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Bell Hill Pinot Noir 2011

Bell Hill Pinot Noir2011

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Dark fruit, hints of cinnamon, spice & liquorice. Textural richness, clear minerality, suppleness & elegance

Why we love it: 

We scored more of this vintage!

Drink with: 

Slow-cooked Lamb

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Tech

Sub-Region
Waitaki
Blend Info.
pinot Noir
Bottle Vol.
750ml
Closure
Screwcap

Producer

Bell Hill

Founded in 1997 by Marcel Giesen & Sherwyn Veldhuizen, Bell Hill has already established a cult following and is recognised as one of New Zealand’s most prestigious wineries. Located in North Canterbury, New Zealand the Bell Hill site is something to marvel and behold! It was carefully selected to grow Pinot Noir and Chardonnay exclusively, and is a site layered with extensive history, thixotropic clay and high lime content. 

Large fossil deposits have been found in the area over the years which has preserved bones of over 19 species of native birds, including all 4 species of the Moa which span between 1000-2000 years old! This highly unique and lime-rich soil is what nurtures the vines of Bell Hill vineyard, helping to form the distinct character of their critically acclaimed wines. 

Marcel and Sherwyn both studied viticulture and have applied a Burgundian method of vineyard architecture to the Bell Hill site, where they want to reduce the yield per vine to get deep root penetration of the soil and its elements to create grapes that truly reflect the sites character, an expression of its terroir.

The Pinot Noir and Chardonnay’s can attribute their unique flavour profiles to the lime-rich soils. The Chardonnay’s boast minerality, stone fruit & flinty complexity with a tight and long acid structure. These wines need time with air once opened. The Pinot Noir’s fruit development shows savoury, earthy and dried herb characters; elegant but punchy tannin structures that develop slowly over time - hence extra ageing in the bottle before release.

Bell Hill is a long-term project, driven to achieve the absolute in wine definition from their site. They believe there is no end to striving for excellence! We couldn’t agree more.

For more information on Bell Hill and their wines, you can visit their website here.

Region

North Canterbury

Spanning almost 200km of the South Islands eastern coast, Canterbury is one of New Zealand's true gems. With a cool climate, the regions grapes experience long and steady ripening periods. Sunlight is a critical component of the ripening process and luckily for all, the region is typically bathed in it. Coupled with the advantageous levels of sunlight, there’s the infamous northwest wind that sweeps over the land, not only helping prevent a myriad of diseases by drying out the vine canopy, but also helps add to the total heat accumulation. While in warmer climates the natural acidity and aromatics are lost, Canterbury's cool climates ensure bold and balanced flavours. Warm days and cool nights contribute result in rich flavour intensity. But every cloud has a silver lining, frost poses a serious threat to vintners especially in late spring or early autumn, to combat this, crop thinning is used to help accelerate the ripening process decreasing the period each fruit is at risk.

Canterbury's main sub-region is Waipara Valley, (which translates to muddy water in Maori) situated to the north of the region is only a 40 minute journey from Christchurch city (considered the capital of the south island). Waipara has a slightly warmer climate than the rest of Canturbury, aiding in the frost issues the region experiences. Already boasting over 80 vineyards spread, covering more than 1,200 hectares of land Waipara is one of the fastest growing sub-regions, with the spot light slowly falling on Waipara, wines are getting more and more recognition and international acclaim. We can’t help but recommend the Riesling and Pinot Noir.

With three soil profiles, the regions unique terroir is comprised of “the valley floor, hill slopes and river terraces”. These profiles include gravelly deposits on the flats and terraces and limestone clays on the hillsides.