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Pinot Noir

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Akarua (Bannockburn) Pinot Noir 2017 (1 x 75cl)

Awarded 93 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter in their January 2020 edition article, Most Exciting Wines of 2019 (see blue link below).

Akarua (Bannockburn) Pinot Noir 2017 - January 2020 Decanter review

Awarded 95 points and Gold status at the 2019 IWC (International Wine Challenge) in May 2019 (see blue link below for review and their tasting note).

Akarua Pinot Noir 2017 - IWC 2019 award and review

The Skeggs family were among the first people to buy and plant vineyard land in Central Otago in the mid 1990s, so were lucky enough to acquire a superb north facing site in Bannockburn. Planted in 1996, this 50 hectare site has since provided the backbone of the Akarua wines. Due to the short growing season in Central Otago, site selection is one of the key elements in making a great wine, and Akarua have a site that is among the very best. Akarua was re-introduced after many years to Liberty Wines by Tony Jordan, who makes their sparkling wines. Tony built Domaine Chandon in Australia, and is one of the world's leading experts in sparkling wine production. He has been enamoured with the potential for Central Otago to make top quality fizz for quite a while, and is now doing so with Akarua.

All the Pinot Noir grapes were harvested from Akarua's 50 hectare site on Cairnmuir Road in Bannockburn, which lies at 270 metres above sea level. The soil here is young alluvial schist based sand/silt and sandy loams overlaying schist rock. The vines are 16 years old.

The 2017 growing season was uniquely cool, leading to small bunches and low yields. Luckily, this cool weather reduced disease pressure so fruit remained healthy right up until harvest which started in mid-April.

The grapes were hand picked and 90% were destemmed. Pre-fermentation maceration took place over five days, with temperatures peaking at 31°C. Punch downs took place twice daily and post fermentation maceration lasted six days. The wine spent 10 months in French barriques, 30% of which were new.

100% Pinot Noir.

Deep bright ruby in colour. The nose displays intense black fruit flavours and the complexity that Bannockburn Pinot Noir is renowned for, with haunting aromatics of bramble fruits and spice. The palate is elegantly balanced with red fruits and finely textured tannins. A wine with great poise and longevity.

ABV = 14.0%.

£26.90

Darenberg Feral Fox Pinot Noir 2018 (1x75cl)

Family owned d’Arenberg is located in the breath-taking McLaren Vale in South Australia and produces an enviable range of wines. From humble beginnings, these wines quickly gained cult status amongst imbibers and judges alike – it’s a deft combination of winemaking tradition and vinous innovation. A tall order for some, but one that d’Arenberg takes in their stride as they continue to push the boundaries and get under the skin of each individual vineyard in order to get the best from the vines. This is backed up by an engaging consumer-friendly approach to the ‘deadly serious fun’ of wine.

100% Pinot Noir.

d'Arenberg's own tasting notes for this wine are excellent, so please click the blue link below to see all this wine's details.

d'Arenberg Feral Fox Pinot Noir 2018 - fiche technique

ABV = 14.0%.

£17.20

De Loach Russian River Valley Pinot Noir 2016 (1x75cl)

** FOR ORDERS LARGER THAN STOCK SHOWING BELOW, WE HAVE MORE STOCK ARRIVING ON WEDS 29th JULY. **

The winery and vineyards were originally owned and run by the Cecil and Christine De Loach. In 2003, the family run Burgundian estate Jean-Claude Boisset purchased De Loach and brought the focus back to the estate's original high quality winemaking philosophy, with specific emphasis on small lot winemaking, particularly of Pinot Noir from the Russian River Valley. The winery's 17-acre estate vineyard has been completely restored and converted to organic and Biodynamic® viticulture, a tradition upheld by many foremost Burgundian vineyards. The De Loach estate vineyards are certified organic by CCOF.

The Pinot Noir is sourced from four vineyard sites across the Russian River: the BCD Vineyard, the Becnel Vineyard, the Heintz Vineyard and the Murray Vineyard. Each of these Russian River Valley Vineyards contributes their unique complexities to the final blend. The vines are grown on Huichica clay loam soils.

