Pinot Noir and its Many Players
Although chiefly associated with Burgundy, as we know, the much beloved Pinot Noir is cultivated and treasured all over the world! Countless winemakers take on the challenging plate spinning act, that is, endeavouring to transform this notoriously fussy and tricky variety into something resembling our cherished crimson delight. Why? Why go through all the trouble? Because, as well all know, when she delivers, there’s not much out there that can compare with great Pinot Noir. From the Valleys of Oregon, to the Bays of South Africa to the Hills of Adelaide, winemakers from all around the globe strive to perfect their individual expressions. We as wine lovers, spoilt as we are, can sit back and reap the rewards of their labour and artistry.
Tasting and comparing wines, side by side, is a wonderfully pleasurable, interesting, and enlightening exercise. Why else would wine tastings be so popular? However, as much fun as comparing wines from different varieties, regions and styles is, I’ve always been fascinated with seeing how contrasting expressions of a single variety differ. How does the same grape in different hands, different soils and climates come out? Just like listening to the different ways great musicians express themselves on the same instrument, it’s fascinating to see different winemakers’ interpretations of the same grape variety. Our ‘Pinot Noir and its Many Players’ mixed case, aims to help you discover beautiful new expressions of Pinot Noir, from places you might not expect. We hope it keeps you on your toes and encourages you to keep exploring! What is your favourite composition? What is your favourite growers take, on Pinot Noir?
The start of tour brings us to Romania, to visit Englishman, Philip Cox, and his Romanian wife Elvira. They have dedicated their lives to transforming the long moribund, 700 hectare ancient estate, Cramele Recas, into a contemporary winemaking haven, to help drive Romanian winemaking forward. They have dug up and replanted all 700 hectares of decrepit vineyards and replaced them with immaculately tended sites, the equal of anywhere else in the world. A 20-million-euro investment in the vineyards and brand new winery, as well as recruiting seasoned new world winemakers, has enabled them to produce top quality reds and whites, from a broad range of varietals, at very competitive prices. They regularly host world class flying winemakers, vintage to vintage, to work with their team. This enables them to create top quality wines and constantly challenge themselves.
Their Pinot Noir is fantastic, especially considering the quality you are getting for the price! It has a light, soft and welcoming nose of autumn fruits. Soft smooth & spicy flavours throughout with generous red fruit flavours on a supple and mouth-watering palate. The finish is clean, elegant, and long. This Romanian Pinot Noir is perfect for summer. Pure, vibrant Pinot fruit, clean and elegant and such a complete contrast to the rustic reds that invaded the market from this part of the world in the past.
Next up, we visit a region famed for its gloriously elegant Sauvignon Blancs, however, one would be doing the region a huge disservice to overlook the gloriously pure and elegant expressions of Pinot Noir made here! Domaine Daniel Crochet is situated in heart of the wonderful commune of Bué, this family domaine has been around for 4 generations now. It covers approximately 9 hectares, including 6 hectares of Sauvignon Blanc and 3 hectares of Pinot Noir. The vineyards of the property have an average age of 55 years and are planted in high-quality clay and limestone rich white soils and pebbles typical of the region. The finesse, balance and concentration found in the wines from these plots is truly spectacular. Daniel has decided to take a completely organic approach to viticulture, as well as heavily restricting the yields of the vines in their vineyards. This all leads to their grapes reaching stunning levels of concentration! Acclaimed by his peers, Daniel Crochet’s reputation is one of striving for perfection. His 2017 Sancerre Rouge is all about purity, delicacy, and finesse. Possessing a wonderful concentration, of beautifully ripe strawberry and raspberry fruit and gentle Pinot Noir spice. The nose is fragrant and pretty and the palate is expressive and vibrant, combined with a measured restraint that creates an overall elegant and classy wine. Sancerre is not just about Sauvignon!
To finish with we visit the vineyards of the village of Bad Durkheim, southwest of the Rhine Valley in Pfalz, Germany. Here, the humble farmer Alex Pfluger and his family are pioneers of the organic and bio-dynamic wine movement in Germany. Within Germany’s 102,000 hectares of vineyards, a mere handful are certified organic, and 50 hectares of those are in the hands of the delightful Alex. The hot and dry climate in Bad Durkhiem, makes it perfect for viticulture of this nature and Alex believes that working biodynamically and organically, in harmony with the environment, is the key to crafting wines that reflect the terroir, and which have their own unique life and signature. Predominantly using the local varieties of Riesling, Spätburgunder and Gerwürztraminer, Alex’s wines are complex, aromatic, tropical and exuberant, whilst remaining wonderfully herbaceous, mineral, and fresh. Alex’s Pinot Noir is a wonderful alternative to a village level Burgundy! A wonderfully refined and pure expression of Pinot Noir. Its bold and complex, opening on the palate with ripe red cherries, wild strawberries, chocolate and an array of fresh spices. As the wine opens up, earthy notes and darker fruits reveal themselves, and the rich texture and ample but supple fruit truly make this wine a delight. Slight vanilla notes come through on a long and pure finish.
‘Pinot Noir and its Many Players’ is a special offer six-bottle mixed case, containing 2x each of the following wines:
2018 Calusari Pinot Noir - £11.55
2017 Sancerre Rouge - £21.65
2017 Pinot Noir ‘Durkheimer’ - £22.25
Normal Retail Price - £110.90