Tuesday, 18 August marks a special day on the wine calendar as we celebrate International Pinot Noir Day. According to Master Sommelier Madeline Triffon, Pinot Noir is regarded as the most romantic of wines, with so appealing a perfume, so sweet an edge, and so powerful a punch that, like falling in love, they make the blood run hot and the soul wax embarrassingly poetic.
A fantastic wine, but a temperamental grape. Typically rich in colour with complex flavours, this varietal is largely considered one of the most self-indulgent wines ever made. Elegant and berry-like, its velvet colour is the perfection addition to any occasion. International Pinot Day celebrates this wine and the regions throughout the world in which it is cultivated, the Franschhoek Wine Valley being one of them. The Franschhoek Vignerons with Pinot Noir in the ranges tick all of the boxes when it comes to a wine with these characteristics.
With an already impressive wine portfolio, the most noble in the Anthonij Rupert Wyne collection is the Cape of Good Hope range, which forms part of South Africa’s Old Vines Initiative. Made from some of the oldest South African vines, the Cape of Good Hope range comprises terroir-specific wines created in celebration of South Africa’s 350-year-old vinous heritage, which includes their Sneeuwkrans Pinot Noir 2016. On the nose the wine showcases delicate nuances of rose petal with prominent red berry flavours. Hints of vanilla and sandalwood add to these flavours. The palate offers up bright red cherries and strawberries. Winemaker Dawie Botha adds that although the wine changes in the glass it always holds your interest. For more information on this superb wine visit www.capeofgoodhopewines.com.
When you think of Franschhoek there is a producer which immediately comes to mind, and that would be family-owned Haute Cabrière. Synonymous for their stellar wines, Pinot Noir is one the two varietals in which their passion lies, and their love of Pinot Noir shines through in all of their three ranges, Haute Cabrère, Pierre Jourdan and The Haute Collection. Wines that elegantly showcase the much-loved Pinot Noir grape have to be the Pierre Jourdan Belle Rose, a delightful rose-hued MCC wine, or Haute Cabrière Pinot Noir Rosé, with 2020 being the second vintage. Renowned for creating outstanding wines, both single-varietal and pioneering blends, their range of Pinot Noirs is guaranteed to be a collector’s dream. For more information visit www.cabriere.co.za.
Further down the valley and slightly off the beaten track is where you’ll find Chamonix Wine Estate, home to a range of award-winning wines as well as rich heritage dating back to 1688. Included in their impressive wine range are their two Pinot Noirs – their Feldspar Pinot Noir and their Pinot Noir Reserve, of which both have been awarded prestigious accolades in the past.
A five-star rated wine in the 2014 Platter’s South African Wine Guide as well as a Double Gold medal winner at the Six Nations Wine Challenge, the Pinot Noir Reserve is a beautiful ruby red colour, with notes of cherry, wild red berries, crushed black peppers and violet aromas. Guaranteed to reach its prime five to eight years after release. To read more about these wines visit www.chamonix.co.za.
Another Pinot Noir producer not to be overlooked is Lynx Wine Estate, which is situated at the foothills of the Klein Drakenstein Mountains. This boutique wine estate is home to a range of wines made with passion and dedication. For a small wine estate they boast an impressive wine line up, which includes two Pinot Noirs – the Reserve Range Pinot Noir and the Lynx Range Pinot Noir. Expressive wines that reflect their unique terroir and passion of the cellar master and his small winemaking team. Their commitment to producing the perfect Pinot Noir is reflected in each sip taken. For more information on this family owned estate and their wines visit www.lynxestate.com.
Cheers to International Pinot Noir Day!