I think that this wine appeared on a Decanter list of wines. I’m no longer sure which one but I do love lists and so often with the Decanter lists they feature wines that are either unavailable here in Australia or so expensive that they might as well be unavailable.
This Delta Pinot Noir from New Zealand’s Marlborough region is widely available and comes in at about $25 a bottle. Delta is a relatively young winery – founded in 2000 – and it produces two Pinot Noirs (both available in Australia) as well as … a Sauvignon Blanc. The business is a joint venture between a Kiwi winemaker and an English wine distributor. In its short existence, the wines of Delta have been well reviewed.
As you may know, I don’t typically buy a lot of New Zealand wine, and I certainly can’t profess to be an expert on Marlborough Pinot Noir. I also find that the $20-$30 price point for Pinot is a really tough bracket. And not tough because there is so much competition but tough because I generally find it underwhelming. While I love discovering wines that over-deliver, I find this very rarely the case with cheaper Pinot and I suspect that because I expect disappointment, I find it.
So … how does the Delta Pinot Noir perform in the glass?
It is medium to pale in intensity and garnet in colour. The nose shows raspberry and strawberry, with a hint of smokiness and stalk and ever so slight spiciness.
The palate is very fruit forward (something very common with many ‘new world’ Pinot Noirs) and shows off red cherry much more than the berry fruit of the nose. There are some soft tannins providing structure and while there’s some good acidity, the flavour profile drops off quite quickly.
In this instance, disappointment is way too strong a word. This is a tidy wine which delivers very typical Pinot characteristics and does have some structure. Is $25 too much to pay for it? Well, if you are in the market for a Pinot then, no, it’s probably not – but can you find more exciting wines at the same (or even less) cost? Why, yes.
But would I be rushing out and buying it again? To be honest – no. In my overall wine world view, this doesn’t deliver at the price. I would be interested to try out Delta’s Hatters Hill Pinot – it’s almost exactly the same price but is the winery’s flagship wine.
Dan Murphy’s (online order).