Pinot is a pain. It’s a delicate little grape, like the snivelly little kid at school who always got off doing Physical Education because he had a head cold and his mother was worried about him being hurt when playing contact sports.
It gets frostbitten easily and can be an unyielding, defiant little brat come harvest time – and has driven more than a few winemakers to drink, way too early in the day. That said, it can also grow into one of the most complex and intriguing of wines which scores of experts have pondered over and untold thousands have drunk and appreciated.
I have always said that, as a New World beginner, I am scared of learning too much about Old World Pinot (Burgundy) as it can get crazy expensive and it a habit best avoided by me with my already formidable collection of unhealthy pursuits.
Of all the regions in the world making Pinot, no doubt the hottest real estate for this varietal right now is Central Otago in southern New Zealand – a landscape in winter that is as cold and unyielding as Lindsay Lohan’s recent digs. But it also produces the most amazing spicy, dense and fruit-laden wines that seem to weave a kind of magic over all who taste their tiny-production wines.
I love to chill them down to about 14 degrees in this climate – it closes the fruit down a little but really works if you are kicking back at the end of the school vacations, have the kids in the pool and deserve a long glass of something great without upsetting the good people over at American Express with a huge tab.
Robert runs Sales and Marketing at www.wineexchangeasia.com. His current pick of the Pinots is Wild Earth Pinot Noir 2008:
• Cuisine Magazine “Top New Zealand Pinot Noir” 2009
• Gold Medal – NZ International Wine Show 2008
• Five Stars – Michael Cooper’s Buyer’s Guide and Gourmet Traveller Magazine
Order it for $45 by the case and $49 by the single bottle (net), by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.