March 04, 2021

Library Release: Ostler Caroline's Pinot Noir 2009

New Zealand Wine Navigator is thrilled to announce the release of a very special, mature vintage – the 2009 Ostler Caroline’s Pinot Noir.  

The ‘secret’ to this unforgettable wine lies in an ancient geological faulting process which occurred in the Waitaki Valley located in the South Island of New Zealand. A 38 million year old seabed was raised into a north-facing limestone slope overlooking the braided Waitaki River. This gives the wine incredible minerality, depth and complexity.

“When I tasted their Pinot Noir I was bowled over. Ostler Vineyards Caroline’s Pinot Noir struck me as a remarkable wine.”
– Matt Kramer, Wine Spectator

This is a ‘big’ Pinot for the Waitaki region that’s driven by both terroir and fruit – gorgeous, jazzy black summer fruit of cherries and plums and a hint of spice. Intensely flavored with attractive fruit sweetness and impressive palate length but with the complexity, elegance and finesse this label is known for.

Taste & Smell

A very complex bouquet driven by site and minimal winemaking intervention. The limestone rich soil adds an immediate mineral layer to the bouquet which is loaded with ripe red fruit aromas and flavors; fine tannins and youthful acidity adds texture, charm and finish.

Food Match

Lean red meat dishes such as venison; Sous Vide of Turkey or chicken with button mushroom and red bean cassoulet, and a touch of white truffle oil and kale. 

The Vineyard

Ostler is a boutique producer of wines of distinction in the South Island’s Waitaki Valley. Ostler prides itself on minimal intervention wine-making by winemaker Jeff Sinnott, using the traditional techniques of Burgundy and Alsace with subtle use of oak.

In 1998, brother-in-laws Jim Jerram and Jeff Sinnott went prospecting for suitable grape-growing country in limestone country, of the Waitaki Valley. At that time there was no history of commercial wine-growing in the region.

The two discovered the perfect site for growing premium cool climate wine grapes; a north-facing limestone-influenced slope on an escarpment overlooking a braided river. It reminded Jeff of the famous slopes of Burgundy.

The first Pinot Noir vines were planted at ‘Clos Ostler’ in 2002. International recognition and accolades soon followed. Close to the 45 ̊ parallel Ostler produces fruit with ideal parameters to make classic single vineyard wines – wines whose complexity and concentration express the true characteristics of their terroir.


With over 20 years of experience, winemaker Jeff Sinnott carries out his winemaking with as little intervention as possible, using traditional Burgundian and Alsatian techniques to produce Ostler’s flagship Caroline’s Pinot Noir and Audrey’s Pinot Gris.

Jeff trained as a sommelier in New Zealand in the early 1980s before heading to Australia and developing his palate as well as a deep affection for fine Pinot Noir. This led him to study at Roseworthy, South Australia, graduating with a Degree in Viticulture and specialising in Pinot Noir and sustainable viticulture.

“Incredible complexity, minerality, depth and length. “A totally memorable wine.”
– Cameron Douglas (MS)

The Region

New Zealand’s newest and smallest wine region, the Waitaki Valley straddles the boundary between the North Otago and Canterbury provinces. The vineyards are mostly small, intensively managed and produce a range of distinctive cool climate wines. The soil is limestone-dominant due to a geological fault which raised an ocean bed 38 million years ago. Alluvial greywacke and schist are also present. The Pinot Noirs have been likened to Chambolle-Musigny by Matt Kramer; all wines demonstrate a distinctive minerality and complexity of fruit flavors. These wines frequently possess a notable lingering finish on the palate as well as fragrant aromatics.

You cannot go wrong with this boutique New Zealand brand.