PINOT NOIR AROUND THE WORLD

By Rose Murray Brown MW    Published in The Scotsman 3 December 2016

My favourite red wine match with turkey is Pinot Noir – and there is plenty to choose from now that this tricky grape is being successfully grown across the world.  In our £14.95 up to £25 category, we matched 18 Pinot Noirs against each other with classic red Burgundies against popular Pinot Noir destinations from New Zealand to Chile – here are our favourites:


Wingspan Nelson Pinot NoirNelson, New Zealand:  WINGSPAN PINOT NOIR 2013   ***STAR BUY***
(£14.99 Raeburn Fine Wines, Edinburgh)
Nelson is often forgotten when people think of Kiwi Pinot Noir.  Two hours drive from Marlborough, the Upper Moutere valley in Nelson is home to some undiscovered gems, wineries like Woollaston (who made this wine) and Neudorf.  A good example of the value New Zealand can offer in comparison to Burgundy; our tasters remarked on the attractive forest fruit aromas, complex palate, nutty, savoury undertones and generous ripe fruits : 13%


Leyda Valley, Chile:  VINA LEYDA LOT 21 PINOT NOIR 2013
(£18 The Wine Society www.thewinesociety.com)
Just seven kilometres from the Pacific, the newly developed Leyda valley region benefits from cool breezes perfect for temperamental Pinot Noir.  Chilean Pinot Noir is often cheaper than this, but this is beautifully made, vibrant acidity, smooth structure with great fruit concentration.  The Lot number refers to the number of rows in the Cahuil vineyard : 14%
                 

Marlborough, New Zealand: TINPOT HUT PINOT NOIR 2014
(£14.99 Provender Brown, Edinburgh; Exel Wines, Perth; Aitken Wines, Dundee; Valhalla’s Goat, Glasgow)
Named after an old mustering hut in between the Wairau and Awatere valleys, used by musterers whilst rounding up sheep in the hills.  This soft silky smooth textured toasty cherry-fruited Pinot Noir is made by winemaker Fiona Turner who is based in the Blind River region of Marlborough : 13.5%


Central Otago, New Zealand:  WILD EARTH PINOT NOIR 2011
(£21.50 Valhalla’s Goat, Glasgow; Aitken Wines, Dundee)
Californian Quintin Quider owns vineyards in Bannockburn and higher Lowburn beneath the Pisa ranges.  This Pinot has wonderfully plummy with a bright vivid character, lovely smooth and sweet : 14%


German Pinot Noir The Wine SocietyWurttemberg, S Germany: UNTERTURKHEIMER GIPS SPATBURGUNDER 2015 Aldinger   ***STAR BUY***
(£19.50 The Wine Society www.thewinesociety.com)
There is more Pinot Noir in Germany than in Burgundy, the best known come from Baden.  This pretty Pinot comes from the little Wurttemberg region, east of Stuttgart – named ‘gips’ after the gypsum in the soil.  Delicate and light but beautifully balanced with succulent fruits shows the potential of this region: 12.5%


Burgundy, France:  SANTENAY LES CHARMES 2013 Domaine Belland
(£22.50 Majestic Wine)
Surprisingly spicy for Burgundy, this is an attractive Santenay with its raspberry fruit aromas, voluptuously smooth structure typical of Cote de Beaune and very savoury edge was popular with tasters – but like many Burgundies it is not cheap : 13%


Victoria, Australia:  GIANT STEPS SEXTON VINEYARD PINOT NOIR 2015
(£22.99 Fine Wine Co, Musselburgh)
A very stylish Pinot Noir from a single vineyard, run biodynamically, on the steep north facing slopes of the Warramate Ranges in the famous Yarra Valley.  Our tasters thought it had an enchanting aroma, a lovely zestiness, fresh with unusual bitter cherry undertones, well balanced use of oak : 13.5%


Burgundy, France:  BOURGOGNE ROUGE MAISON DIEU 2014 Domaine de Bellene
(£16.50 Berry Bros & Rudd)
This weighty Bourgogne Rouge is like a mini-Pommard with its spicy depth of fruit and fullness of flavour, it comes from vineyards just across the road from Pommard.  Made by the famed Nicolas Potel: 12.5%


Languedoc Pinot Noir Majestic WineLimoux, S France:  ESPRIT DE BEGUDE PINOT NOIR 2013 ***STAR BUY***
(£15.99 Majestic Wine)
Intriguing to see this Languedoc Pinot Noir do well in the tasting.  James and Catherine Kinglake moved from England to Limoux to focus on making still wines, rather than Limoux fizz.  This Haut Vallee de l’Aude Pinot is delightful, light in weight, refreshing in acidity, very poised ripe fruits, good concentration – very popular with our tasters: 12.5%


Kent, England: HUSH HEATH PINOT NOIR 2015
(£18.50 Fine Wine Co, Musselburgh)
The Balfour-Lynns of C16 Hush Heath Manor originally planted Pinot Noir on their land to make rose fizz, but now vines have matured and climate is warming they took a punt on making a still Pinot.  I am glad they did as this is one of the better English Pinot Noirs I have tasted.  Very light (as expected) with delicate raspberry fruits and a touch of vanilla; it is, unusually, matured in American oak.  A bit overpriced – but the quality shows potential if our climate continues to warm : 11%


Martinborough, New Zealand: TE TERA PINOT NOIR 2014
(£14.99 Majestic Wine)
Our tasters thought this good value in comparison to other Martinborough Pinot Noirs in our tasting (Escarpment was also popular, but higher priced at £19.80).  This elegant Pinot Noir has delicious cherry fruits, savoury undertones, quite weighty alcohol level, but it is still balanced : 14%


Thracian Valley, Bulgaria:  EDUARDO MIROGLIO PINOT NOIR 2008
(£14.95 Swig online www.swig.co.uk)
Italian textile magnate Eduardo Miroglio is one of the most successful wine investors in Bulgaria – and his Pinot Noirs grown in Elenovo at high altitude in the mountains are remarkably good (he now also makes Pinot Noir-based fizz).  Very mature farmyard aromas, lovely perfumed fruits, a graceful and fascinating Pinot with good oak balance: 13%


Join Rose’s Classic Wine Dinner in Rhubarb, Prestonfield House Hotel, Edinburgh on Thursday 8 December www.rosemurraybrown.com

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