RKS Wine: The Three Styles of Pinot Noir

Try to simplify Pinot Noir and you are asking for trouble. I like trouble.

The first style is the soft and sensual style. Low tannins with aromas of raspberry and ripe strawberries. Think Okanagan Pinot Noirs from Canada’s British Columbia such as the Pinot Noirs from Stag’s Hollow or Meyer Family Vineyards.

Then there is the full attack Pinot Noir with a robust and forceful and almost aggressive nose and palate. I have experienced this style with several Chilean Pinot Noirs particularly those from Villard.

Then there is the middle road such as Flat Rock Cellars in Niagara, Ontario. The 2020 Flat Rock Cellars Pinot Noir is neither soft and sensual nor aggressive and serves as a good example of the middle road. As for aromas think of raspberry, strawberry, black cherry and cactus pear all with a bit of edge to them. On the palate there is a bit of chalkiness perhaps courtesy of the limestone soil and no lazy tannins. It has a bit of bite to it and enough to handle Argentinian flank steak with chimichurri sauce with an Argentinian red onion salad. There is red cherry, red currants and a smidge of blackberry. It has a moderately long finish. A soft and sensual Pinot Noir makes a great sipping wine. This middle of the road Pinot Noir really calls for food. It is a youngster and if you want to wait until 2024 it will have softened but not to the degree it will lose its middle of the road genetics.

The advantage of a Pinot Noir like this one from Flat Rock is that it has the ability to match more foods than the soft and sensual or aggressive Pinot Noir. It can handle beef, lamb, chicken, duck, salmon and many pastas particularly those in rosé sauce. At $21.95 it is a good buy but at $15.95 a compelling buy.

(Flat Rock Cellars 2020 Pinot Noir, VQA Niagara Peninsula, Flat Rock Cellars, Jordan, Ontario, $15.95 ( LCBO store manager markdown from $21.95), Liquor Control Board of Ontario # 1545, 750 mL, 13.5%, Robert K. Stephen A Little Birdie Told Me So Rating 90/100).

Published by Robert K Stephen (CSW)

Robert K Stephen writes about food ,drink, travel, film, and lifestyle issues. He also has published serialized novels "Life at Megacorp", "Virus # 26, "Reggie the Egyptian Rescue Dog" and "The Penniless Pensioner" Robert was the first associate member of the Wine Writers’ Circle of Canada. He also holds a Mindfulness Certification from the University of Leiden and the University of Toronto. Be it Spanish cured meat, dried fruit, BBQ, or recycled bamboo place mats, Robert endeavours to escape the mundane, which is why he has established this publication. His motto is, "Have Story, Will Write."

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