This year's Decanter World Wine Awards International Trophy for the Best in Show Pinot Noir over £15 went to Greystone, The Brothers' Reserve Pinot Noir, Waipara, Canterbury, New Zealand 2012 (13.5%)

Tasted against:

  • Albert Bichot, Lavaux St-Jacques, Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Cru, Burgundy, France 2010
  • Bay of Fires, Pinot Noir, Tasmania, Australia 2012
  • Dagernova, No1 Spätburgunder, Ahr, Germany 2011
  • WillaKenzie, Emery Pinot Noir, Oregon, USA 2011
  • Zlati Griˇc, Modri Pinot, Stajerska, Podravje, Slovenia 2012


A winning wine that our judges said had all the classic textural and fruit hallmarks you could ask for in Pinot Noir. In winning this Trophy, our New Zealand entry had to see off stiff competition from both hemispheres, including Burgundy.

Although dotted with varieties such as Riesling, Pinot Gris, Syrah and Chardonnay, Pinot Noir is the driving force behind Greystone, accounting for more than 60% of its plantings. The site, chosen specifically because of the high limestone content of its land, was acquired in 2000 when it was a sheep farm – four years later it had been transformed into a vineyard following the planting of 13 blocks of vines across a range of slopes and altitudes.

Winemaker Dom Maxwell has been in residence at Greystone since the winery was established in 2004, his prior experience including stints in Rheingau, Burgundy and Oregon. Everything is handpicked and sorted here, with the wines being neither fined nor filtered. Greystone uses wild yeasts to initiate its fermentations but, more intriguingly, it is also experimenting with more unusual practices, such as vineyard fermentations. This involves the fermenter being placed in the actual vineyard for the entire fermentation period – about 30 days. Greystone believes the native yeasts in the vineyard change from year to year, and as its aim is to express each vintage in its purest form, that year’s vineyard yeasts are an inherent part of that character; it also leads to a much longer and colder maceration, which Greystone says noticeably improves the quality of the end product.

Maxwell says the 2012 vintage ‘provided fruit with intensity and vibrancy, accompanied by alluring poise and aromatic abundance’.

See the full information about this wine

Written by Decanter