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A jewel of a wine, the 2007 Opawa Pinot Noir is one of the prettiest Pinot Noirs we’ve tasted in quite some time. Reminiscent of Premier Cru red Burgundy from Beaune, the bright, ruby red 2007 Opawa Pinot Noir seduces with its knockout nose, soft charm, and sensual flavor profile. This delectable Pinot Noir exhibits a fragrant aroma of old fashioned roses, plums, red cherries, and a waft of oriental spices – the very hallmarks it seems of the finest New and Old World Pinot Noirs. Silky and textured, this medium bodied seductress offers up plenty of soft juicy flavors straight away. However, with extended aeration (of thirty minutes or more) a wellspring of complex, deep down Pinot flavors emerges to flood the mid palate. Add silky tannins, subtle oak undertones, and a smooth, lingering finish and the 2007 Opawa becomes hard to beat. Enjoy!
What does the 2007 Opawa Pinot Noir need to shine, other than the appropriate glass? “Nothing,” was the tasting panel’s immediate response. However, that didn’t stop us from doubling the pleasure of the Opawa Pinot Noir by serving it with Wild Sockeye Salmon, marinated in a light ginger teriyaki sauce. Halibut, tuna and other full flavored, deep sea fish get our nod with this wine as well. For land lubbers, we suggest chicken, veal, or pork specialties, served with a bit of stuffing or savory, herb infused risotto. A Panko Crusted Pork Tenderloin, stuffed with corn and spinach and served over a wild mushroom manicotti also offers a feast of flavors to marry with the juicy, complex tones that emerge from this comely Marlborough Pinot Noir. The 2007 Opawa Pinot Noir is more than capable of standing up to superbly prepared cuisine. Traditional French classics such as Coq au Vin provide other splendid opportunities to double the pleasure of this exceptional Pinot Noir, so why not plan a dinner party around Opawa? Bon Appétit!
Opawa is Maori for ‘Smoking River’ as the Opawa domain sits along the old Opawa River flood plain in Marlborough. Here, the Rapaura gravels from the ancient river bed absorb the sun’s warmth during the day, reflecting it back onto the grapes by moonlight, to create the highly aromatic flavors for which Marlborough on New Zealand’s South Island has become justly renowned.
Clive Jones, a graduate of Charles Sturt University and consummate Pinot Noir specialist, is the visionary winemaker behind Opawa. He has worked making world class Pinot Noir in New Zealand, Oregon, and Burgundy. In 2004, Clive even worked the Burgundy vintage at Domaine Dujac, one of Burgundy’s greatest domains. Clive joined Opawa in 1998 and opened the winery in 2000. Opawa is dedicated completely to the production of Pinot Noir, the first specialty Pinot Noir winery in the Southern Hemisphere.
At Opawa modern technology is deftly combined with traditional techniques. Grapes are harvested completely by hand and drawn from four separate vineyards in Marlborough’s Wairau and Awatere Valleys. The combination of terroirs and distinct Pinot Noir clones adds further to the complexity of Opawa’s wines. In addition, all equipment is used exclusively for Pinot Noir production and is designed to handle the fruit as gently as possible in order to allow the natural aromas and intense flavors of perfectly ripe Marlborough Pinot Noir to come to the fore. During fermentation and maturation French oak is employed exclusively. The result is stylish and individual Pinot Noir that overshadows the vast majority of Opawa’s New and Old World rivals.
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