Browse our reviews below.
Bell Hill Pinot Noir 2009 - Medium-deep ruby-purple colored, the 2009 Pinot Noir offers very intense notes of black cherry compote, wild blueberries and peppered pigeon breast with subtle touches of red roses, tar and anise. The medium-full bodied palate is tight-knit, presenting a very good concentration of muscular black fruits with firm fine-grained tannins, balancing acid and long savory finish. Though tempting to drink now, it should drink best 2012 to 2017+. 93+.
Bell Hill Chardonnay 2009 - The 2009 Chardonnay is youthfully mute as this stage with delicate notes of orange blossom, lightly toasted bread, some oatmeal, under-ripe pineapple and lemon curd. The elegantly weighted palate provides great tension with serious intense citrus and meal flavours and lively acidity. The finish is very long, contributing a suggestion of chalkiness to the layers. Consider drinking it 2013 to 2018+. 93+.
Bell Hill Pinot Noir 2008 - Medium-deep ruby-purple colored, the 2008 Pinot Noir displays notes of game and mocha over warm black cherries, raspberries and mulberries with just a hint of allspice. The palate is led by structure with medium-firm grainy tannins and crisp acidity supporting just enough taut berry and spice flavors, finishing long. It's drinking well now and should continue to cellar to 2016. 91+.
Bell Hill Chardonnay 2008 - The 2008 Chardonnay presents lime juice and lemongrass notes over coriander seed plus touches of meal, peach blossom and yuzu zest. Very crisp and tight on the palate, it gives plenty of citrus fruit flavours and a long minerally finish. Drink it now to 2016+. 91.
Bell Hill Pinot Noir 2007 - Medium-deep, ruby colored, the 2007 Pinot Noir is a little reduced at this stage giving earthy/tarry notes with some game and underbrush. With coaxing the reduction gives way to a black cherry core with a touch of black papper. Medium-full bodied and rich in the mouth, the opulent flesh is well supported with medium-firm finely grained tannins and lively acid, finishing long with lots of savory and warm berry layers. Drink this one now through 2016+. 92.
Bell Hill Pinot Noir 2006 - Deep ruby-garnet in color, the 2006 Pinot Noir presents ripe, evolving kirsch and game aromas with slight whiffs of soy, sandalwood and spice box. Concentrated in the mouth, it has a nice line of refreshing acid, medium-firm tannins and a long spicy finish. Drink it now through 2014+. 91.
Bell Hill Chardonnay 2006 - The 2006 Chardonnay reveals a moderate intensity of toast and straw aromas over a core of preserved lemon and lanolin plus a touch of warm grapefruit. Medium bodied, concentrated and still taut in the mouth, it gives mouth-filling stone fruit and toasted nut flavors and a long finish. Delicious now, it should cellar to 2015+. 92.
Notes from New Zealand
Bell Hill Pinot Noir 2007 – Beautiful nose, nicely vegetal Pinot aromas of rhubarb and beetroot, but delicious truffly notes too and masses of ripe, luscious berry fruit over a chocolaty background. On the palate the sweet fruit sings out, masses of chocolaty, ripe berries and plum, great structure too with refined tannins and a silky weight of fruit clearly delineated by the acidity. 94/100.
Tyson Stelzer and Matthew Jukes
Fourth Great New Zealand Pinot Noir Classification
First ever promotion to five stars - Bell Hill Vineyard. We are proud to announce the first ever promotion to five stars! Bell Hill Vineyard joins Ata Rangi, Felton Road and Mt Difficulty at the pinnacle of our classification. Marcel Giesen and Sherwyn Veldhuizen's North Canterbury vineyard is the first outside of Martinborough and Central Otago to achieve this status. With Pegasus Bay and Pyramid Valley hot on their heels at four stars, North Canterbury has now cemented its reputation as a hotbed of some of the finest Pinot Noir south of the equator.
Bob Campbell MW
Gourmet Traveller Wine
Marcel Giesen and his wife Sherwyn Veldhuizen have been making wine since 1999, first under their Weka Pass label, then as Bell Hill when they thought the wine had reached their very high quality standards. They call themselves wine growers, not makers. There is no separation, they say, between the vineyard and the winery. Bell Hill vineyard is on an old limestone quarry in an isolated area about 15 minutes’ drive west of Waipara. The 2.3 hectare vineyard has 55 percent pinot noir, 40 percent chardonnay and 5 percent riesling. Although Giesen and Veldhuizen do irrigate their vines, they actually prefer them to struggle. Bell Hill has produced some of this country’s finest chardonnays and among the very best examples of pinot noir. They are famous only to devotees of both wine styles who eagerly buy their meagre allocation when the wines are released. If you are happy to pay a deservedly high price for a few bottles of the top wines made in New Zealand, then be sure to add your name to their mailing list.
UK (NZ Supplement)
2007 Bell Hill Weka Pass Road Pinot Noir (19pts/20) - I'd tasted these wines so many times so I had to visit owners Marcel Giesen & Sherwyn Veldhuizen for myself. There followed a vinous epiphany only rivalled by a handful of legends in Burgundy. Transcendentally beautiful and frustratingly evasive. Drink 2013-2020.