Crafted using traditional Burgundian techniques, the grapes were hand-sorted then fermented in small vats with all punch-downs done by hand. The wine was aged for 10 months in French oak barrels (25% new oak) to create a complex, multi-layered Pinot Noir.

Please click the blue link below to see a full tasting note for this wine from De Loach themselves.

De Loach Russian River Pinot Noir 2016 - fiche technique

100% Pinot Noir.

The 2016 Russian River Valley Pinot Noir opens with inviting aromas of raspberry, strawberry and a touch of vanilla. Silky on the palate, the wine offers flavours of strawberry, rhubarb, clove and plum. It is well balanced with moderate tannins and bright acidity.

ABV = 14.5%.

£22.75

Domaine Faiveley Mercurey Rouge 2017 (1x75cl)

This Burgundian domaine has been a family estate for nearly 200 years. Erwan Faiveley, 7th generation, took the reins in 2006 from his father when he was only 25. They have earned their reputation as one of Burgundy’s finest and most trusted, with an unparalleled selection from the Côte de Nuits, Côte de Beaune and Côte Chalonnaise totalling over 120 hectares.

2017 is an early vintage. Harvests started on August 29th, the grape clusters were dense and compact thanks to excellent flowering in late May. Favourable climate conditions gave charm and generosity to the wines. 2017 is a classic style of vintage that can also be enjoyed in its youth.

The grapes are harvested and sorted by hand. The proportion of de-stemmed grapes and whole clusters varies depending on the vintage. The wines are pumped over twice daily in order to extract colour, tannins and aromas from the skin of the grapes. After a 15 to 19 day vatting period, the alcoholic fermentation is complete. The free-run wine is run off using a gravity system whilst the marc is pressed slowly and gently in order to extract an exceptionally pure press wine. The wines are aged for 12 months in French oak barrels (10% of which are new oak) which have been selected for their fine grain and moderate toast. The wines are left to age in our cellars at consistent, natural hygrometry and temperature.

100% Pinot Noir.

Deep ruby red in colour with notes of fresh red fruits and spice on the nose. This wine is a pleasure to drink thanks to its smooth, fruity attack and delicate, silky tannins. This well-balanced and intensely aromatic wine will win over wine experts and amateurs alike.

Serve with rib of beef marinaded in thyme, a platter of cold cuts, soft cheeses such as reblochon.

ABV = 13.0%.

£20.10

Domaines Minchin La Tour Saint Martin Pommerais Menetou Salon 2017 (1x75cl)

Awarded a Gold medal and 95 points at the 2019 Decanter World Wine Awards (click link for details)

For other 2019 DWWA winners, click here.

Domaines Minchin is located in the heart of the Loire Valley. Having studied oenology at Beaune and Dijon, Bertrand Minchin acquired his first vineyards in the village of Morogues over 20 years ago, planting them with eight hectares of Sauvignon Blanc and seven of Pinot Noir. Today with an established reputation for quality, the estate has doubled in size to 17 hectares in Menetou-Salon and a further 14 in Valençay. The modern winery incorporates the latest technology and Bertrand is hand-crafting wines that are easily on a par with the finest Sancerre.

The grapes come from a single vineyard ‘Pommerais’ in the appellation of Menetou Salon, which is situated in the eastern part of the Loire Valley. Domaines Minchin is certified by Haute Valeur Environmentale and the vineyards are managed according to a strict sustainable philosophy, known as lutte raisonnée. The vineyard is planted with grass, and the soil is tilled and worked to ensure the health and vigour of the vine, while encouraging beneficial biodiversity. Debudding takes place in spring along with careful canopy management in summer, including thinning, which encourages the grapes to reach optimal ripeness and concentrates the flavours in the berries.

The Loire Valley vines enjoyed excellent heath throughout the season. 2017 was characterised by an early harvest, which took place two weeks earlier than average, under ideal weather conditions. Frost in April impacted some areas resulting in lower yields; however the excellent quality of the grapes harvested shows good levels of maturity and flavour concentration.

