Burn Cottage Moonlight Race Pinot Noir 2021

Top New Zealand Pinot Noir: 2021 Moonlight Race Pinot Noir

Where Ted Lemon goes, I will follow! Mr. Lemon is one of of my favorite vignerons, and the work he does at his Sonoma winery Littorai is second to none. His Pinot Noirs have garnered dozens of 95+ point scores over the years, but the allocations on those wines are next to nothing, and the pricing is, shall we say, not cheap.

I've got some great news! For those who would like to taste a Pinot Noir made by a "master craftsmen," I present you with the 2021 Burn Cottage Vineyard 'Moonlight Race' Pinot Noir. Burn Cottage burst onto the scene in the early-2000's, and in a very short period of time, their Pinot Noirs were garnering big scores from a number of trade periodicals. Today, their Pinots are not just considered to be some of the best produced in the Southern Hemisphere, they are some of the best being produced in the world. Keep reading if you love world-class Pinot Noir..... 

Moonlight Race Pinot Noir

2021 Burn Cottage Vineyard 'Moonlight Race' Pinot Noir

96 points Wine Spectator (2020 vintage) 

ORDER NOW in our online store.

Burn Cottage Vineyard was started in 2002 by husband and wife Marquis and Dianne Sauvage. Since day one, Ted Lemon has been by their side, helping them make informed decisions about farming and winemaking. Today, their vineyards are certified biodynamic and organic, and Ted continues to play a large role at Burn Cottage, serving as both vineyard manager and head winemaker.

Over the past few vintages, the Burn Cottage Pinot Noirs have been on fire, reaping big scores and being compared to the best Pinot Noirs in the world. While their 2021's have not been reviewed yet, I did a bit of research and quickly discovered that the 2021 Vintage is being hailed as a great one in the Central Otago region of New Zealand....even better than 2020, and this wine scored 96 points from Wine Spectator in that year.

Located in Central Otago, in the far southern reaches of New Zealand, this is an area that has garnered a noble reputation for Pinot Noir. The world's most southerly wine region, you don't hear much about Central Otago because many of the wines don't make it to the US. The Pinot Noirs produced here are loved for their rich and dense fruit profiles combined with their bold spicy, meaty, and savory nuances. Burn Cottage's Moonlight Race Pinot Noir lives up to this description and then some.

While this is the estate's "entry-level" Pinot Noir, I promise you there is nothing entry-level about it. I first enjoyed this wine (the 2020) in Charleston last year and was thoroughly impressed. I can say with 100% conviction that the new release is just as good. I predict scores to come out in the 94 to 96 point range. Coming from two estate vineyards (Burn Cottage and Sauvage), this is hand-harvested, fermented with wild yeast, and aged in 21% new French oak. It is bottled without fining or filtration.

I honestly pick up nearly identical notes on the 2021 as Wine Spectator did on the 2020, a wine they rated 96 points. Thus, I'm gonna' be lazy :) and let them describe this gorgeous wine for you. "Aromatic, succulent, fresh and distinctive, with fleshy black cherry, blueberry and marionberry flavors at the core—but that's just the beginning, as details of fresh clove, white truffle, chai, dried lavender and a whiff of sandalwood emerge on a delicate, juicy frame, with the tannins lingering in the background." If that doesn't sound good to you, you might not like wine. 

For those who want to experience a Pinot Noir by a legendary producer in the making, I highly advise you to act fast on this offer. These are incredibly compelling wines from one of the most gifted vignerons in the world, and I guarantee you prices will rise dramatically in the not too distant future. 

ORDER NOW in our online store. 

Josh Spurling
Owner, Operator, Wine Monger
Table Wine Asheville