Food & Drink

5 plush pinot noirs to broaden your horizons

These top drops from France, New Zealand, Chile and beyond are the bee’s knees, says Sam Wylie-Harris.

5 plush pinot noirs to broaden your horizons
Friends drinking red wine in vineyard 5 plush pinot noirs to broaden your horizons (DisobeyArt / Alamy Stock Photo/Alamy Stock Photo)

Some wines move you in many ways…

The reds you love in an instant – fruity bombs that have ‘drink me’ written all over them – and those that seduce you with their heady florals, silky palate and certain je ne sais quoi… namely pinot noir.

A wine lover’s wine, on first impression, vivid red berries, summer fruits, bright acidity and soft tannins draw you in; and depending on the style and region, savoury notes, an earthy complexity and spice come into play.

Versatile, food friendly and balanced – there’s good reason why it’s a sommelier’s favourite – pinot noir pairs well with seafood, along with white and red meat, can be served lightly chilled if the mood (or heat of the moment) takes you, and loves spring veggies and mild cheeses.

Here, we’ve plucked five plush pinots to showcase its style, personality and flair…

1.  Errazuriz Estate Reserva Pinot Noir 2021, Aconcagua, Chile, £8.99, Waitrose

Chile’s cool-climate vineyards are a haven for pinot noir, light-bodied wines with delicacy and freshness. With its typical varietal nose of strawberries and raspberries, this delectable ruby red offers ethereal violet in the mix; and a combination of silky red fruits, earth and tart cherry on the crisp finish.

2. Villa Maria Private Bin Pinot Noir 2021, Marlborough, New Zealand, £13, Tesco

Another place pinot calls home, fresh acidity is the calling card for this famous wine region. And then of course there’s the bewitching floral bouquet, which completes a perfect parcel of bright red cherries, spicy raspberry fruit, hint of plum and tangy, long finish.

3. Lergenmüller Pinot Noir Trocken 2021, Pfalz, Germany, £14.99, Virgin Wines

Relatively under the radar, Germany excels at pinot noir and this one – similar in style to a Burgundy, considered the pinnacle of pinot noir – is worth seeking out. Delightful aromatics headline with hints of violets, but there’s a wonderful just-picked redcurrant fruit freshness with elevated acidity that keeps you coming back for more.

4. Toast & Honey Pinot Noir 2022, California, USA, £14.99, Majestic

Some might say that early 2000s cult movie Sideways put pinot on the map. But there’s no escaping the Californian sunshine that blesses this grape with a spicy sweetness, making it stand out from the crowd. On the nose it’s a floral treat with raspberries, cherries and intriguing toasty notes; similar flavours unfold on the palate with playful touches of baking spice on the very smooth finish.

5. Joseph Drouhin Rully, Burgundy 2020, France, £21.99, Waitrose

So, here we have it… the spiritual home of pinot noir, the best Burgundy comes with a princely sum to match. But if you really want to know what all the fuss is about, this poised pinot from Rully – one of the lesser known appellations, south of Beaune – offers regional character and value. Drop dead gorgeous from word go, think silky, sensuous, scents of raspberries at the fore with flavours of cassis, herbal notes and touch of wet undergrowth on the silky finish. À votre santé!