Had a Glass: 2010 Elephant Hill Pinot Noir

Vintage: 2010
Producer: Elephant Hill
Variety: Pinot Noir
Designation: N/A
Region: New Zealand
Sub-region: South Island, Central Otago
ABV: 13.5%
Price: £20 (The Sampler)

He says: The sub-$50 Pinot Noir category can be a bit of a minefield, with often more misses than hits, especially when buying French. Thus, this has become the domain of the New World, with consistency being delivered by the USA, New Zealand, Australia, and others. With these regions, the emphasis is on fruity, clean, focused, linear wines, often lacking the complexity, weight and earthiness of fine Burgundy. So, it’s with interest that we opened this Central Otago offering hoping to find a New World gem. Unfortunately, it garnered mixed reviews. I found it simple, but hedonistic in that the alcohol was quite evident on the finish. It also added to the mouthfeel, and was kept in check on the palate by the acidity. This is a solid Pinot Noir, but would it be worth the $40-50 CAD it’d be priced at in BC? Probably not.

She says: Pinot Noir, is such a fickle grape, that can either lead to great excitement or just as easily, disappointment. For me, this was a disappointment, especially at the £20 price tag. It lacked depth and complexity and I found it to have a bitter finish which literally left a bad taste in my mouth. I wish I had spent the money on a bottle of bubbly instead!

Tasting note

Looks like: Clear, bright, med ruby with a wide, pale rim, legs
Smells like: Clean, med intensity, developing, simple red cherry, red fruit, sweet spice
Tastes like: Dry, med+ acidity, med body, med intensity, med- bitter tannin, ripe red cherry, quite linear, med+ heady alcohol, med+ finish
Summary: Good, Ready to drink but can develop further

2 comments to Had a Glass: 2010 Elephant Hill Pinot Noir

  • Spartacuswines

    I am still searching for that special Pinot that doesn’t cost a second mortgage.

    On another note, I stumbled across your Cellartracker notes. Look me up my ID fmcejb.

    We miss you guys back home.

    • WCVR

      Hey Sparty,
      Now we’re cellar buddies! The stuff we have in CT is currently in storage back in Vancouver. Have been very slack about entering the details in on bottles we’ve bought here in the UK. Have generally been slack here in the UK. Life is just too busy!
      Enjoyed reading through some of your tasting notes. Very succinct yet descriptive style.
      Thanks for the note – when are we actually going to raise a glass together?

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★☆☆☆☆ - Poor quality. Avoid. Save your money. Between 80-84 points.

★★☆☆☆ - Average quality or poor value. Between 84-88 points. Some expensive wines are downgraded for bad value.

★★★☆☆ - Good. Between 88-92 points. Or a good value on the lower end of the point scale.

★★★☆☆ - Excellent quality. Between 92-96 points. Or a cheap yet good quality wine which is excellent value.

★★★☆☆ - Outstanding, best examples in the world. Between 96 and 100 points. A perfect wine.