Exploring the many faces of Pinot Noir
Pinot Noir – capable of making the most ethereal and haunting of red wines, and contributing character and body to the finest sparkling wines. However, it is fussy and fickle, or “capricious and extremely variable” according to Jancis Robinson in The Oxford Companion to Wine. It is a variety that challenges both viticulturist and winemaker, but the potential is so great that many English and Welsh producers have taken that challenge on. And, oh, the variety of wines they are making from this variety! Sill white? Still rosé? Still red? Sparkling white? Sparkling rosé? Sparkling red? Yes, all of them!
Read our blog article to find out more about Pinot Noir in England and Wales – there’s some background on how it’s become the most planted grape on these shores, and a tour of the best examples of Pinot Noir based wines of all colours, both still and sparkling. We’ve put together a very special case with an exceptional example of each style, pictured above, which you can purchase here for £149.99.
It’s a few weeks off, but we thought we’d share some ideas for Mother’s Day gifts. Take inspiratiom from our pick of beautiful wines and gin..
We normally restrain ourselves to mentioning four new wines each month, but this time we’re cheating slightly as one of our four picks is a range of wines from Knightor Winery in Cornwall, which we are incredibly excited by; our other selections are a mellow and complex red from Herefordshire, a delicious botrytised dessert wine, and “Pink Fizz” in a can.
Co-Founder, Grape Britannia
|If you’d like some inspiration for a Mother’s Day gift, take a look at these ideas, which include some sumptuous sparklers and a rather special dessert wine.|
|Knightor Winery wine and vermouth range We’ve totally fallen in love with the wines from Knightor Winery in Cornwall. This boutique Cornish winemaker has a stunning selection of very small volume production wines, typically only 100-300 cases of each. We’ve added their Pinot Noir, Pinot Noir Précoce, Chardonnay, Rosso Vermouth, Dry Vermouth and a 2011 Blanc de Blancs to our range. One highlight is a mini-vertical case of Chardonnays, a trio from 2017-2019, showcasing the impact of vintage in a variable climate and subtle winemaking tweaks. Their 2018 Pinot Noir is our top wine of 2021 so far. Buy here »|
Wythall Estate Red 2018 (£19.99) This wine has a beautiful soft garnet colour. On the nose you’ll find plums and just a hint of cinnamon. In the mouth you’ll detect fresh red cherries, plums, and a hint of violets. A touch of fine‑grained tannin gives the wine shape and a medium to light weight. There’s a delightful liquorice finish. All told, a very stylish English red. Wythall Estate is situated not far from Ross‑on‑Wye in rural Herefordshire. Although there are, as yet, few vineyards in this part of the country, it is one of the finest agricultural growing areas in England, and this wine suggests viticulture has a strong future. Buy here »
|Three Choirs Noble Harvest 2015 (£19.99) This wine, produced by Three Choirs in Gloucestershire only 2 years in every 10, in very limited quantity, has an intensely aromatic, lychee and raisin nose and offers a rich grape and dried apricot character on the palate. Early ripening varieties were left on the vine, and botrytis, also known as Noble Rot, helped to concentrate the sugars and provide complex aromas and flavours to the wine. This is still cool climate wine and does not have the stickiness of many late harvest wines; it goes well with fruit desserts, such as apple pie or pear tart, and cheeses. Buy here »|
Balfour Hush Heath Pink Fizz (£4.99)Innovative and playful, Balfour Pink Fizz is the perfect combination of fruit and sparkle. There’s a lot of talk in the wine industry about sustainability – aluminium cans, some suggest, are part of the way ahead.A blend of 7 Kentish varieties, the grapes are hand picked, gently pressed and skilfully blended before canning using the latest technology. The result is an utter delight, balancing fresh red fruit, fragrance and fizz. A taste of Kentish countryside to take with you anywhere.Buy here »