Folding Hill - “Orchard Block” Pinot Noir 2010 (Central Otago, New Zealand)

I've said it before and I'm about to say it again, in print no less, but in the summer months (or any months really) if you're going to drink red wine I don't think there's a much better option than New Zealand Pinot Noir.

Having made that bold assertion I'm now going to make another. I don't think there are many better examples of New Zealand Pinot Noir than this. Right, that's enough assertions for now. On to the wine....

Folding Hill are located in Bannockburn within the Central Otago region of New Zealand's South Island. It's fair to say that Central Otago is a bit of a hot bed of excellent Pinot and Folding Hill have settled in very nicely indeed. The "Orchard Block" Pinot is their flagship wine but they also make a very good yet cheaper Pinot which sits beneath this.

The Orchard Block 2010 retails at £31.50 online with  www.thesampler.co.uk .  Yes that sounds a lot and yes that would buy you a bottle of Champagne but I'd urge you to buy a bottle of this instead. The wine is full of brooding red fruit notes which combined with the hint of toastiness leave you feeling very satisfied indeed as you work your way through the bottle. For the £31.50 you're sampling one of the top level wines from the region. Trying to do the same thing from one of the classic European regions tends to involve a bank loan. I trot this reasoning out fairly frequently but in my view it's a real plus point for New World wine in general.

If £31.50 feels a lot then their other Pinot (currently the 2011 vintage) is available for £19.50 from  www.thesampler.co.uk  and that's a splendid wine too. Just not really splendid like this one.....