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.
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 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…
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!
Bright, generous red fruits and dried naartjie zest, with underlying herbal and cinnamon bark tones. Great value wine from one of my favourite producers.
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.
Not flashy or overly fruity, the wine shows depth, purity and structure. One of South Africa’s finest Pinot Noirs.
Captivating, focused, fresh and succulent. Black cherry, pomegranate, rose petal and raspberry. Absolute stunner!
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.
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.
Delicate earthy aromas combined with red and dark berry ﬂavours. Cranberry, pommengranite and delicate spice.
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