If Pinot Noir was a person, it would be a diva. Temperamental, hard to work with and unpredictable, but when it’s on song there’s not a variety to match it in the world.
Many winemakers relish Pinot’s particular challenge and many have failed in the attempt. It needs a cooler than usual climate but enough sunshine to ripen and it’s more susceptible than most to disease and disaster. A staff favourite here is Paddy Borthwick’s “Paper Road”. If ever proof was needed that great red wines need not be big and beefy, this is it.
For many wine lovers, however, Pinot Noir means one thing; Burgundy. The homeland of mythological and (at their best) hauntingly beautiful wines is an idiosyncratic place with many vineyards that are smaller than your back garden. As a budget friendly introduction, look no further than Naudin Ferrand’s Hautes-Côtes de Beaune.
The aroma is enticing with intense plum, cherry and strawberry fruit with a hint of spicy oak. The fresh fruit momentum continues on the palate with vibrant plum and dark stone fruits finishing with some firm acid, beautiful tannins and integrated oak.