2012 Mt Difficulty, Bannockburn Pinot Noir, Central Otago, New Zealand (£25.80, thenewzealandcellar.co.uk, 020-3633 3986).
Melanie Brown's London wine emporium, The New Zealand Cellar, opened on 29 May at 49 Brixton Station Road. This pioneering Kiwi-only shop was financed by a Kickstarter campaign and Mel was "humbled" by the generous response to her plea for help. I urge you to peruse her wine list and better still go and introduce yourself to her and her team you will not find more passionate or knowledgeable NZ wine lovers in the UK.
I have plucked one of the finest wines from her cellar to shine a light on the undoubted excellence of New Zealand pinot noir. As many of you will know, I publish an annual initiative called The Great New Zealand Pinot Noir Classification (the eighth edition will be available free to view and download on my website soon) and Mt Difficulty is one of only five five-star estates.
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With some of the oldest vineyards in the Bannockburn sub-region of Central Otago, this is an elite winery. With a more robust and longer-lived style than many, this is a pinot with NZ fruit intensity coupled with Old World tannin. Longevity is the key to perceived greatness in wine and too many pinots these days "firework and fade". Mt Diff is a wine which rewards persistence and faith.
Matthew Jukes is a winner of the International Wine & Spirit Competition's Communicator of the Year (matthewjukes.com).
Matthew Jukes has worked in the UK wine business for well over three decades and during this time has written 14 wine books.
Matthew regularly lectures, judges, speaks at wine conferences and runs masterclass tastings for both corporate and private clients all over the world. Matthew is also the creator of his ground-breaking initiative, the One Day Wine School, an indulgent day of tasting and learning first performed in 2006.
He has been the MoneyWeek wine correspondent since 2006 and has written a weekly column for the Daily Mail’s Weekend Magazine since 1999. His four highly-acclaimed, annual wine reports – the Burgundy En Primeur Report, the Bordeaux En Primeur Report, the Piemonte Report and the 100 Best Australian Wines – are published on his website, www.matthewjukes.com.
Matthew is one of the world’s leading experts on Australian wine and, with Brisbane-based wine writer Tyson Stelzer, runs an annual competition in Australia to find ‘The Great Australian Red’. He was made Honorary Australian of the Year in the UK at the 2012 Australia Day Foundation Gala dinner.
Matthew is a winner of the International Wine and Spirit Competition's Communicator of the Year Trophy. His thoughts, recommendations and tastings notes are followed very closely by the wine world at large.
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