Rainy Days and Pinot Noir.

Its raining and I’ve been pouring Pinot Noir; otherwise known as the “heartbreak grape.” As it is a very fickle grape, and requires the utmost attention and respect from vine to glass.

Many see Pinot Noir as a Summer red wine; as its light and you are ‘allowed’ to chill it, it therefore makes the perfect companion on warmer days when you feel like a wine which offers a little more complexity than a white but less tannin and structure than other reds.  However one of Pinot Noir’s best traits is it’s versatility.  So Summer or Winter, Autumn or Spring, there is always a reason to open a bottle of your favourite Pinot Noir and it will always hit the spot.

In winter the divinely scented aroma of Pinot Noir comforts.  The subtle earthy and savoury nuances nourish your soul. All while the gorgeous red fruit dances on your palate, in turn brightening up the doom and gloom of the weather that surrounds.

It is also extremely adaptable in terms of food pairing; think of your favourite broody winter dishes and the majority would make an accomplished pairing to Pinot Noir; Mushroom Risotto, Duck Cassoulet, Chicken and Butter Bean casserole, Butternut ravioli with a burnt butter and sage sauce….

So when the alcohol ban (numero dos) is lifted make sure you have stocked up with Pinot Noir.  If spring has sprung by then, never fear… Pinot Noir will dress for the season and be more than a delightful guest at your dinner table.

Below are my Top 10 South African Pinot Noirs.  Everyone’s taste varies hugely… my perfect Pinot Noir is a perfect balance between savoury and fruity nuances, it displays a bright, luminous ruby hue and has juicy, velvety tannins.


Ataraxia Pinot Noir 2016 R319.50 *

A poised equilibrium between fruit, spice and earthiness.  Insane clarity, beautiful texture and great length.  Fragrant Red cherries, dehydrated strawberries, violets, truffles and subtle cedar spice.

The Valley Pinot Noir 2019 R140,40 

The Valley is full of attitude, but the pleasing kind.  It’s fun, it’s smashable, yet it is still refined and carries the elegance and purity of Pinot Noir.  Ripe red and purple fruit, delicate orange peel, a mineral core and cool climate salinity.  It tastes like more…

Elgin Ridge CRUNCH! Pinot Noir 2019 R140.00

It is what it says on the bottle – crunchy bright fruit, another totally smashable Pinot Noir.  Don’t take it too seriously but enjoy every sip.  Made for your drinking pleasure!

Thorne And Daughters Copper Pot 2019 R170

Bright, generous red fruits and dried naartjie zest, with underlying herbal and cinnamon bark tones. Great value wine from one of my favourite producers.

Crystallum,Peter Max Pinot Noir 2019 R295

Mulberry, cherry and sweet spice on the nose. The palate is full and fruit forward, with both fresh and bruised strawberry and raspberry alongside a light smokiness and some fynbos.  Grippy and crispy yet refined and sleek.  A world class Pinot Noir.

Storm Wines,Vrede Pinot Noir 2018 R575

Not flashy or overly fruity, the wine shows depth, purity and structure. One of South Africa’s finest Pinot Noirs.

Richard Kershaw Elgin Pinot Noir 2017 R574,20 *

Captivating, focused, fresh and succulent. Black cherry, pomegranate, rose petal and raspberry.  Absolute stunner!

Restless River Le Luc Pinot Noir 2017 R395 

Pure, lively and authentic.  Great balance between acid fruit and tannin.  Abundant in red and black fruit, notes of thyme and earthiness.  Amazing achievement from young vines.

Newton Johnson Family Pinot Noir 2018 R455

Layered, dense fruit of cranberry, raspberry, blackberry and Turkish delight, soft spices of cinnamon, clove and fennel in the finish. Beautifully complex and intriguing. Elegance in a bottle.

Paul Cluver Estate Pinot Noir 2018 R256,50**

Delicate earthy aromas combined with red and dark berry flavours.  Cranberry, pommengranite and delicate spice.

* Inc OrderWine.co.za 10% discount on checkout

** Inc 10% discount use my discount code WRWM10

(Click on Titles for links to buy in SA)

Bubbles Hyland

Bubbles Hyland

Bubbles Hyland, Well Red Wine Magazine Editor and Founder. Wine is her passion and it's also her job; it engrain every aspect of her life. She aims to make wine accessible, and spread the love and knowledge she has in a fun and approachable manner.

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