May 2021, Andy
Pinot Noir is a favourite of mine, and I highly recommend you trying one – there is generally a style to suit every palate. That said, if full-flavoured Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz wines are what float your boat then it’s probably best to be honest and admit that you may wonder what all the fuss is about! A classic example that we can’t all like the same thing – it’s what makes the subjectivity and contrast in wine so fascinating and thought provoking!
The Pinot Noir grape is beloved for producing a gentler and elegant interpretation of red wine, and it’s a wine to consider switching to now that the warm summer weather is here and those big, heavy reds we enjoy in the autumn and winter can sometimes be a little bit too heavy and ponderous on a warm summer day!
Typically, Pinot Noir is light to medium bodied with a spectrum of fruit flavours starting with light raspberry to richer cherry and plum flavours. Whilst being the classic red grape of Burgundy, you will also find excellent examples from Chile, New Zealand, South Africa and Germany – and these are well worth exploring.
Northern hemisphere (i.e. cooler climate) Pinot is generally more delicate and has a gentle style, whilst Pinot from the southern hemisphere is more rich and intense yet still maintains a silky texture.
Aged Pinot will develop secondary flavours and aromas of earthy, gamey and savoury mushroom characteristics.
Premium priced Pinot from either hemisphere should deliver more concentration and richness yet still give you the quintessential charming, velvety texture that the Pinot Noir grape is renowned for.
Pinot Noir is the perfect match to duck, roast lamb/pork, roasted vegetables and mushrooms!
One word of advice – if served too warm it loses its freshness and vitality. The ideal serving temperature would be somewhere in the 12 – 14 degrees bracket, perfect for summer drinking!
Here are some of our Pinot Noir wines to whet your appetite …
El Viejo del Valle Pinot Noir 2018, Guillaume Letang £8.95
Chile / Central Valley
A light, softly textured Pinot Noir with a charming and brightly flavoured personality. Juicy and velvety with fresh hints of cherry, raspberry, gentle spice and a subtle savoury overtone. Match with couscous with roasted vegetables. view
Vidal Reserve Marlborough Pinot Noir 2018, Vidal £13.25
New Zealand / Marlborough
A soothing and mellow Pinot Noir with an enticing fragrant and floral style. Cherry, raspberry, nutmeg, violet and truffle. Soft tannins add structure and balance. A really pretty red with a friendly crowd pleasing personality. Nice with crispy duck pancakes. view
Messmer Made in Pfalz Spatburgunder (Pinot Noir) 2018, Weingut Messmer £13.65
Germany / Pfalz
So pretty, delicate and subtle yet very appealing and true to type. Light yet very tasty. Aromas of bright strawberry fruit. Fresh and juicy red berry characters on the palate backed by supple tannins. Try with baked Camembert. view
Aconcagua Costa Pinot Noir 2019, Errazuriz £13.90 Special Offer Price rrp circa £16.95
Chile / Aconcagua Valley
Terrific definition and proper concentration – yet very fresh, nuanced and understated. This is no new world ‘big and jammy’ Pinot!
Enjoy with mushroom and pancetta pasta! view
Catherine Marshall Pinot Noir on Clay Soils 2019 £16.90
South Africa / Western Cape
A very pure, refined Pinot Noir produced with Burgundy very much at the forefront. The beautifully poised fruit is perfectly complimented by classic truffle, mushroom and other savoury nuances. Nothing jammy, stewed or overdone. Class in a glass.
Food match – fried potato cakes filled with mushroom and Gruyere view
Greystone Pinot Noir 2016/2017 £23.95
New Zealand / Canterbury
A beautifully pure and authentic Pinot Noir with fine structure and complexity. Grown on clay over limestone soils with some sandstone. Lovely freshness, spice and savoury overtones. A stylish and nuanced Pinot – really lovely. Food match – duck rillettes view
Santenay 1er Cru Clos Rousseau 2015, Domaine Maurice Charleux £27.50
France / Burgundy
Quality and value for a Premier Cru in a top vintage. Beautifully rounded and textural – this has more class, refinement and sophistication than its Premier Cru cousins down the road in Maranges. Drink now or keep till 2024. view