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Sunday 1 November 2020

(Another) CWB Pinot-Off

Two non-Burgundian Pinots Noirs

Chardonnay and Pinot Noir are the great Burgundian grapes; but while Chardonnay has gone around the world to runaway success in most wine-producing countries, Pinot's rise has been slower.

Unlike Chardonnay, Pinot is a difficult grape to grow, prone to mutation and thrives only in relatively cool conditions; it needs latitude, altitude, maritime coolness - or all three.

Burgundian Pinot is rarely an inexpensive wine; it tends to be somewhere between pricey and hair-raising - and it isn't even always that great. If you like Pinot but don't want to spend a fortune, or just want to see what the fuss is all about, more-affordable and more-reliable versions are starting to appear in other parts of the world.

While Burgundian-style Pinots often command Burgundian prices, countries like Chile prove that reliable, affordable Pinot is possible.

The second Pinot here is French, but not a Burgundy. Rather it is from Provence, an area much more associated with rosé. The Valmoissine Estate vineyards are made up of 120 hectares spread over four communes at an altitude of 500m giving a longer, more Burgundian growing season with warm sunny days during the summer months but cooler temperatures at night.

Cono Sur Bicicleta Pinot Noir, Chile (£8, The Co-op) Burgundian nose of red fruits and farmyard; overripe, slightly cooked soft red fruits, spice and some dark green herbs. Well-made and easy-drinking with a silky texture.

Thoroughly pleasant. Good Value.

It has a Decanter silver medal.

Louis Latour Domaine de Valmoissine Pinot Noir 2017 (£11.99, Majestic, Fine Wine Direct, House of Townend, North and South Wines, Small Beer, Tanners Wine Merchants, Thedrinkshop.com, Winebuyers, Winedirect) ripe-but-fresh wild raspberries, red and black cherries; spice and savouriness with liquorice; long and supple, well-made.


Match with autumnal Burgundian foods, such as truffles, mushrooms, duck in blackberry sauce. Later in the year, think of Christmas ham or turkey, grilled red meats such as lamb or a fish alternative of salmon.

Also reviewed by:

David Kermode: https://www.vinosaurus.co.uk/pinot-noir-provence-louis-latour/

Joanna Simon: WINE OF THE WEEK: Maison Louis Latour Bellevue Domaine de Valmoissine Pinot Noir 2017, Var, France (joannasimon.com)

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