The grapes were harvested by hand at optimum maturity, destemmed and crushed by pneumatic press. Fermentation was carried out in temperature controlled tanks. Following fermentation, the wine was aged on its lees in oak vats for eight months; of which 80% spent its maturation in cone-shaped oak tanks, and the remaining 20% was in oak barrels.

100% Pinot Noir.

A silky smooth Pinot Noir with beautiful balance. Rich and complex aromas of deep red cherries and wild strawberries are underpinned by mineral notes and a hint of liquorice. Silky smooth on the palate, with delicate fruity notes enveloped in a beautifully balanced structure.

This wine is suitable for vegetarians and vegans.

ABV = 12.5%.

£17.90

J Moreau Et Fils Esprit de Montaigu Pinot Noir Vin de France 2017 (1x75cl)

Jean-Joseph Moreau, a young cooper, settled in Chablis in 1814 and married the daughter of a local wine producer. This was the beginning of maison Moreau. Having been a pioneer in the Chablis region, in recent years, J. Moreau & Fils has become one of the main primary producers of Chablis.

J. Moreau & Fils is characterized by his experience and style of its wines which seek harmony between the expression of terroir, fruit, structure and texture of the wine can be enjoyed in their youth but have a significant aging potential.

This wine is a Pinot Noir under the IGT banner, drawn from vineyards in the South-West of France.

100% Pinot Noir.

Darker and more broody in style than Burgundy, this Pinot Noir is bursting with cherries and vanilla, balanced with soft, juicy tannins.

ABV = 12.5%.

£10.20

Josef Chromy Pinot Noir 2016 (1x75cl)

Josef Chromy has been instrumental to the Tasmanian food and wine industry, having owned and developed some of Tasmania’s leading wineries including Rochecombe (now Bay of Fires), Jansz, Heemskerk and Tamar Ridge. Joe acknowledges Tasmania as the regional hero in this development: "I came here with nothing but hope and ambition over 50 years ago. Tasmanians welcomed me and, with their help, I have been rewarded for the challenges and risks I have taken in the wine industry”.

At 76, when most people would be thinking about easing up, Joe launched Josef Chromy Wines in December 2007. In just a few years, Josef Chromy Wines has made an impressive impact on the Australian wine industry.

100% Pinot Noir.

Please click on the blue link below to see the winemaker's notes on this wine.

Joseph Chromy Pinot Noir 2016 - fiche technique

ABV = 14.0%.

£21.60

Joseph Drouhin Gevrey-Chambertin 2016 (1x75cl)

Founded in 1880 by the then 22-year-old Joseph Drouhin, this famous Burgundy negociant is still family-owned. Of the current (fourth) generation, Veronique Drouhin is the winemaker, Laurent is the brand ambassador in the USA, Philippe is in charge of the vineyards, whilst Frederic “conducts the orchestra”. Maison Joseph Drouhin owns extensive parcels throughout the region and in Chablis extending to 73 hectares, including the world-renowned Clos des Mouches, one of the earliest purchases made by Joseph. From Montrachet Marquis de Laguiche through to Meursault and to Corton Charlemagne in the Côte de Beaune, Echezaux to Clos de Vougeot in the Côte de Nuits, the domaines produce a wide spectrum from Laforêt Bourgogne Blanc and Rouge to Grands Crus in Musigny and Chambertin.

Drouhin’s foremost concern is to express the exact character of each terroir. Since 1993 they have worked their vineyards to organic and biodynamic principles, “bringing natural answers to natural problems”. Vine stocks are grown in their own nursery to preserve their genetic heritage and control quality, and vineyards are ploughed by horse with treatments based on herb infusions and the use of natural predators instead of synthetic products. Planting is dense and yields deliberately kept low.

Vinification is traditional using indigenous yeasts and as little technical interference as possible, varied according to the needs of each terroir. Ageing takes account of the origin of each wine: stainless steel vats to enhance fruit and freshness in Chablis and Mâconnais, oak barrels to develop complexity and finesse in Côte d’Or. New oak barrels are made from oak trees individually selected by Drouhin which are then weathered for three years so that all coarse tannins can be eliminated. Their use, and the time the wine spends in them, are determined by the appellation and the vintage.

