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Wine of the Week for week ending 11 Oct 2009
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Vidal Pinot Noir 2007
Marlborough, New Zealand

On Saturday night we slept at a Backpacker's in Coromandel and I found the perfect way to joosh up breakfast on Sunday morning. Fry eggs in butter and lightly saute wedges of tomato alongside the eggs. Place the egg on a slice of buttered toast with tomatoes on top. Add roughly chopped fresh avocado (so delicious at this time of year) and finish off with a drizzle of Lisa's Baby Spinach & Feta with Lemon & Roast Cashews. This is gourmet breakfast at a backpacker's price.

We were staying at a motel with a backpacker's lodge with friends from the MG Car Club and because we booked late, the options were a private room in the backpacker's, or the motel down the road. We could share bathroom and kitchen in the backpackers or spend an additional $65 at the other motel.

Saturday night before dinner was the social get together in the 'Ouga Bouga Hut'. "Bring some nibbles to share," was the decree and of course BYO drinks.

We took the avocado and chunky dip to spread on crackers and the leftovers either had to be eaten, or thrown out. Try it for breakfast yourself sometime - and if you want a wine to accompany it, I'd suggest something low in alcohol, like Riccadonna Asti.

Dinner was at Umu - reviewed on in December 2005. BYO still $5 a bottle and knowing we had the choice of lamb or fish, we took a white and a red. One was the delicious West Brook Barrique Fermented Chardonnay 2007, Champion Wine at the NZ International Wine Show and reviewed as Wine of the Week a couple of weeks ago. The other was the Vidal Marlborough Pinot Noir 2007 - a back to back gold medal winner at the NZ International, both in 2008 and 2009. We chose these wines because we knew they were good, they'd be nice to share and best of all, they didn't cost too much.

Well the star with the meals turned out to be the Vidal Marlborough Pinot Noir 2007 - naturally a match with the lamb, but surprisingly it worked with the fish too - a fillet of terakihi, pan-fried and served with a creamy mustard sauce. Something about the fatty richness of the cream and the piquancy of the mustard that made the match a hit.

The wine is dark in colour - a deep red-black garnet with flashes of ruby, youthful and bright. Savoury on the nose with deep black cherry, a nuance of chocolate and biscuity spices that carry though to the succulent and creamy palate with tannins that are like velvet rubbed back and forth and deep savoury flavours with black cherry and blackberry fruit pushing through the smoky French oak. Some tart red fruit notes too and underlying acidity that brings a tingle to the tongue and will ensure the wine's longevity. The earthy complexity reinforces the varietal signature and the almost piquant flavours last and last - the acid fades away and all that's left is the combination of savoury oak, red fruits of the forest, a touch of spice and a hint of chocolate.

Great for drinking in a social situation and very versatile with food, as we found out. It would probably even go with the eggs, tomato, avocado and chunky dip for a gourmet brunch.

Just $19.99 a bottle, it has 14% alcohol and a screwcap closure. At this price, it is one of the best value-for-money Pinot Noirs around - from the fab 2007 vintage too.

© Sue Courtney
5 Oct 2009

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