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Wednesday, 24 June 2020

Zoom tasting: Chardonnay vs Pinot Noir

A zoom tasting of two Burgundian grapes from The Co-op and Cambridge Wine Merchants

Robert Oatley Margaret River Chardonnay 2017
Thomas Bouley Bourgogne Pinot Noir 2013

Chardonnay and Pinot Noir are two of the greatest grapes in the world – both are originally from Burgundy, but have had different international success.

Chardonnay is one of the world's most popular white grapes and possibly its most versatile; you will find it in Champagne and other fizzes, steely Chablis and big oaky Aussie / Californian / South African / South American whites.

By contrast, Pinot Noir is a finnicky cool-climate grape, prone to mutation, difficult to grow and, until recently, rarely seen outside Burgundy or as a blending component in Champagne. Nowadays, you can find examples from Germany, cooler parts of Chile, Australia, New Zealand and the US Pacific Northwest; there is also an increasing number of Pinot rosés as well.

Robert Oatley Margaret River Chardonnay 2017 (£12, Co-op and CWM) stone fruit, citrus and passionfruit with elderflower and honeysuckle; fine acidity and gentle oak with creamy, buttery nuttiness; balanced, harmonious and elegant.

Improves with aeration and will age


A versatile wine, match with starters or white meats.

Thomas Bouley Bourgogne Pinot Noir 2013 (£17, Cambridge Wine Merchants) blackcurrant and morello cherry fruit with evolved, mushroomy undergrowth and savoury, peppery spice; lively acidity and fine tannins.

At a peak now.


Demands to be matched with substantial food; not a sipper - match with red meat, especially seared venison / tuna steaks.

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