Marlborough, New Zealand / $14-$16
This high-quality, value-priced New Zealand Pinot Noir is light- to medium-bodied, well structured and long on varietal fruit character with good acidity and balanced, soft tannins. Aged in French oak, the wine exhibits red berry fruit aromas and a hint of earth with smoky spice notes. On the palate, fruit prevails with cherry, plum and raspberry flavors, as well as touches of vanilla. Drink now or over the next six years. It's a good match for roast chicken, duck, pork and veal dishes.
Buy it at: Cork & Bottle, Rouses in Uptown, W.I.N.O., Langenstein's in Metairie, most Winn-Dixies and Habano's of Slidell.
Drink it at: Stella!, GW Fins, W.I.N.O., Red Maple and Le Parvenu. — Brenda Maitland