jamie goode's wine blog: I love Pinot Noir

Saturday, August 18, 2007

I love Pinot Noir

Pinot Noir is a wonderful grape. It's definitely in the top three of red grape varieties - possibly even top. But I'm not always in the mood for it. The downside is that good Pinot Noir isn't that common, and it's usually expensive.

What Pinot Noir does so well is elegance. You don't want big, dark, tannic, dense Pinot Noir. You want it to speak with a fluent voice, not to shout. You want it to be quite light, smooth, elegant and expressive.

Last night I opened three - two Villa Maria Pinots from New Zealand and Marks & Spencers Bourgogne Pinot Noir 2005. I liked them all, but the more expensive of the Villa Maria duo was thrillingly good. New Zealand is my favourite destination for affordable Pinot Noir at the moment.

Villa Maria Pinot Noir Pinot Noir Private Bin 2006 Marlborough, New Zealand
This is a fresh, bright Pinot Noir with a nice dark cherry and spice nose. It's lively and quite elegant. The palate has a fresh buzz to it - almost a hint of spritz and some nice elegant cherryish fruit. Delicious stuff: bright and zippy. 89/100 (9.99 Tesco, Sainsbury)

Villa Maria Pinot Noir Cellar Selection 2006 Marlborough, New Zealand
Lovely nose: fresh, spicy meaty red fruits here, with nice perfume. Ripe but still very fresh and quite cherryish. The palate is complex and spicy. It's really expressive with lively acidity and an appealing meatiness. A delicious wine. 92/100 (11.99 Tesco, Thresher, Booths)

Marks & Spencer Bourgogne Pinot Noir 2005
Quite dense cherry and herb fruit here, with a green edge to the savoury red fruits, together with a bit of earthiness. It's nice enough but it lacks excitement and isn't terribly elegant. Not bad value, though. 85/100 (Marks & Spencer 6.99)


At 9:16 PM, Anonymous Tim Crane said...

Hi Jamie

I agree with you about pinot noir.

I'm in Hungary at the moment and there are some terrific pinot noirs here. Not world-beating, but as good or better than many of the 20+ NZ pinots I've had recently. And better than any burgundy I have had for the price (around 10 or 15).

The problem is that there is no proper export market for the best Hungarian wines.

So -- when are you going to come to Hungary and see what they are up to here?

all the best

At 1:49 AM, Anonymous barefoot wine said...

I agree too, this is a good article about pinot noir.

At 1:55 PM, Blogger Jamie said...

My only wine visit to Hungary was a quick trip over the border from Burgenland to see Weninger's Hungarian vines. The Pinots you mention sound interesting - would love to see what they are up to.

At 3:33 PM, Anonymous Thomas said...

Hi Jamie
So far I taste PN ,I think NZ is the only one nearly matching Burgundy's but lack of the coolness and chalky mineral tone and a bit too much ripe fruit cherry that causing lost the elegance than Burgundian,they just good but Terrior is everything,though we can see how good and effort NZer had paid.I hope Jamie can provide us more indepth on tropic of Terrior.Thank


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