Pinot Noir

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Burn Cottage Central Otago Pinot Noir 2015 (1x75cl)

Awarded 92 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter ( in their January 2018 edition article: The Most Exciting Wines of 2017 (see blue link below).

Burn Cottage Pinot Noir 2015 - January 2018 Decanter review

Burn Cottage Vineyard Property is a twenty four hectare estate in the foothills of the Pisa range in Central Otago, New Zealand. The vineyard is owned by the Sauvage family which also owns an estate in the Pfalz region of Germany, as well as several fine wine importing and wholesaling companies in the United States. 

"At Burn Cottage we believe in minimal intervention winemaking. Our task is to discover the genius of the site and of the individual vineyard blocks within and to allow the wines to reveal it. We believe in minimizing sulfur usage and avoiding all additives whenever possible. We avoid the use of cultured yeasts, bacteria, associated nutrient products and filters. We avoid racking whenever possible and do wine work according to lunar and celestial rhythms."

The property was purchased in 2002 by husband and wife Marquis and Dianne who brought in Ted Lemon as their winemaker in 2003. It had been grazed by sheep for as long as can currently be remembered. There were, and are, no immediate vineyard neighbours. The site was much coveted in the region for it is sheltered from both northerly and southerly winds by large hills and forms a beautiful, protected bowl, much like a modern amphitheatre. The wines produced here are all biodynamic. 

The winemaking at Burn Cottage reflects biodynamic principles with low intervention. There is no addition of yeasts or bacteria for fermentations, with minimal sulphur use and no filtration before bottling. The Pinot Noir contains a skilful use of 24% whole-bunch fermented grapes to achieve a lifted fragrance. The wine was aged in French barrels, 22% of which were new oak.

The 2015 vintage has wonderfully complex aromas of fern leaf, rhubarb, potpourri and rose petal contrasted with more mineral notes of dust, graphite and gravel. The palate possesses a lovely sweet attack without ever becoming cloying and it melts into supple, fine tannins which need a few years to completely marry to the wine. Nevertheless, the overall impression is silky and sensual. Excellent acidity lends great vibrancy to the palate and the wine ends on a long, lingering finish. The rich, silky completeness shows the great potential of this property. This wine will reward patience and can be cellared for up to 8-10 years.


De Gras Pinot Noir Reserva 2014 (1x 75cl)

Cherry red in colour with fresh and intense aromas of cherry on the nose with a touch of rose petals. A medium bodied wine with fresh red fruit and a refreshing acidity and richness.


De Loach Heritage Reserve California Pinot Noir 2015 (1x75cl)

Deep ruby in colour with aromas of cherry, cola and eucalyptus. Red fruit mingles with hints of black pepper on the palate and a round mouthfeel is accented by smooth tannins and a nice acidity. This is a balanced wine with a lengthy finish.


De Loach Russian River Valley Pinot Noir 2012 (1x 75cl)

Opening with enticing red berry fruit, the aromas seamlessly blend with hints of cherry and forest floor. Delicate notes of anise and cola accompany the fruit. A rich palate of black cherry and strawberry is supported by medium fine-grained tannins. The finish lingers with subtle, toasty undertones and excellent balance.


De Loach Russian River Valley Pinot Noir 2015 (1x75cl)

Opening with enticing red berry fruit, the aromas seamlessly blend with hints of cherry and forest floor. Delicate notes of anise and cola accompany the fruit. A rich palate of black cherry and strawberry is supported by medium fine-grained tannins. The finish lingers with subtle, toasty undertones and excellent balance. 


Domaine Antoine Olivier, Santenay Les Charmes 2015 (1x 75cl)


* For an excellent (frankly, better) alternative from the same producer, appellation/village and vintage at a brilliant price, click here *

Awarded 96 points and Outstanding status by Decanter ( in their December 2017 edition review of 2015 Côte de Beaune reds (see blue links below)...

Domaine Antoine Olivier Santenay Les Charmes 2015 - December 2017 Decanter review

Domaine Antoine Olivier Santenay Les Charmes 2015 - Decanter review - individual reviewer comments

... and awarded 93 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter ( in their January 2018 edition article: The Most Exciting Wines of 2017 (see blue link below).

Domaine Antoine Olivier Santenay Les Charmes 2015 - January 2018 Decanter review

For our feature/blog on the December review and the 2015 vintage, click here.

Domaine Antoine Olivier was founded at the end of the 1960s, from a few vineyards left by Antoine Chevalier Moreau to his grandson, Hervé Olivier. Hervé began extending the estate by purchasing historic, old vineyards across Santenay, some of which had not been used for a century, paying particular attention to famous white wine vineyards. The quality of these soils is now recognised in a series of brilliant wines, in particular the exceptional white Santenay, something of a rarity in what is predominantly a red wine growing area. Today, Hervé’s grandson Antoine Olivier and his sister Rachel manage the estate. They are dedicated growers and follow certified organic practices in the vineyard. Their philosophy is to combine modernity with respect for the Burgundian soils and their stunning collection of white Santenay wines really showcases this.

The warm 2015 vintage saw excellent conditions throughout the growing cycle and resulted in healthy fruit with very good maturity levels and flavour concentration. “2015 is one of the best vintages since 2009, resulting in rich, delicate and elegant wines”, confirms Antoine.

