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Pinot Noir Recommendations

Hello,

This is my first post on here, so - hi all!

I am relatively new to the world of wine and am looking for recommendations in a particular style of Pinot Noir - rich, savoury, earthy, mossy, forest floor, gamey, meaty.

My limited research/understanding seems to point towards OLDER bottles…age bringing out some of these characteristics. Do you agree?

I bought a bottle of Louis Jadot Savigny Les Beaune 1er Cru La Dominode, 2010 from TWS a while ago, and of all the pinots in the order that was the one that seemed to be the style I like.

It was quite pricey (for me) at about £32 but I would be happy to pay that again (£25-35) if I knew I was going to get the same kind of flavours/experience.

Most grateful for any tips/recommendations people have on cheaper bottles of Pinot that deliver these kinds of characteristics!

Thanks so much!!!

Anthony

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Older bottles.

To use the “wine tasting” jargon, the flavours you’ve described are all “Tertiary”. These are the flavours that develop in the bottle over time. How old depends on the area and wine making styles involved, but 5 years on a Borgogne Rouge, 10 on a 1er Cru and longer on a Grand Cru is about right.

Rather than cheaper Pinot Noir advice (which I can’t really give!), I tend to look for other grapes with similar characteristics. Meatier Gamey’s from Beaujolais Crus such as Morgon and Moulin a Vent, Xinomavro (Markovitis 2012 firsts your critera/flavour profile really well) and some of the classic northern italian reds fit the bill.

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the domain rollin is a bit cheaper …ok £3! and should with that age fit your bill

I really like their style

I have found that cheaper Pinot is very fruit driven and doesn’t always deliver the flavours you describe…hopefully someone on the community can help you further !

Strawpig has summed it up pretty accurately! If your Louis Jadot 1er cru was £32 you, as you say, bought it some time ago; a 2010 1er cru red burgundy of that calibre will now be a lot more.
Your price bracket will buy you a decent growers Bourgogne rouge, but at that entry level it won’t develop anything like the flavours that you experienced with your Louis Jadot 1er cru. It might develop some of them to a small degree but nothing like the complexity.
Gachot-Monnot, Galeyrand and Dubreuil-Fontaine are growers whose Bourgogne rouges I have had or village wines in Dubreuil’s case that may give you some of what you seek at your price bracket if you buy them en primeur.
You might want to look at Oregon/Washington state and Willamette Valley in particular or South Africa possibly. Many New Zealand PNs are now quite pricey. I bought quite a good mixed case of Oregon PNs last year for a reasonable price.
Taking up Strawpig’s point about Tertiary flavours, these usually reveal themselves in Burgundy after they have gone through a grumpy adolescent phase of green stalky flavours and taste rough. So will need to sit on them for a while.
If you can track down any Ghislaine Barthod or Hudelot-Noellat’s Bourgogne rouges, take a deep breath, write the cheque and grab them.
Best of luck.

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What strawpig says :smile:

Forget Pinot. You’re unlikely to like much Bourgogne Rouge, in my experience, and you aren’t going to find Pinot from anywhere else with those flavours. Though you could perhaps try Germany?

I’d go with Xinomavro. Or Nerello Mascalese from Sicily. Or Mencía from Galicia. Or even Kadarka?

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Ooooh. I’ve never had one of those. Time for an explore.

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Hi Anthony

Welcome to the community and congratulations on your first post.

Pinot Noir is known as ‘the heartbreak grape’ and although it was the growers and winemakers hearts it was supposed to break because of its challenges, I’d say that it has broken many drinkers’ hearts as well, as they try to chase a remembered taste or desired style.

What I find surprising is that among discussions on PN there is virtually no mention of clones. PN is a very old variety and has many mutated clones, some so different that they are generally accepted as different varieties - P Blanc, P Gris/Grigio, P Meunier are all PN clones.

And there are 1000+ different clones of the black PN grown, some of them producing wines so distinctively different from other clones that they do not taste at all alike.

IMO, the primary taste of PN comes from the clone (or blend of clones) used to make it; all aged PN won’t have the taste you are looking for if different clones are used.

Note that in addition to the clone there is the effect of rootstock, terroir, yeast and winamaking practises.

The chart here - https://vinepair.com/articles/pinot-noir-clones-popular/ lists characteristics of 7 popular clones. But note that 6 are Burgundian clones, lower producing and thicker skinned. The sub £10 Romanian PN in supermarkets is not likely to use those. Other clones are planted because they are more productive, ripen earlier, resist disease or whatever reason takes the fancy of the grower.

This winegrowers article define 5 groupings of PN clones and discusses a large number (but not all) of them - http://winegrowers.info/varieties/Clones/Pinot%20noir%20German%20clones.htm

I wish you success in chasing your dream.

Myself, after 30 years I gave up on Burgundy and turned to PN from New Zealand, Oregon & South Africa for enjoyable clean fruited PN.

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None stocked now by TWS, but we had a little online tasting of two that I am sure will come back with a new vintage.

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Hello Everyone!

Wow, what an overwhelming response, thank you so much. I really wasn’t expecting anyone to reply, so I am really grateful to all of you. I have learned more from these posts than I have from all the blog posts, articles, tasting notes etc. that I’ve read, always looking for detail about these flavours/smells and not finding very much.

