Must-try Pinot Noirs

Venturing Outside of Burgundy

By Lucien Michel | September 8, 2018

As a Burgundy fan, it is always exciting to compare the different expressions of Pinot Noir; a variety that is renowned to reveal terroir like no other. Looking into what the new world has to offer, I have found two very interesting producers, which showcase this notion of terroir in a very distinct fashion.

Felton Road

The iconic winery of New Zealand’s Central Otago delivers one of the finest  pinots from not just Otago, but all of the new world. Maximizing ripeness with their northerly exposure, I have been impressed by the lush fruit, elegance and depth of the wines.

Letting mother nature speak has been the direction at Felton Road since the beginning, and their two famous Pinot wines: Block 3 and Block 5 both show distinct style and vineyard expression. 

Block 3 is my personal favorite, which offers a little more delicacy and elegance as opposed to the more muscular Block 5.


Kistler Vineyards, in Sonoma, is perhaps the new world winery with the most “Burgundian” approach. Indeed, they produce four single vineyard Pinot Noirs, with sites delimited mainly because of soil variation. Yields are low, and the clones were imported from Burgundy Grand Cru.

At a blind tasting with friends, we tasted a 2001 'Kistler Vineyard' Sonoma Coast that most of us had mistaken for a Gevrey-Chambertin. It had a similar structure, but also the balance, and what a great lingering length. It was the wine of the night!

Some say that there is a progression of color and character as the site gets closer to the coast. This is definitely a range to explore, even for their Chardonnays, which have also received a lot of acclaim. 

Looking at Burgundy’s rising prices today, and considering the level of quality here, all these wines offer exceptional value.

For a better comparison, I would recommend to try these side by side with some Burgundies. Do get in touch for further insight, and as stocks are limited.