I have a love hate relationship with New Zealand wines. Sometimes I love them, sometimes I hate them. There really is no in between there for me. Some of the pinots are too earthy and full of dirt and sod. Some of the sav blancs are enamel stripping gooseberry piss that I can’t swallow. Luckily, there is a sweet spot in the middle, where this wine falls neatly. The first whiff brings out method and wintergreen, and the first sip is a bright raspberry crush. Aged in 100% new French oak barriques, the larger barrels allow for less immediate contact to the barrel, which gives it just a kiss and not a smack of oak flavors. There is a touch of baking spice on the back end that rounds it out nicely. For $15, this is a great budget wine, and if you’re looking for a pinot, is a good option for the under $20 crowd. It falls a bit flat at the end however, so I wouldn’t race out to buy it, but I would pick it up if I were going to a party. Happy sipping! This wine was provided as a PR sample. And yes, I have to say that, the feds make me!