It’s the time of the year when, as the evenings get cooler, we may be looking for an alternative to a chilled glass of white. It’s not quite heavy red weather, but something lighter may just tick the box.
Pinot Noir is without doubt the red wine variety which holds the most mystique for wine consumers. We’re often asked why Pinot Noir is more expensive than its red counterparts Shiraz and Cabernet. Here are a few insights into why you should be happy to pay slightly more for Pinot Noir.
Pinot Noir is a difficult variety to cultivate and transform into wine. The bunches are generally small and tightly clustered, which means considerably lower yields than other red varieties.
It is susceptible to frost, rot, and mildew due to these tightly packed berries.
The thin skins, typical of Pinot Noir, mean more often than not they will need to be “hand-picked” to maintain the integrity of the fruit and maximise the impact of the skins on the finished wine. All of this means good quality Pinot is hard to make and hard to manage but worth the extra effort!
Pinot Noir tends to have red fruit characters, think cherries, raspberries, and strawberries.
Good quality Pinot Noir will develop additional complexity with ageing and can deliver rich black cherry or plum characters and an “earthy” note dependant on region of origin.
While Burgundy will always be king in Pinot world, Australia and New Zealand are producing Pinot Noir of outstanding quality.
Cool climate is the key to high quality Pinot. In Australia, look for regions like Tasmania, Mornington, Yarra Valley. From New Zealand, Marlborough, Martinborough and, of course, the much sought-after Pinots of Central Otago.
In the current Sense of Taste catalogue, we feature some interesting wines from boutique Clare Valley producer Claymore Winery.
Founded in 1997 by Dr Anura Nitchingham, Claymore Winery brings together his three great passions – wine, music and football.
Anura, a Liverpool FC tragic, in 2015 signed a three- year deal to be the “official wine partner of Liverpool FC in Australia”.
This passion has flowed over to the wines, Hence the label “You’ll Never Walk Alone” which features a Sauvignon Blanc, GSM and Cabernet Sauvignon.
Music has also inspired the majority of the wine names and labels. We feature four in our current catalogue, and think they are hidden gems. The price points on these wines are extremely sharp and each one over delivers. Some brief notes below:
Bittersweet Symphony Cabernet Sauvignon – This wine is full bodied with balance. Loaded with black currants, yet savoury in style, this wine screams for steak.
Dark Side of the Moon Shiraz – When people think of Shiraz, Clare Valley is not the first region that usually jumps to mind. But this wine is a favourite amongst our team. Juicy and bold, with well-integrated oak, the elegance of this Shiraz shines through and is a real crowd pleaser.
London Calling Cabernet Malbec – Velvety and luscious, this wine disappears too quickly. 70% Cabernet, 30% Malbec. Don’t over think it, just drink it.
Walk This Way Riesling – brand new to the range, peach tones on the nose, balanced acidity and green apple notes. This wine has great texture, and a clean, lingering finish. Will reward those who like to age their Riesling. A steal at $15.99 for four or more bottles.