Highlights: two lovely Kiwi Pinot Noirs from Fromm and Neudorf

Here are two New Zealand Pinot Noirs that offered a lot of pleasure opened a couple of years after release. Neither are expensive, but both are in a very good place. I was especially surprised about the Fromm, which is a natural-style wine designed for early drinking.

Neudorf Tom’s Block Pinot Noir 2019 Nelson, New Zealand
13.5% alcohol. From Moutere clay soils, low cropped, barrel matured (15% new oak). This is really appealing, combining sweet floral aromatics with a bit of tar and spice on the nose, and then a lovely palate bringing sweet cherry fruit, some raspberry, and even some wild strawberry, held in place by nice tannins and good acidity. There’s a bit of structure here: it isn’t all about the sweet, luxurious fruit. There’s more than a hint of seriousness here. I really like the balance between the sweet and savoury. 93/100

Fromm Pinot Naturel 2019 Marlborough, New Zealand
13% alcohol. Wild ferment and no additives except for a small sulfite addition at bottling. I suspect this was intended for earlier drinking, but it’s showing really well now. Sweet, intense aromatics of raspberry and strawberry lead to a textured palate with a core of sweet liqueur-like cherry and raspberry fruit and some nice dry dusty tannins, together with good acidity. This is drinking beautifully now: it’s a brilliant expression of Marlborough Pinot Noir with drinkability but also some nice structure, finishing dry. 93/100

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