Luna Pinot Noirs

Martinborough is a lovely place to visit. There is just such a nonchalant calm to the region. There are no blockbuster cellar doors, just wine lovers on bikes gliding from one winery to the next. It doesn’t feel like a region that has a reputation for producing some of the most sought-after Pinot Noir in New Zealand, home to wineries such Ata Rangi and Dry River, and now there is another estate that joins the region’s all-star listings – Luna Estate.

When you taste a lot of wine for a living, I can feel your sympathy, you really notice when a set of wines makes you stop and pay close attention. The line-up from Martinborough’s Luna Estate did just that when I tasted them last week. I haven’t always been the biggest fan of the muscular styled wines from the region, but these wines offered a different, more attenuated interpretation.

The unassuming estate Pinot was a delight, getting that enviable balance right between vibrant fruit, floral aromatics and a lick of tannin. I am hard pressed to find a New Zealand Pinot under $35 that really hits the mark like this wine does. It’s a no brainer for me.

The older siblings to this wine are the Blue Rock and Eclipse Pinot Noirs, representing each of the estate’s two unique sites. The Eclipse Vineyard is on the famed gravelly Martinborough terraces, and you can see that classical cool mineral character that’s intertwined with a deep, spice laden core of powerful fruit, and looks the most like the traditional Martinborough style on its firm finish.

The Blue Rock on the other hand is from a site about 13km south and lies on clay loam, limestone, greywacke and unsurprisingly, blue rock. It’s beautifully aromatic with a dash of spice here and earth there. Brighter and more vivacious than the Eclipse, it’s long lingering finish tails off into wonderful powdery tannins. It’s the more outgoing partner to the Eclipse, showing a charming joie de vivre, but both are excellent wines in their own right.

This is a superb trio of Pinot Noirs and even better, in the frame of Martinborough in particular, they are incredibly affordable. We have enjoyed this so much that you may have even see the Blue Rock on offer by the glass in Bellota.