Wairau Valley, Marlborough, $255, screw-top
A game of Risk and a wine style that not much of a risk at all; New Zealand Pinot Noir. The label tells me it's made from fruit from two vineyards found at the southern end of the Wairau Valley area of Marlborough and as the winery justifiably says "the finest wines are always created from exceptional vineyards".
Wither Hills Pinot Noir 2007 is lovely intense crimson colour. When we opened it the nose was initially all floral and breezy but it developed in the glass and soon became a story of gamey meat and earthiness. My friends who I drunk this with were all local Hong Kongers and it was interesting that they thought it smelt like 'luncheon meat' while for me it was very much "smoky bacon". Rich and delicious it's a pretty damn tasty wine. It's sweet and sour with cherries, plums, red currents and the whole thing is wrapped in intriguing spice. While you can taste a hint of the oak the whole package is beautifully bright and accessible. The palate's ever so long and Wither Hills Pinot Noir 2007 really is a fine wine. Though we didn't have a winner in "the game of global domination" we had loser who really deserved it - good results all round.
Visit winery website.