Pinot Noir & Terroir with Larry ‘McPinot’. Which Pinot Noir would you prefer?


Larry McKenna opening up the bottles pre tasting. Lamenting the ‘lack of screwcaps’!

‘Terroir can be seen as the influence of external factors including soil, climate and topography which lend characteristics to the wine derived from where the grapes were grown.’

This loose definition has many different interpretations from many. Those interested in terroir as a topic should refer to the excellent blog Wine Anorak by Jamie Goode. This post in particular leads into a fascinating series about soils and their effects of the resultant wines.

Our Pinot Noir & Terroir tasting took place at the Cliff Town House on Wednesday 2nd October 2013. Wanting to produce a more intimate tastings we’d decided to open around fifty of our Pinot Noirs. Quality was very high with wines such as Bouchard Pere et Fils Nuits St Georges Les Cailles 2009 gaining lots of attention.

We had Larry McKenna from Escarpment wines talking about his experiences with Pinot Noir, both in Martinborough (NZ) and Burgundy (whilst working at the famed Domaine of Dujac).

As an aside we held a seminar on the affects ‘terroir’ has on Pinot Noir around the world. Harriet and Larry led the discussions on the similarities of the Pinot production zones around the world. Slides for the seminar can be downloaded here. Pinot Noir & Terroir SLIDES OCT13


Taster’s taking time over the Old World 1er Crus.


Martin Moran MW and Aoife Carrigy (Mail on Sunday) tasting their way down the line.


From left to Right. The Tindal tasters – Richard, Amelia and Pascal.. Nigel looking ‘mysterious’ in the background!


William, Harriet and Anthony Tindal. Post tasting of the flights!!

With so many amazing Pinot Noirs to taste it’s hard to say which was my favourite. Please find below a list of wines which really excelled in the tasting. For a full lists of the wines we had open that day, please click here. PN TASTING Sheet oct13 . Wines which stood out for me on the day include those listed below:

Kupe Pinot Noir, Escarpment, Martinborough 2010 – Mid garnet hue. Rich evolving nose with slightly vegetal notes adding complexity to the fragrant violet notes. A rich palate is intense yet restrained by subtle notes of forest fruits and firm acid.

Savigny-les-Beaune 1er Cru Champ Chevrey Monopole Dom Tollot-Beaut 2011 – A subtle nose lease to a silky and full spicy palate. The finish was long and intense. A wine with much promise!

Nuits Saint-Georges 1er Cru, Les Cailles, Domaine Bouchard Père et Fils 2009 – Enticingly rich, smokey nose. The palate is very supple almost unctuous with ripe fruit and floral hints backed by a rich toasty and age-worthy structure.

Volnay Santenots-du-Milieu 1er Cru, Domaine des Comtes Lafon 2010 – Bright ruby with sweet  intense red fruit. Intense yet lifted with a firm acid backbone and delicate floral notes. Very young!


A rather wobbly panoramic picture of a selection of the Burgundies.

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