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Sunday 14 October 2012

The CWB Pinot-Off: Burgundy vs Chile

Autumn - season of mists and mellow fruitfulness. Time for gamey dishes that match superbly with Pinot Noir, that most elusive, fickle and hedonistic of grapes.

Burgundy is Pinot's spiritual home, but other cool-climate regions have a go; one is Chile, where altitude and cooling sea breezes can provide suitable conditions for Pinot.

I compared two Pinots - a Louis Jadot from Burgundy and an Errazuriz from Chile's Casablanca Valley - matched to an autumnal stew with venison from Andrew Northrop.

In very simple terms, all Pinot should be pale and delicately elegant with a soft texture - it's no blockbuster wine. Burgundian Pinot is traditionally truffley, farmyardy and hedonistic whilst the New World (especially New Zealand) is more precise and pretty.

Errazuriz Wild Ferment Pinot Noir 2010 - £12.99 (Majestic, Cambridge Wine Merchants)

On the nose, there is some farmyardiness and soft red fruit.

The palate shows typically Burgundian aromas of mushroomy forest floor, some spice and lots of raspberry and redcurrant fruit with hints of toasty oak.

The palate is long, savoury and persistent with good depth, fresh acidity and a pleasant finish.

It's a relatively restrained 13.5% alcohol but, for me, has a distinctly ripe sweetness on the palate that is rather too New World and somewhat out of place.

This unnecessary sweetness becomes less noticeable when matched with a slow-cooked casserole of venison with sweet root vegetables with meat from Andrew Northrop Butchers, but to a traditionalist like me, it's not a good thing.

Louis Jadot Bourgogne Pinot Noir 2009 - £12.75 (Tesco, Wine Rack, Slurp) 

The nose is quite restrained - a touch of redcurrant and toasty oak.

On the palate, there is red berry and cherry fruit, savouriness and lovely acidity; good finish. There's not too much going on here and it's not cheap - but it is well done and nicely balanced with a more-ishly prominent acidity that makes it very food friendly.

Classic and distinctly Old World.

Recommended Wine

Both of these are priced similarly and both do something every different - it's hard to pick a winner and, rather, I would prefer to see the best of both (the truffley aromas of the Errazuriz and the precise acidity of the Jadot) in a single wine.

Thanks should also go to Heidi Sladen and The Red Cow for suggesting gamey matches for these two wines.


Errazuriz - http://www.errazuriz.cl/
Louis Jadot - http://www.louisjadot.com/en/index.php
Andrew Northrop - Facebook, twitter
Majestic - http://www.majestic.co.uk/
Cambridge Wine Merchants - http://www.cambridgewine.com/
Tesco - http://www.tesco.com/wine/
Wine Rack - http://www.winerack.co.uk/
Slurp - http://www.slurp.co.uk/

Other articles that may be of interest

More on Burgundy
More on Chile
More on Pinot Noir

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