Tasted: the Pinots

By / Wine + Drinks / November 13th, 2014 / 1

The pinot family of grapes – also known as the Noirien family of grape varieties – is comprised of varietals related to or closely associated with Pinot Noir.

Pinot Noir is most commonly associated with the great wines of Burgundy. It is known (and praised) for its ability to express terroir and unfortunately, for its finicky nature.

Pinot Gris, also known as Pinot Grigio, is one of the best known mutations of Pinot Noir. The berries can range from a greyish blue to brownish pink and produce a white wine with slightly more weight and colour depth than other white wines.

Pinot Blanc, also known as Pinot Bianco, is a white mutation of Pinot Gris believed to have been first observed in Burgundy at the end of the 19th century. The wines produced from the Pinot Blanc fruit are usually fuller bodied, much like their Chardonnay cousins.

Here are a few of our favourites, including the epitome of all Pinots; a Burgundy Grand Cru.


Cave Vinicole de Hunawihr Pinot Blanc 2005

Reviewed by: Ron Liteplo
Editor Rating: Very Good
Alsace, France
Review Summary:

Clear, mature deep gold. Nose of bruised apple with a hint of apricot and spice. Medium-bodied, tastes of baked apples with a bit of brown sugar; hint of lemony acidity. The fruit is dropping out; this should be enjoyed now.

Hester Creek Late Harvest Pinot Blanc 2010

Reviewed by: Harry Hertscheg
Editor Rating: Very Good
Okanagan, Canada

Review Summary:
Sourced from their estate vineyards’ oldest vines, this very sweet sipper remains fresh, well balanced and refreshingly delicious. Spicy aromas and tangy flavours burst with peach, honey and pineapple, entwined with lingering herbal notes. A welcome treat at any time.

Red Rooster Pinot Gris 2012

Reviewed by: Rick VanSickle
Editor Rating: Very Good
Okanagan, Canada

Review Summary:
The nose shows bright apple, melon, white peach and tropical fruit in a fresh style. Apple crisp, honey and tangerine are the highlights in the mouth to go with pretty decent acidity.

Concilio Contessa Manci Pinot Grigio DOC 2010

Reviewed by: Sean Wood
Editor Rating: Very Good
Trentino, Italy

Review Summary:
If you think Pinot Grigio can be a bit flabby and uninteresting, try this one from Trentino. It is loaded with concentrated citrus and green fruit with subtle nutty overtones buttressed by solid minerality and vibrant acidity. Pinot Grigio as it should be.

Quails’ Gate Chasselas/Pinot Blanc/Pinot Gris 2012

Reviewed by: Harry Hertscheg
Editor Rating: Very Good
Okanagan, Canada

Review Summary:
Opens with a fruit punch to the nose, with whiffs of elderflower. Light in body but perky in flavour, gushing orchard and tropical fruit flavours, with a honeyed mid-palate. Finishes clean and bright, begging for more sips. Off-dry sweetness drinks well on its own, living up to its “classic patio wine” billing.

Saint Clair Pinot Noir 2008

Reviewed by: Gilles Bois
Editor Rating: Very Good
Marlborough, New Zealand

Review Summary:
Light ruby. Spicy/fruity nose, light and crisp. The palate has a nice, light, sweet fruit taste followed by a slightly bitter fruit stone aftertaste lifted by the acidity. Drink now with vegetable dishes, salmon or chicken.

Longplay Lia’s Vineyard Pinot Noir 2009

Reviewed by: Tony Aspler
Editor Rating: Excellent
Oregon, USA

Review Summary:
Tawny ruby colour; spicy, minerally, plum and vanilla oak on the nose; medium-bodied, dry cherry and plum flavours. Drinking well now.

Louis Jadot Clos Saint-Denis Grand Cru 2006, Côte de Nuits

Reviewed by: Harry Hertscheg
Editor Rating: Outstanding
Burgundy, France

Review Summary:
Complex floral nose seduces, while rich, concentrated palate satisfies. Feminine texture and silky tannins give a sense of weightlessness despite its voluptuous flavours. Aromas and flavours of cherry, black currant and spice notes, while minerality lingers. Suited superbly for roast duck.


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