It may have passed you by… let’s be honest, there is a fair bit going on at the moment… but yesterday was ‘International Pinot Noir Day’. Yes, this is a thing. We’re not sure what it means, because for Pinot lovers, it is an obsession, and every day is a day for a good Pinot. Though we thought it better reason than any to highlight one of our favourite varieties. Pinot Noir is a beautiful thing, when managed well. It is fickle, it is difficult to grow, even harder to produce, and shows a region, sites or winemakers flaws if they aren’t well suited. This is because of its thin skins, needy and narrow growing conditions and its hunger for low yields. It expresses its origin better than any red variety, and whilst it can disappoint, it can take you to vinous highs that are higher than most.
We will change things up a bit here and offer three pinot noirs from three very important regions across the world. The wines will be available in straight 6-packs, though there is also the option for a mixed pack of the three. The regions are;
- Burgundy, France – the birthplace of pinot noir, with centuries of experience harking back to Cistercian monks farming the land and plotting and ranking vineyard sites whose tiered levels of quality are still adhered to today.
- Yarra Valley, Victoria – a region with a long history of winegrowing, but more seriously with intelligent planting and farming of Pinot Noir that explores the higher and cooler vineyard land.
- Central Otago, New Zealand – New Zealand’s Pinot Noir gift to the world, and while the history is short, the quality has been consistently high. The region sits just outside of Queenstown, is incredibly beautiful, cool and dry. A perfect combination of elements required to produce quality Pinot.
Burn Cottage ‘Moonlight Race’ Pinot Noir 2017, Central Otago, New Zealand
It is always a joy to taste or drink Burn Cottage Pinot Noir. It is project, brainchild and committed work of some of the most incredible Pinot Noir minds on the planet, American owner Marquis Sauvage who purchased the land in 2002 and his reliable partner/ consultant, the wise and forward-thinking Ted Lemon. Marquis has roots in the US and German wine industries and Ted is owner/ operator if Littorai wines in California and one of the most respected wine growers and makers anywhere.
Straight out of the gates, Burn Cottage became a serious player in Pinot Noir circles on a global scale. The wines were intense, supple, silky and long. All descriptors that scream high quality Pinot Noir. The site is gently sloping, cold and dry, a combination that allows a long and even growing season perfect for balanced flavour development. The wines have an effortless feel, a weightlessness and a restrained, elegant power. This wine sees some oak, up to 20% new, but the richness of the fruit soaks it up. The oak provides a nice spice and structure. This wine will age comfortably for 6 years.