The progress of every wine is meticulously monitored and recorded at every stage; Drouhin were one of the first houses in Burgundy to apply bar codes to the barrels to ensure total traceability and every cork is stamped with Joseph Drouhin, the appellation and the vintage, in order to guarantee the authenticity of the wine.

Pinot Noir 100%.

For more detail on this wine, see the blue link below for the fiche technique/technical note from Drouhin themselves.

Joseph Drouhin Gevrey-Chambertin 2016 - fiche technique

Gevrey-Chambertin is a wine with a beautiful, bright ruby colour. Intensely fruity on the nose, the aromas are reminiscent of black cherry, wild blackberry and liquorice. The woody character is subtle and marries delicately with the other aromas. As the wine evolves, there are more complex notes, such as mild spice, nutmeg and leather. Later still, mushroom and damp earth nuances make their appearance. Although present on the palate, tannin is never astringent but blends itself harmoniously with the natural freshness and gras (velvety texture) of the wine. The same aromas encountered earlier on the nose are found again in the aftertaste.

ABV = 13.0%.

£43.20

Josmeyer Pinot Noir 2015 (1x75cl)

Josmeyer was founded in 1854 by restaurant owner Aloyse Meyer who set about building on his father’s work in the wine trade. Since then, the estate has passed through 5 generations of the Meyer family, with Jean Meyer responsible for switching the entire estate to organic and biodynamic culture. He is credited with elevating the estate to one of Alsace’s greats. After his death, his daughters Celine and Isabelle took over running of the estate.

The 28 hectare estate is situated at Wintzenheim, and benefits from low annual rainfall, some of the lowest in France. Riesling and Pinot Blanc are given the largest sections of the estate, with Auxerrois, Pinot Gris, Pinot Noir and Gewurztraminer also growing here. 5 distinct terroirs make up the estate, 2 of which have achieved Grand Cru status: Hengst and Brand.

100% Pinot Noir. 

An underrated class of wine if ever there was one, Alsace Pinot Noirs like this one can be beautifully bright, tart and earthy all at once. Fresh red currant, strawberry and a touch of limestone minerality. Excellent.

ABV = 13.0%.

£22.85

Les Mougeottes Pinot Noir IGP Pays d'Oc 2019 (1x75cl)

The Les Mougeottes wines are from the region to the east of Carcassonne. Ripe grapes are essential for a good Pinot Noir. The full aromatic potential has already been developed, but the sugar content should be relatively low in order to pre-serve the variety's elegant style. For that, a part of the crop is harvested quite early and ferments at low temperature exalting fruity aromas. The other part, fully ripe, under-goes a traditional, long maceration. About one third ages in French oak barrels for many months, adding complexity to the wine.

100% Pinot Noir.

This wine has a clean and precise bouquet with black cherries and raspberry aromas. The palate is medium-bodied with sappy red berry fruit and a silky long finish.

ABV = 13.0%.

£9.55 £7.90

Millton La Cote Pinot Noir 2016 (1x75cl)

James Millton is a living legend in the New Zealand wine scene. A pioneer of organic and biodynamic winemaking, he has ploughed his own furrow for three decades, quietly convinced that his sustainable approach to viticulture and winemaking was the only way to progress.

The Millton winery's own tasting notes for this wine are excellent, so please click the blue link below to see all this wine's details.

Millton La Cote Pinot Noir 2016 - fiche technique

100% Pinot Noir.

ABV = 13.0%.

£20.40

Mt Difficulty Bannockburn (Series) Pinot Noir 2017 (1x75cl)

Awarded 92 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (Rebecca Gibb MW) in their January 2019 tasting (see blue link below).

Mt Difficulty Bannockburn (Series) Pinot Noir 2017 - January 2019 Decanter review

Established in 1992, the Dicey family owns some of the oldest vineyards in the Bannockburn region of Central Otago on the famous Felton Road and have acquired land over the last ten years to build up to over 40 hectares, including six single vineyard sites. Their portfolio vineyards spans Central Otago from Gibbston to Lowburn Valley and on to Bendigo home still under Mount Difficulty at Bannockburn.

