As with the Spy Valley Sauvignon Blanc, this Pinot Noir represents one of the better quality to value wines we've seen in a while from New Zealand. Fermentation occurred naturally followed by 10 months of aging in a mix of new and used oak barrels. Winemaker Paul Bourgeois describes the bouquet and palate as follows, "sweet cherries and red berries with a fragrant spicy layer on the nose. Subtle licorice and cocoa notes typical of our vineyards. The palate shows sweet fruit initially which drives through the palate to a firm, almost chewy finish. The long linear structure and red-fruited flavours typify a favourable Marlborough vintage."
Spy Valley Wines was founded in the late 1990s by Bryan and Jan Johnson 'who had the audacity to establish 320 acres of estate vineyards on land considered too hard, too dry and too unfertile for wine." Yet, they followed their instincts and are a real player in the Marlborough, New Zealand wine scene, though much smaller than the big producers like Cloudy Bay. They explain the idea behind their name by saying, "We’re considered a little clandestine around here, deep in our bewitching valley. Perhaps it comes with being named for our proximity to the spy base down the road, but we like a bit of mystery. " The Johnsons grow eight different varietals including Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, Pinot Gris, Gewurztraminer, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Merlot and Malbec.