Actually, from Down Under in New Zealand, a couple of things worth mentioning:

First, a spectacular bottle of Pinot from Palliser Estate. When it’s on, I think Martinborough is currently the most consistent and best pinot region in New Zealand, and Palliser is one of the producers there that I really love. Richard Riddiford, the pugnacious and often obstreperous owner, is a real wine visionary, an amazing character and a gracious host who entertains guests with cannon firings and meditative wine drinking at the grave of his late, lamented dog.

More importantly, his wine is excellent. I love the style—he’s not afraid to throw some stems into the fermenter, which gives the wines a touch of spice and bit of structure that pinots often lack. Can’t recommend this 2005 highly enough.