Central Otago provides New Zealand’s only continental climate, combined with unique soils ideally suited for growing Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Gris. The Bannockburn area, in particular, is one of the few sites outside of Burgundy that lends itself to the growing of the pernickety Pinot Noir grape; Mt Difficulty craft wines in the Burgundian style whilst stamping the uniqueness of the terroir to produce structured and serious wines. Not content with growing superb Pinot Noir, they are also known for their aromatic whites and grape varieties such as their grower series Lowburn Chardonnay and Estate Chenin Blanc.

Winemaker-in-chief Matt Dicey has a lifelong association with the wine industry and is a fourth-generation vigneron. After achieving a Masters Degree in Oenology and Viticulture, Matt spent four years gaining experience overseas.

As with all New Zealand wines, Mt Difficulty adhere to strict sustainability practices and constantly strive towards organic production.

Mount Difficulty is the name on the leading wines. The ‘second label’ is named Roaring Meg; these wines are produced in a more fruit-driven, early-drinking style and have become a mainstay of the Mt Difficulty stable since their introduction in 2003.

See the blue link below for the excellent fiche technique/technical note from the team at Mt Difficulty.

Mt Difficulty Bannockburn Pinot Noir 2017 - fiche technique

This wine is 100% Pinot Noir.

The grapes for this wine come from their estate vineyards on the Felton Road. Handpicked and hand crafted, this wine reflects the nature of the vintage displaying great concentration and balance. Red fruits of the forest along with blackberries dominate the aroma, these are underpinned by savoury herb and liquorice. The wine has a abundant fruity front palate which is fleshy and well textured. Wonderful smooth silky tannins combine with a hint of oak and delivers a truly expressive pinot with mineral characteristics associated with Central Otago.

ABV = 14.0%.

£24.20

Mt Difficulty Roaring Meg Pinot Noir 2018 (1x75cl)

"Medium-deep red-purple colour, youthful and fresh, as it is also on the nose. Bright Campari, bitter-herb aromas, with dominant red and black-cherry aromas. The wine is medium bodied and bright on the tongue, with remarkable depth of flavour for the money and plenty of soft, fine tannin. There is a lovely core of sweet fruit, too." 91 Points, Huon Hooke, 26 September 2018

Established in 1992, the Dicey family owns some of the oldest vineyards in the Bannockburn region of Central Otago on the famous Felton Road and have acquired land over the last ten years to build up to over 40 hectares, including six single vineyard sites. Their portfolio vineyards spans Central Otago from Gibbston to Lowburn Valley and on to Bendigo home still under Mount Difficulty at Bannockburn.

Central Otago provides New Zealand’s only continental climate, combined with unique soils ideally suited for growing Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Gris. The Bannockburn area, in particular, is one of the few sites outside of Burgundy that lends itself to the growing of the pernickety Pinot Noir grape; Mt Difficulty craft wines in the Burgundian style whilst stamping the uniqueness of the terroir to produce structured and serious wines. Not content with growing superb Pinot Noir, they are also known for their aromatic whites and grape varieties such as their grower series Lowburn Chardonnay and Estate Chenin Blanc.

Winemaker-in-chief Matt Dicey has a lifelong association with the wine industry and is a fourth-generation vigneron. After achieving a Masters Degree in Oenology and Viticulture, Matt spent four years gaining experience overseas.

As with all New Zealand wines, Mt Difficulty adhere to strict sustainability practices and constantly strive towards organic production.

Mount Difficulty is the name on the leading wines. The ‘second label’ is named Roaring Meg; these wines are produced in a more fruit-driven, early-drinking style and have become a mainstay of the Mt Difficulty stable since their introduction in 2003.

See the blue link below for the excellent fiche technique/technical note from the team at Mt Difficulty (this is the 2017 sheet; 2018's is impending!).

