Log In

Reset Password

A perfect Pinot Noir growing area

Drink to your health: Pinot Noir is thin-skinned and thrives in cool, moist climates it needs to be protected from pathogenic organisms and fungi and so Mother Nature loads the vines and fruit with far more resvertrol than any other grape variety

In the late 1980s the term “French paradox” became popular and it referred to the fact that the French were known to enjoy food rich in saturated fats such as cheese and pate but this had little effect on their heart health.

It was decided that red wine deserved the thank you for this and it had to do with a substance called resveratrol that exists in grapeskins as well as peanuts, blueberries etc.

As Pinot Noir is thin-skinned and thrives in cool, moist climates it needs to be protected from pathogenic organisms and fungi and so Mother Nature loads the vines and fruit with far more resvertrol than any other grape variety.

When we consume this substance it is thought that it fights fungal infections, acts as antioxidants, anticoagulants, lowers risk of Alzheimer’s, raises good cholesterol and lowers bad, inhibits cellular growth associated with tumours, fights vision disorders and much more.

So in moderation, let’s drink to our health.

Not only does the Rodney Strong winery in Sonoma make some of my favourite Pinot Noir, but I so admire the fact that they are certified completely carbon neutral as they have the largest solar array of any winery in the world.

They also are certified for their sustainable vineyard practices.

Many years ago fur hunters from Russia would frequent the area as it was very cool and thus the indigenous animals had lush pelts.

Now the climate is perfect for Rodney Strong Russian River Valley Pinot Noir. The 2013 has lovely aromas of cherry and rose petals and its texture is soft and silky.

Thirteen months in small, French oak barrels add a hint of toasty vanilla and spicy complexity. $23.95.

Last Thursday evening we were sitting in a very popular establishment in town that among many others, offers the Rodney Strong RRV Pinot Noir by the glass.

As they also list the reserve version of this by the bottle our table took the opportunity to try them side by side which I had possibly never done before, even though it is the best way to appreciate subtle differences.

The Rodney Strong 2011 Reserve Russian River Valley Pinot Noir has a very limited production, in fact we sell far more of their regular bottling in Bermuda alone than they make in total of this reserve wine.

The 2011 is soft and rich with layers of red cherry, raspberry, cola, caramel and hints of Asian spices.

It is just peaking now and if $46.30 is in your budget it is definitely a bottle for Pinot lovers to try.

As fate would have it while I am looking at bottles of Chalone, Acacia and Deloach Pinot Noirs on my desk and trying to decide which to write about, an e-mail has just popped up from www.wineexpress.com. Their wine of the day is Deloach 2013 Pinot Noir Heritage Reserve.

I will just quote what they have to say: “Here is an extremely elegant and perfumed Pinot Noir. Deloach Vineyards gained a reputation through the last three decades for producing first-class Pinots from their winery in the Russian River Valley.

“Today, someone who knows a thing or two about Pinot Noir, dynamic Burgundy producer Jean-Charles Boisset, leads the charge having purchased the estate in 2003. Since then they have upgraded throughout the estate and even replanted many of the vineyards.

“This wine is their best value selection and grapes are sourced from top suppliers and fermented under ideal conditions, (in fairness I should add that this does not guarantee that all fruit is from the Valley).

“A portion of the wine is aged in oak barrels for a touch of complexity and body. It shows a silky mouth-feel and pretty flavours of raspberry and cherry jam, orange zest, vanilla, cinnamon and sandalwood.

“It is easily one of the best Pinots on the market at this price.”

I understand that the Boisset family has 300 years of winemaking experience in Burgundy which of course is the birthplace of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.

On a visit to their winery last year we tasted a wonderful selection of both and for a start we have just brought in their entry-level Pinot Noir which sells for $20.35. Incidentally their Chardonnay is $19.80.

This column is a paid for advertorial for Burrows Lightbourn Ltd. Michael Robinson is Director of Wine at Burrows Lightbourn Ltd. He can be contacted at mrobinson@bll.bm or 295-0176. Burrows Lightbourn has stores in Hamilton (Front Street East. 295-1554), Paget (Harbour Road, 236-0355) and St George’s (York Street, 297-0409). A selection of their wines, beers and spirits is available online at www.wineonline.bm.