April Dirt – exploring pinot noir and terroir with two fantastic wines
A new generation of winemakers across the globe is taking to pinot noir. It’s no surprise that they’re drawn to the grape. Pinot noir is the beating heart of Burgundy’s great red wines, and there is no more captivating region to explore via drinking. What is surprising about this movement? Well, the wines. We’re finding great value in Burgundy (I know, I won’t tell anyone else). We’re also now looking outside of Burgundy and finding beautiful wines that shine a clear light on unique and unexpected terroirs. This month’s Dirt club selection is a combination of both.
2013, Bourgogne, Philippe Charlopin
Philippe Charlopin and his son Yann have been making wine in Burgundy since 1977. Phillips was mentored by the late, great Henri Jayer, whose elegant, understated pinot noir bottlings remain among the most revered and collected wines on earth. Philippe learned a lot from Jayer. There’s an elegance and to his wines that you can only find in the wines of those obsessed with the details of winemaking. Charlopin’s wines vibrate with energy. You won’t find excess extraction or oak here. Just pretty, pure red burgundy that begins with a classic nose of freshly tilled earth and morphs into bright red fruit and floral aromatics. The pallet is medium-bodied with soft tannins and clearly expresses fruit and earth.
2014, Baden Pinot Noir “Liaison”, Enderle & Moll
Enderle & Moll winemaking journey found them in the cellars of Burgundy’s much revered Domaine Dujac, where they worked alongside Jeremy Seysses to hone their chops. They took their newfound tradecraft back to Baden at the south-western tip of Germany where they’ve become cult figures for bottling pinot noir so expressive and gorgeous, that it is often mistaken for Chambolle-Musigny. One the last 12 months, both Eric Asimov and Jon Bonné have written enthusiastically about their wines. In fact, Jancis Robinson has been an advocate for years and was certainly the first to identify them as “cult” producers. While E&M make a number of wines, it’s their Liaison bottling that really sticks out. This is a bottling of pinot noir grown on 45-year-old vines planted to sandstone and limestone. Like their mentor at Domain Dujac, E&M use whole cluster fermentation in order to bottle an intense, enthusiastic wine.