Mt Difficulty Roaring Meg Pinot Noir 2017 - fiche technique

This wine is 100% Pinot Noir.

The Roaring Meg is a classic example of Central Otago Pinot Noir. It exhibits a lovely mix of red and black berry fruits with further complexity gained from oak spice. The wine has a sweet berry palate which displays these same characters in abundance. Tannins rise gracefully out of the mid-palate to finish the wine; these are balanced by the wine’s natural acidity and fruit, to produce a long and fruit-driven finish.

ABV = 14.0%.

£17.30

Ore Winery, Dundee Hills AVA Pinot Noir 2017 (1x75cl)

Ore Winery produces small batch wines from grapes sourced from some of Oregon’s top vineyards. Established in 2012 by Mike Wenrick, Ore Winery produced 400 bottles of Eola-Amity Hills Pinot Noir in our first year.  Since production was so limited, great attention was given to the winemaking process. Ore wines are produced and bottled at the SE Wine Collective on SE Division Street in Portland, Oregon.  Since  2012, Ore Winery has grown production steadily to around 300 cases per year. Mike’s winemaking philosophy is simple: start with a perfect ingredient, Oregon’s best wine grapes and honour the individuality of the grape throughout the winemaking process. 

From the heart of Pinot Noir country. Maresh Vineyard is a historic and highly sought-after Oregon vineyard within the Dundee Hills AVA and Willamette Valley (an AVA being the US erquivalent of France's AOC/AOPs and Italy's DOCs and DOCGs), established by one of the first families to plant Pinot Noir in Oregon.

100% (Maresh Vineyard) Pinot Noir from a 1/3 acre, experimental block planted in 2000 just north of the historic vineyard with a mix of Dijon, Pommard and Wadenswil clones.  It is tasting great now and will cellar well. 

Clone: Pommard, Wadenswil, Dijon 115, 667 and 777.

Barrels/cooperage: French oak: 33% new, 33% young and 33% neutral.

Production: 90 cases (!!).

Fermentation: wild yeast fermentation.

The 2016 vintage is Mike's favourite wine made to date. It has an intense nose of savoury burnt herbs that gives way to a palate of crushed plum, rich mushroom earthiness and a super luscious tannin. Intriguing aromas of herb and tomato leaf in this Oregon Pinot Noir, followed by lovely, rich flavours of earth, mushroom and crushed plum.

ABV = 13.0%.

£39.55

Pascal Jolivet Sancerre Rouge 2016 (1x75cl)

Pascal Jolivet was founded in 1987 and is one of the most dynamic domaines in France’s Loire Valley. Based in Sancerre, the domaine now owns 70 hectares of vineyards spread across the appellations of Sancerre and Pouilly Fumé. The domaine supplements the estate holdings with additional fruit sourced from long-term contract growers some of the prime sites of the region including ‘Les Caillottes’, ‘Le Chêne Marchand’ and ‘Le Clos du Roy’. Pascal shares his philosophy with winemaker, Valentina Buoso: to work in harmony with nature to produce wines with purity of fruit, a linear character and minerality, allowing a natural expression of the vineyard to give the wines a sense of place.

Jolivet own 42 hectares of vineyard in Sancerre at an altitude of between 200-400m, close to the villages of Bué, Verdigny and Ste Gemme, 3.5 of which are planted with Pinot Noir. Located close to the Loire River and surrounded by forest creates a relatively mild micro climate for the vineyards. The soils are a mix of chalk and clay. The vines are trained using the vertical shoot positioning system.

After 10 days of cold maceration the juice is fermented for 15 days at 22°C in stainless steel using only naturally occurring yeasts. After fermentation, the wine spends a further year maturing on its lees, giving a subtle, rich complexity to the wine before bottling. All parcels are vinified separately and are blended just before bottling.

100% Pinot Noir.

Jewel coloured with delicate aromas of red fruit. Elegant and subtle spicy flavours are the main characteristics of this pinot noir leading to a clean, pure finish. Pair with duck salads, pork, charcuterie and cheese.

ABV = 12.5%. 

£19.75
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