Santenay is a village located at the southern end of the Côte de Beaune, south of Chassagne-Montrachet. The vineyard of Les Charmes is situated at the foothill in Santenay, with a clayey limestone soil, which is rich in iron, on a limestone base. The 0.3 hectares of vineyard are planted with very fine clones of Pinot Noir vines, which produce rich and powerful wines. The vineyard is managed with respect for the unique attributes of each site’s terroir and is farmed sustainably and organically, although it is not certified. Some biodynamic philosophies are also followed. The grapes are hand-picked and carefully sorted prior to vinification.

Traditional Burgundian vinification took place with minimal intervention. The grapes were vinified as whole clusters. Fermentation took place with natural yeasts and without any pigeage or punching down of the cap. The wine was 100% barrel-aged for 12 months, in a combination of oak barrels. One third was aged in new oak, one third in second-passage oak and one third in third-passage oak. The wine then rested for a further six months in tank, prior to being bottled, without fining or filtration.

Les Charmes shows generous aromas of cherries and raspberries, with subtle hints of violets. Smooth and complex on the palate with round tannins and a long finish.

We're offering Domaine Antoine Olivier's wonderful Premier Cru red Santenay 2015 - the Beaurepaire - at the same price. Click here for what is a daftly good offer. **

For the other excellent Burgundies - white and red - produced by Domaine Antoine Olivier, click here.


Dreissigacker Wunderwerk Spätburgunder 2013 (1x75cl)

Ruby garnet in colour. Bright and attractive on the nose, this Pinot Noir has abundant raspberry, strawberry and spice aromas on the nose. The palate is racy with velvety tannins and a long finish - delicious!


Kelley Fox Momtazi Vineyard Pinot Noir 2014 (1x75cl)

Kelley Fox Wines is a small winery started by Kelley Fox along with her father, Gerson "Gus" Stearns. Momtazi Vineyard is a Demeter-certified biodynamic vineyard  in the McMinnville Foothills A.V. A. (American Viticultural Appellation). Moe Momtazi's wild turkeys are just one example of how very alive and vibrant this vineyard is. Life is everywhere here: wildcats, bats, falcons, herons, egrets, loons, ducks, trout, and much more. A number of springs surface throughout the vineyard land, one of which is the source of water for this beautiful winery. Kelley is a dedicated, enthusiastic and experienced winemaker and has been making wine since 2000. 

"The wines are made to reflect the land, the vines, the fruit of the vines, the year, and everything else unknown and unseen that comes with those things. That said, the wines are not really "made" at all.  I have no end result in mind each year for the what the wines will be. I am not Pygmalion. What I am doing-and it still takes a lot of inner and outer work- is responding to the essence of the fruit from each block, which I hope is carrying the essence of the earth that bore it, along with the details of the year ( the weather, the stars and the planets, etc. etc.)."

If you like Nuits Saint Georges, you might like this one. The 2014 Momtazi has a very youthful, clear, medium-to-medium deep red with fuschia tones. The appearance in the glass is shining, brilliant, and full of movement. As always with the Momtazi, the nose of the 2014 is full of minerals and has a certain brine with the fragrance of exotic flowers and wild berries. It is concentrated without weight. It is powerful without a hint of bulk. The mouth has an excellent frame and acidity that is typical of this biodynamic vineyard so steep and rock-filled: not a soft, pillowy Pinot. If Kelley were to choose the elemental character of this wine, it would be fire. It feels utterly alive and finishes long. This has serious time before it.


Mohua Pinot Noir Peregrine Wines 2014 (1 x 75cl)

Awarded 90 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter ( in their September 2016 edition review of New Zealand Pinot Noir (see blue link below). 

Mohua PN 2014 - Sept 2016 Decanter review

Peregrine Wines is named in honour of New Zealand’s endemic falcon, a bird without rival or fear. A bird that combines both power and finesse, the essence of Peregrine’s range of wines. The McLachlan family, headed by Lindsay, were one of the first to establish plantings in the Bendigo sub-region of Central Otago in 1999, and are now the largest organic vineyard holder in Central Otago. Farming operation plays an integral role in the organic management of the vineyards. Cattle assist with compost, goats and sheep are used for weed control in the winter, and chickens are rotated around the vineyard courtesy of a mobile chicken house, naturally dealing to a range of bugs.

The winery roof is modelled to replicate the exact rotation of the Peregrine falcon’s wing in flight. In London in 2004 the architect won the UK based AR+D Emerging Architecture awards for the Peregrine Winery building, and in 2005 received the “Supreme New Zealand Architecture” award from the NZ Institute of Architects.

Bursting with floral aromas and redcurrant perfume, this Pinot Noir is rich and juicy with delicious raspberry, hints of strawberry and spice flavours. If you want to match this with food we would suggest that lamb or duck would be good choices as well as any dish including salami or other cold meats.


Sourdais Chinon Tradition 2015 (1x75cl)

Soft and supple with juicy fruit flavours, this mouth filling wine has ripe tannins and an elegant finish, a remarkable Chinon.


Urlar Organic Pinot Noir 2015 (1x 75cl)

An enticing nose of ripe red fruits which combine beautifully with flavours of sweet dark plums intermingled with savoury notes and exotic spices. This wine is elegant and refined but with real weight and power.

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