Notes: I almost didn't make this, the 17th Wine Blogging Wednesday, because when I went out Monday to get wine, I found that everywhere was closed for belated New Year's, something I should have guessed would be the case, but, well, I wasn't thinking. Anyway, thanks to the Whole Foods Palo Alto, purveyor of soups far superior to the Whole Foods San Franciscos, I found a couple of bottles of New Zealand Pinot Noir, any one of which would do for the Kiwi Red theme this month.
I chose the 2002 Huia, after doing some minor investigation and debate over the other wines offered (a "Something Bay" that I can't remember exactly but shallowly dismissed because of the boring label and sort-of-like-Cloudy-Bay name, and the 2004 Jibe).
Claire and Mike Allan named Huia after the native New Zealand bird that was extinct by around 1920. They studied wine and winemaking at Roseworthy Agricultural University and spent time in Australia, France, and New Zealand (notably, at Cloudy Bay) honing their skills before starting Huia in 1996. They use a more hands-off winemaking approach, using natural yeasts and traditional methods such as hand-picking the grapes.
This is a pale, medium intensity burgundy in the glass, and shows it's slight age in the paler rim. The nose is, when first opened, almost pure cherry fruit, but then as air hits it it gets a meatier quality with hints of thyme. In the mouth it was a bit of a surprise at first...a soft approach with unremarkable fruit is finished up with a huge, saddle-leather finish that has more than a hint of Band-Aid to it. The finish isn't very tannic but has a nice astringent quality, and the acids are fine... it doesn't taste flabby or anything.
Night 1 - I think it is on the old side, since there is little evidence of fruit, and the leather/Band-Aid thing is a little too much for me, so I don't love it. I don't hate it, either, but it isn't really my thing. Matt liked it more than I did.
Night 2 - there is both less fruit and less of the Band-Aidy finish, which makes me think even more that this this is even more over the hill. It's obviously a fruit-forward style wine, but there is no fruit to go forward anymore, even though it isn't even that old. I bet it was much nicer when it was younger, but it is merely a shadow of its former self right now. Poor thing.
Overall: Eh. C. Nice effort, but this should have been drunk a year ago, at least.