Leah Pinot Noir – 2017

Region: New Zealand


Michael Seresin was born in Wellington, New Zealand, but left in the 1960s, when sheep, not grapevines, covered the Wairau Plains. He settled in Italy, where he was captivated by Italian food and wine culture and began his career as a cinematographer. Over time Michael’s interest in wine developed into a passion. In the early 1990s after investigating opportunities to start a winery in Italy, he became aware of the quality wines starting to emerge from his homeland. After visiting Marlborough, and falling in love with the Marlborough Sounds, Michael decided to purchase a home there, followed by the purchase of some land in the Wairau Valley, which became Seresin’s Home Vineyard. He began planting vines and imported Tuscan olive varieties immediately along with significant plantings of native plant species.

Seresin, one of the first wineries in New Zealand to operate organic vineyards, released their first vintage was in 1996 and the winery was completed in mid-2000. A year later, the Tatou Vineyard was purchased and land in the Omaka Valley was purchased for development into what is now the Raupo Creek Vineyard. Seresin won the Marlborough District Council’s 2009 Marlborough Environment Award.

In 2018, the Tatou vineyard and winery were sold to local NZ winemakers Ben Glover and Rhyan Wardman who was the inaugural assistant winemaker at Seresin. The wines continue to be made by winemaker Tamra Kelly-Washington at what was the original Seresin winery and is known today as The Coterie, a winemaking hub championing small-batch, single-site wines.

Winemaker Tamra Kelly-Washington graduated as a top scholar from Lincoln University with a degree in Viticulture and Oenology. She started out her career at Seresin Estate. After spending time making wine in the USA, Australia and Italy she headed back to her roots where it all started at Seresin Estate, joining the team in time for the 2018 harvest.

Working with viticulturist Cameron Vawter, a passionate advocate for biodynamic farming, their focus is spent on precise picking decisions, embracing acidity in order to guide pristine fruit through the winemaking process with minimal handling. The resulting wines are elegant, structured and a genuine reflection of their provenance.



93 Points

Made from a blend of handpicked organic fruit (worked biodynamically) from three estate vineyards, yielding just two bottles per vine. It has great concentration and purity of ripe cherry fruit, showing lovely vibrancy and freshness allied to fine tannins and fresh acidity. Elegant drinking now but with the structure to age.
Drinking Window 2019 – 2023

Decanter, January, 2019
92 Points

A brooding, full style that offers a dark plum and savory interpretation of Marlborough Pinot Noir. Hailing from the richer soils of the Omaka Valley rather than the free-draining valley floor, there’s more depth and substance here and a fine coating of powdery tannins. Yields are pretty low (six tons/ha) and the finish is filled with damson fruit. Satisfying and sumptuous but there’s no shortage of acidity keeping things fresh and lengthy. Drinking well now to five years. 2021 – 2026

Vinous, March, 2021
91+ Points

Seductive scents of roses, black tea, strawberries and cherries mark the nose of the 2017 Leah Pinot Noir. Medium-bodied, dusty and cool, it’s long on the finish, ending on notes of pomegranate-like tartness. Drink 2019 – 2025

© Wine Advocate, March, 2019
88 Points

(Marlborough, 3,00 cases, 11 months in French Oak, 13%). There is a mentholated top note to the layered mix of both red and dark pinot fruit. The juicy, round and plush middle weight flavors possess good vibrancy and deliver good length on the noticeably oaked finale.  2023+

Allen Meadow's Burghound, October, 2020