Perle 2005 topped the tasting. The judges described it as a "bright, foaming wine with a vibrant, zesty nose that shows delicate hints of strawberry and a suggestion of crème brulee." At just $24.99 a bottle, it substantiates Cuisine's view that many of the moderately priced sparkling wines offer unbeatable value for money.

New Zealand entries make up the balance of the Top Five Sparkling Wines.

Complete results of the Pinot Noir and Champagne tastings, the very latest in wine news and great food and wine matches are all revealed in the Christmas issue of Cuisine, on sale from 27 October.

TOP TEN NEW ZEALAND PINOT NOIRS (all awarded five stars)

1 Villa Maria Single Vineyard Seddon Pinot Noir 2006

2 = Domain Road Pinot Noir 2007

2 = West Brook Blue Ridge Marlborough Pinot Noir 2007

4 Craggy Range Pinot Noir Zebra Vineyard 2007

5 Peregrine Pinot Noir 2007

6 Montana Letter Series 'T' Terraces Marlborough Pinot Noir 2007

7 Wooing Tree Beetle Juice Pinot Noir 2007

8 Rockburn Pinot Noir 2007

9 Waipara Hills Southern Cross Selection Central Otago Pinot Noir 2007

10 Voss Estate Pinot Noir 2007

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