Our Pinot Noir is classically medium bodied, with fragrant cherries and raspberries and supple tannins.

2011 Pinot Noir

From the world famous Marlborough wine region of New Zealand the DRIFT Pinot Noir shows lifted notes of raspberry, blackberries and cherries. A luscious medium-bodied Pinot Noir with blackberry, boysenberry, raspberry and redcurrant character, DRIFT has a soft, full palate, well-balanced acidity and supple tannins. New seasoned French oak provides rich, savoury notes on the palate with a full, lingering finish. MEMORABLE.

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The Vineyard

The breathtaking Wairau and Awatere Valleys with their rich clay soils, ample sunshine, cool nights and low autumn rains are well suited to producing fruit with excellent colour and supple tannins. The fruit was sourced from a number of low cropping vineyards, which were closely monitored and tasted to determine when the flavours were at their optimum.

The Winemaking

The harvested fruit was chilled for five days prior to ferment to help extract maximum flavour and to enhance colour stability. A variety of yeasts were used during the fermentation process, during which the must was plunged up to eight times daily. At the completion of fermentation, a portion of wine was pressed to stainless steel tanks, and a smaller portion to new and used French oak. The wine then underwent malolactic fermentation and was matured for 4 months in barrel before being blended and prepared for bottling.

The Wine

The 2011 DRIFT Pinot Noir is deep garnet in colour, with aromas of ripe red cherries and raspberries with perfumed spicy notes. The palate is bright with avours of ripe red plums and cherries balanced by ne textured tannins and acidity. This wine is at its best when young and fresh, but will develop more weight and complexity over the next 5 years.


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  • Michael Southern, Feb 2014

    The Drift Pinot Noir has lovely aromas of ripe cherries, dried basil and Moroccan spices.  The palate is smooth and rich, silky and finely textured with balanced acidity for length and finesse.

  • Winefront, Campbell Mattinson, Jan 2014

    New label on me. Pinot noir from Marlborough. Notice on the new WinefrontNZ (in preparation) site that it can also be called Hawkes Drift, though there is no mention of the name Hawkes on this bottle. Its appeal is to some degree price dependent. But nor entirely.  It’s actually just a good drink. It has some grunty tannin but it’s fruit-driven and up-front and easy-to-enjoy. Sweet/sour cherries, spice, a chalky dryness. Meaty aromatics. Longer I sat with it, the more I enjoyed it. Gets it pretty right. 91 Points

  • Drinks Trade, Mar 2013

    Nice and zippy nose of fresh cut red fruit and char.  Firm middle palate, silky ripe and flavoursome with a mix of red and green notes.  A nice, easy drinking example.

  • Winestate Magazine Dec 2012

    Lovely toasty/earthy characters to the youthful nose with a complex, balanced and savoury palate and cherry fruit showing through.  4 Stars

  • Winestate Magazine Dec 2011

    Quite a Burgundian in style, with a pretty, floral bouquet and a lean, green palate loaded with stalky tomato characters.  4 stars