Pinot noir is the most widely planted red grape variety in New Zealand and is considered a premium product based on the price per volume. To date no studies have attempted to characterize the different styles of the four main Pinot noir producing regions: Central Otago, Marlborough, Martinborough, and Waipara. The intensities of aroma, flavor, and mouthfeel attributes of commercial regional wines from two vintages were investigated. Descriptive analysis was carried out by a panel consisting of experienced but untrained wine professionals. Canonical variate analysis showed that the four wine regions were differentiated according to aroma (barnyard, black cherry, herbal, raspberry, red cherry, oak, spice and violet), in-mouth flavor (fruit density/concentration and red fruit), and mouthfeel (balance, body, and finish length) attributes. Results show that Pinot noir wines from the four regions of New Zealand are stylistically different and that experienced but untrained wine professionals produce reliable results for this type of sensory analysis.
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