Syrah and Pinot Noir, and why I love them

Two wines tonight, shared with friends, which really worked.

The first, a northern Rhone Syrah from the Cornas appellation, but bottled as Vin de Pays. It’s the Les Collines de Laure Syrah 2010 from Jean-Luc Colombo who I met last week. I bought a case of this (direct from Hatch Mansfield because retailers haven’t yet switched vintage, and because I hadn’t tried the 2009). Guide price is £10.

It’s fresh and vibrant with lovely meaty, olive-tinged black cherry and plum fruit with freshness and some floral aromatics. Keen acidity keeps this vital and delicious, but it is not lacking rich fruit.

The second is Mount Koinga Pinot Noir 2009 from Central Otago, New Zealand. This is an exclusive bottling by the Wine Society, made by Prophet’s Rock. It isn’t cheap (£17.50), but it’s lovely. It’s more elegant than many from the region, with a silky smooth texture to the sweet cherry and berry fruit, showing admirable purity. No rough edges, and a hint of seriousness here.

Syrah and Pinot Noir, when grown in relatively cool climates and handled sympathetically, have an affinity. I love them.

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