THANK YOU!!!

So useful to know what kinds of things to look out for - very excited about trying the Greek wines, and v helpful to know which kinds of Beaujolais might suit. Also, v helpful to know which wines NOT to expect this from.

I really have so much more detail than I was expecting, and certainly more replies(!) - so thank you all for taking the time to respond, I massively appreciate it - you have provided me with a much needed roadmap for the journey ahead:

Greece, Northern Italy, Sicily, Germany, Spain…sounds pretty good.

I’m going to read these posts in much more detail and start putting together a list.

Thanks alot guys. Really.

A.

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A lot of good advice above already.

In addition, I would try some of the better value villages in Burgundy - Marsannay, St Aubin (though it’s not the ‘bargain’ it was) spring to mind. Get a decent level of wine from these and they will age quite well.

Alternatively, I would second the Xinomavro recommendation, particularly this,

Just got another half case in…

Pinot from elsewhere in the world either doesn’t tick the boxes you describe, or is just as expensive as burgundy and not the same effect. IMO of course. Oregon maybe comes closest. There are some very good NZ, Alsace, Australian and German PN too, but in a different style usually. My own experience of S African PN has been underwhelming though others are more enthusiastic.

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Anthony, Don’t be put off by negative voices of doom. Burgundy at all levels has much to offer. Look for Jean Guiton and Camille Giroud. Just two examples of growers whose wines may not always be in glamorous communes but offer excellent examples of Ladoix, Savigny, Maranges, and Marsannay at very good prices. There are many others who offer excellent value.
Also, clones whilst interesting only tell half the equation. You simply don’t know who has what in the way of clones unless you ask or they put it on their spec sheet.
I first started drinking red Burgundy back in the mid 80s. It has come on leaps and bounds since then. Jasper Morris’ MW excellent zoom broadcasts last week said as much. Just keep reading and tasting.

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I know the “Holy Grail” of which you speak and it can be truly magical, but I would also explore the ageing abilities of PN from, as others have mentioned, Oregon, New Zealand and Germany. Perhaps worth buying some Good wines from these areas with a long drinking window and seeing what happens in 5 or perhaps 10 years time. Don’t ignore Chile either - quite fruity, but delicious!

PS South African Pinot’s can be super eg Iona, Crystallum, etc

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I agree, and think you’re more likely to find the sort of thing you’re after from Burgundy than the other suggestions (Pinot elsewhere, or other grapes). There’s tons of good Marsannay, Fixin, Givry, Savigny at £25-35, even 1er Cru, and you can probably get village wines from places like Nuits, Volnay and Pommard too. Just find well-respected producers and leave them a while…

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I think we’re all asking the same question rather than answering it. If anyone finds a wine with that complex, come hitherness of an aged burgundy please tell me, it will be our secret.
But there are some good recommendations of how to start.
I think @peterm is right to look at SA for fruited PN, as I’ve yet to have one with that earthy length of burgundy but they’re good.
New Zealand seems the most likely maybe with age, but atm most are drunk too young.
Oregon maybe the place but a lot are coming in at prices to complete with burgundy. I’ve enjoyed Thea by Lemelson from TWS but never aged one.

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There was also this thread which covers the topic:

Wither Pinot Noir?

In that thread I mentioned a stunning example from the US.

VinoVeritas
from nearly all the comments on this thread (and others) one could be forgiven for thinking that red Burgundy was not so much a search for the holy Grail but more of a poisoned chalice.
Joking apart, I have had in this century many excellent red burgundies and plenty at the bourgogne rouge/village end. There are growers I have already mentioned and would add Agnes Paquet’s couple of reds, plus Drouhin’s chorey Les Beaune (under£20 at Waitrose) Domaine Parent Bourgogne and Christophe Vaudoisey in Volnay.
Red Burgundy has always been a very different style from New world but if you keep tasting you will find several to suit your purse.
And while we are on the subject of PN I can recommend Flint Vineyards Pinot Noir Precocé. (Based in Norfolk). Precocé is an early ripening variety but Flint’s Pinot is excellent. It needs year in the cellar.

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I’ve noticed that Californian pinot doesn’t seem to get much of a write-up on here. I’ve had some good stuff from santa lucia highlands area near Monterey but not the tertiary flavours the OP is after.
I’m my, fairly limited, experience, Oregon and particularly SA pinots come closest. Had some Crystallum pinot which was a pretty good approximation to chambolle musigny but with a bit more body. more fruity and floral than earthy. maybe you just need a good deal of age to acquire all the tertiary notes. most of the SA pinot on wine soc is 2015 onwards. I think you might need a lot of patience or to revise the budget to find what you’re looking for!

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I can also wholeheartedly recommend them and Dubreuil Fontaine also mentioned by @Andrew1990. You can get them delivered by Wimbledon Wine Cellar, free (delivery) if you are in SW London.

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Just been browsing wines a bit differently (press reviewed wines) and stumbled across this

Might be the kind of thing you’re after and Jane MacQuitty seems to like it too.

I’ve previously recommended Akitu A1 from NZ. I bought a case of the 2016 for about £33 per bottle and opened the first one a few months ago. it was excellent and very much in the style of a Burgundy. I’m sure they will only get better with age as long as I can keep my hands off the remaining bottles.

There is more info on Akitu A1 here

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