Leah Pinot Noir – 2022

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.


The Wine

Vineyard Profile

Raupo Creek vineyard on Osip hill, in the center of the Omaka Valley.

  • Exposure: Northwest
  • Soil: Clay-rich
  • Clones: 10/5, 777, Abel, 6
  • Farmed organically and biodynamically
  • Yield: 6 tons/ha
Harvest Notes
  • 2022 a bit challenging
  • Dry, stable weather over flowering lead to abundant fruit set
  • Consistent small rains
  • Just before harvest significant rain events caused increased berry and bunch size
  • Vineyard team thinned crop and could focus soley on Raupo Creek
  • Hand harvesting began March 16
  • Destemmed and fermented in small batches using indigenous and selected yeasts
  • Wine on skins 3 -4 weeks with gentle plunging during fermentation
  • Light pressing and transfer to 15% new, balanced used French oak barrels
  • Malolactic fermentation and aged 10 months in barrel
  • Bottled lightly filtered and unfined
Winemaker's Notes

Leah is named after Michael Seresin’s daughter. This gorgeous Pinot Noir reflects the cool climate growing conditions that endure in the Omaka Valley, Marlborough. Vibrant, crunchy and expressing dense dark fruit aromas that integrate well with spice and earthy notes. The palate is fleshy and structured, yet supple and elegant. It held together by focused, fine acidity.

Wine Summary

100% Pinot Noir; alcohol: 13%; Raupo Creek vineyard in Omaka Valley; clay-rich soils; blend of clones 10/5, 777, Abel, 6; hand harvested March 16; small batch fermentation with indigenous and select yeasts; wine on skins 3-4 weeks; malolactic fermentation and aging for 10 months in 15% new French oak barrels; bottled slightly filtered and unfined; certified Organic and vegan friendly.

Technical Information
  • 100% Pinot Noir
  • Alcohol: 13%
  • Total Acidity: 5.8 g/l
  • Residual Sugar: dry
  • Total SO2: 52 ppm
  • Certified Organic
  • Vegan Friendly


92 Points

This 2022 Leah Pinot Noir is incredibly vibrant on the nose, showing oak and abundant red fruits. In the mouth, the wine is fresh and supple with loads of flavor. It doesn’t span into any savory/earthy characters yet, but they may come in time. Lovely wine here. Excellent. 13% alcohol, sealed under screw cap. 2023 – 2032

© Wine Advocate, November, 2023

94 Points


From one of Marlborough’s leading organic and biodynamic wineries, this cranberry-colored Pinot is instantly appealing, with heady aromas of plump red berries and ground pepper, with dried flower and meaty undertones. It’s lightweight and ultrafresh, with crunchy acidity, savory tannins and a medicinal, cocktail bitters-like edge to the fruit. A highly classy drop with autumnal vibes. Drink now – 2030.

Wine Enthusiast, April, 2024

90 Points

The 2022 Pinot Noir Leah isn’t a showy wine that shrieks with punchy aromas or flavors but focuses on its texture. It blossoms in the mouth, bringing a supple texture and a wealth of fine skin-derived tannins, which are probably the result of the long post-fermentation maceration period. It is satisfying and moreish. Marlborough’s natural acidity sings through on the finish like a fresh spring. It doesn’t have the most concentration or the lengthiest finish, but it is pleasurable, and I’d like to drink a few glasses. 2024 – 2030

Vinous, May, 2024

General Info

Country New Zealand
Region South Island
Appellation(s) Marlborough
Proprietors Michael Seresin
Founded 1992, first vintage 1996
Winemaker Tamra Kelly-Washington
Annual Production 30,000 9L cases (including Momo)
Farming (Sustainable, organic, biodynamic) Biodynamic (grapes certified with Demeter), Organic (property and wines certified with Biogro NZ)