haloSacred Hill’s newly released HALO Marlborough Pinot Noir 2015 could best be described as a polished, poised example of what has become New Zealand’s most popular red varietal.

Managing Director David Mason says the HALO label is typically reserved for richly textured wines from small parcel selections grown in Sacred Hill’s best vineyards and the vintage made sure this is definitely the case with the 2015 Pinot Noir.

Mason says a cool start to the Marlborough summer meant fewer grapes and smaller bunches than usual characterised Sacred Hill’s Pinot Noir crop.

“But record temperatures in the second half of summer meant the fruit ripened perfectly, with some great intensity in the wines, making this Pinot one to seek out.”

Senior Winemaker Tony Bish says the wine has had premium treatment from vine to bottle. Hand-picked Pinot from the steep slopes of the Omaka Valley was combined with fruit form the Waihopai alluvial soils. This was cold soaked to extract maximum flavour, then fermented with frequent hand punch-downs. The finished wine was French oak aged for about 10 months.

“The wine is full-flavoured, supple and approachable now and is also well worth tucking away in the cellar for 3-5 years to enjoy even more richness and complexity,” he says.

Sacred Hill HALO Marlborough Pinot Noir 2015 has a dark plum colour, lifted aroma of sweet dried herbs, vanilla, dark cherry and Christmas cake complexity. The palate is rich and very supple, with ripe fruit cake richness and vanilla freshness. For a perfect food match, serve with slow cooked duck with wild thyme.

Sacred Hill HALO Marlborough Pinot Noir 2015 (RRP $27.99) is available from fine wine retailers throughout New Zealand. For further information visit www.sacredhill.com.

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