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Ara Single Estate Pinot Noir £11.99 down to £9.99 Waitrose (until 20th march)
New Review

Introducing a new ‘spring appropriate’ house red. Spring brings a lift to the wine palate, the bulbs are in bloom, wafting away, the air has a crackle of potential to it and the days are lighter… so it seems only right to bring in a wine that wafts, crackles and has a lightness to it. Step in Pinot Noir, not from its traditional home of France, but from the New World.

New World Pinot Noir is a ‘relatively’ fresh riff on an extremely classic wine, red burgundy. The pinot noirs of burgundy are known to be quite tricksy, expensive and an acquired taste. 
Whereas Pinot Noir from warmer climates like New Zealand, South Africa and California can be just a bit friendlier, although not always on the wallet. 

Specifically, New Zealand Pinot feels like a good place to head for a spring red. It’s incredibly aromatic, practically leaping out of the bottle before you’ve opened it and smellable at ten paces across the room and whilst it has a pretty punchy flavour it isn’t heavy in body or tannins so you get a full taste sensation without requiring a full meal to offset the chewiness. 

But New Zealand Pinot Noir doesn’t come cheap. It’s notoriously tricky to grow which means it takes more work in the vineyard and the winery, and they don’t grow masses of it so it can be as expensive as burgundy. Which is why this Ara Single Estate Pinot Noir is such a good option (especially right now as it’s on offer), and a great place to start if you’re not familiar with the style.
What you get in the glass is an intense medley of summer fruit, especially raspberry and a hint of the crunch of cranberry, but, like so many pinot noirs, this is not a fruit-bomb, because behind that raspberry jam is a hint of earthiness and savoury that keeps the wine interesting. It slips down extremely easily, with soft tannins, enough to remind you it’s not just juice, but not too drying. Which means you could drink this with everything from baked sea bass with root veg to new season lamb, especially with a few earthy spices thrown in.
(N. Welch) 

 Read about Nikki's recommendations for March wines for previous years here 

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