Pinot Noir

The way I see it, Pinot Noir is the Queen of red wines. Indeed, real Queens they are. A difficult grape to grow, with naturally low yields, good Pinot Noir wines are razor-sharp and pinpoint-precise in taste, smell and colour. While many South African reds are rather unrefined taste bombs, loose cannons with a haphazard tapestry of incoherent, syrupy and perfumed fruit, sugar and oak notes, good Pinot Noirs approach my nose and taste buds with a precision and finesse that leave very little margin for error or distraction. The taste and smell of Pinot Noirs I like are clean, direct, precise and pure. An honest expression of the stony, clay-rich, cool terroir in which they thrive. A subtly balanced mix of fruit, spice, minerals and oak, never too sweet. Their colour is light, modest, unassuming, modestly hiding their surprisingly big tastes and smells.

* Of the 23 South African Pinot Noirs around R200 I have tasted so far, these are my current favourites: Newton Johnson Walker Bay, Chamonix Feldspar, Shannon Rockview Ridge.