2016 Isabel Estate, Pinot Noir, Marlborough, New Zealand
3 in stock
Roving Sommelier is passionate about premium quality New Zealand regional wines. Award-winning sommelier, Robert Giorgione is also a New Zealand Wine Brand Ambassador and enthusiastically goes about his work with great passion and knowledge and positively promotes all the New Zealand winegrowers that he represents.
Isabel Estate is one of the original Marlborough vineyards with some of the oldest vines in the region on original rootstock. In1980, and with a bird’s eye view, pilot Mike Tiller discovered a precious pocket of land, and the beginning of one of the pioneering Marlborough wineries was born. Mike and his wife Robyn built a winery on the site and named it in honour of Mike’s mother, Isabel. Throughout the 1980s the couple planted key noble varietals and began to deliver fruit of exceptional quality, in high demand from premium and internationally renowned wine producers. In 2001 Mike’s mother, Isabel, coerced him into abandoning his flying career to focus on the estate.
Their ambition was to produce ultra-premium classic grape varieties that were a true expression of Marlborough as the chosen parcel of land delivered fruit of exceptional quality. It wasn’t long before it was in high demand from premium and internationally renowned New Zealand wine producers. In the natural order of things Isabel Estate released its single-vineyard wine in 1994, the Isabel Estate Pinot Noir. This wine and the first vintage of their Sauvignon Blanc (1996) went on to be an international smash.
At the time, the winemaker was a talented young Swiss chap called Hatsch Kalberer, who went on to make great wines at Fromm, a neighbouring vineyard, also in Marlborough. In addition, Isabel Estate has always championed and nurtured young and up-and-coming winemaking talent, including Jeff Sinnott, Ant McKenzie, Chris Young, amongst others and even the Tiller’s eldest daughter, Jane. Under the leadership of current Chief Winemaker Jeremy McKenzie, the winery continues to build its reputation for award winning Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir but is also producing world class Chardonnay.
My personal journey with Isabel Estate started in the late-1990s when I met Mike and Robyn Tiller at a wine tasting in London. At the time, I was head sommelier at the iconic Oxo Tower Restaurant on London’s South Bank. Later, when I was wine buyer and head sommelier at Fifth Floor at Harvey Nichols in Knightsbridge and at the Orrery in Marylebone, I used to list many Isabel Estate wines, and also served them by the glass. Over the years, I have loyally followed Isabel Estate with great interest and have visited the family-owned estate in Renwick just outside Blenheim on five occasions: 2002; 2004; 2006 (when I worked the vintage harvest at Isabel Estate and with several other Marlborough boutique winemakers); in 2009 and in 2014. Their vineyard lodge is a wonderful place to stay too.
I can safely say that Isabel Estate is up there with some of my favourite New Zealand vineyards and their wines are always at the top of my bucket list. The 2016 Isabel Estate Pinot Noir is packed full of elegant ripe plum and cherry fruit and is utterly delicious!! Fruit was selected from the Estate, where sustainable vineyard practices are followed. The calcium-rich clay and limestone within the vineyard soil imparts a distinctive minerality and concentration to their wines. Low intervention and traditional techniques in the winery preserve single vineyard ‘charm’. Isabel Estate endeavours to offer unique wines that enhance typical Marlborough characteristics with complexity and finesse.
Enjoy either on its own or with food, especially roast lamb or poultry, such as free-range chicken, guineafowl and duck and in a convivial atmosphere. This wine will cellar well for up to five years.
Alcohol: 13.5% abv (75cl)
Grape variety: Pinot Noir
Flavour Profile: Clean, Fresh, Medium-bodied, Elegant, Plum, Cherry, Savoury, Supple tannins.