A couple of contrasting examples of Chilean Pinot Noir for you this time. The first is one of Decanter’s “Top 50 New World Pinot Noirs”, the second didn’t gain that honour. And, true to my title, both are ‘hot’, one with alcohol, the other – punished by my writing – in the sense of American sexual slang.
Secano Estate Pinot Noir 2006, Leyda Valley
Leyda is one of the most promising sites for Pinot Noir in Chile, supposedly (I’ve never been there) cooled by sea breezes. I’ve had several good Pinot’s from this region, but this, Decanter **** rated or not, is not one of them:
Very deep pure ruby, narrow paler rim shows almost clear. Dark and dirty nose – there is dark cherry, chocolate and well-rotted horse manure here. Really very good – apart from a slight, spicy, hot, alcoholic overtone. Mouth entry is sweet and round – really jammy and alcoholic. There is good black cherry and dark plum fruit, with earthy, dark chocolate flavours too, but then the heat gets too much for me to keep it in my mouth. The finish is hot and sweet, with just a touch of acidity, and reminds me of flavoured vodka. Making allowances for my aversion to excessive alcohol, I just manage to give this 2/5.
Viña Cono Sur Pinot Noir ‘Ocio’ 2006, Casablanca Valley
Deep limpid ruby, touched with purple; barely any paler rim. Fresh, lively and refined nose. Lovely fresh cherry and plum fruit, and the merest hint of sousbois. Barely detectable oak. Super stuff. Mouth entry is amzingly supple, with lush fruit and a nice earthiness to it. Mid-palate shows really good sappy density and great balance – just detectable tannins and acidity. Very composed and nicely cool fruit. Great poise. On the finish there is dark fruit, more earthiness and just the merest hint of heat. This is a very, very good example. A super, well-made wine, and better than many a Burgundy, but it just doesn’t speak to me of a place – of its ‘terroir’. Oh – I almost forgot – this is a 4/5.
The 2005 – reviewed here is, for me, a better wine – quite a bit fresher and without even that trace of excessive alcohol.
And finally, in case you are wondering, an editorial note: I do not write on here about any wine we are selling or intend to sell.