Wine Enthusiast 89 points - Concentrated yet supple, this dark Pinot should be true to its name and evolve nicely for up to 10 years. Cedar, cola and vanilla notes frame black cherry fruit that slowly fades away on the finish.
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Wine maker notes
The Cellar Selection Pinot Noir is a blend of selected vineyards in the Awatere and Wairau Valleys of Marlborough. These vineyards are meticulously managed to ensure that the most intensely flavoured and healthy fruit is obtained. An array of Pinot Noir clones were used to provide a selection of blending options. This coupled with timely practices such as leaf plucking and careful water management has produced fruit of intense colour, flavour and ripeness.
From a one-man band to a global brand in just 50 years
In 1961, at just 21 years of age, George leased five acres of land from his father in Mangere, Auckland and started off with just an acre of vines. He harvested his first grapes in 1962 and made his first wine under the name Villa Maria.
Throughout the 1960s Villa Maria was a one-man band, with George’s wife, Gail, supporting him in his venture. He made dry red and white wines, sourcing grapes from the greater Auckland regions. In the early 1970s he started to employ staff and the company began to expand rapidly.
Today, Villa Maria employs more than 250 permanent staff and exports wine to over 50 countries worldwide.