Not Burgundy – prelude

I have the feeling I will be saying more about Central Otago Pinot Noir in weeks to come. But that is for the future. Now, let us immerse ourselves in this spiffy Pinot from that region. Just for the record, I had a look at 2013 Burgundy prices from Four Walls Wine. For the forty quid I dropped on this you would be extremely lucky to get a reasonably good producer’s village-level wine. But, as I said, more on this soon.

Burn Cottage Pinot Noir 2013Pinot Noir 2013, Burn Cottage

Ah, how delicious, lots of plump, ripe cherry fruit displayed in a subtle spicy oak frame. This is attractive from the very first sniff! That fruit might be nice, ripe and polished too, but its sweetness does not come from high alcohol. This is perfectly acceptable on the booze front.

There is more spice than that given by the oak, the ripe fruit seems to have developed in a spicy/herbaceous shade – that is rather attractive. What certainly cannot be denied is that the fruit is charming in a bien loché idiom. Not that there is necessarily anything that is wrong about being well-titted out, but if is that is a quality of Pinot you particularly enjoy you will be well pleased here!

I detect a hint of slate-like earthiness of the nose as well which is also quite attractive. Attractive is a feature here.

All these features – the cherry-led fruit, the herbal aromas, the slaty, rocky earthy smells, the restrained use of oak, the spiciness, the restrained alcohol, the polish, the poonts – all combine synergistically to create an impressively complex nose that is a total joy to keep sniffing. But are we here to drink or talk? I’m having a sip…

Ah… I should have guessed from a 2013 vintage with aims of grandeur… this palate seems more than a touch stuck in the quaquaversal, awkward stage of middle age that means it is showing far from the best of its past or the best of its future.

It has everything that worked so well on the nose, but they do not seem in complete harmony with each other, they do not speak with one coherent voice of style, class and pleasure. It is something that most quality Pinots do at around this stage in their evolution, you just have to hope they come out on the other side with their splendour and majesty rejuvenated for the long haul of pleasuring their drinkers immensely. There is nothing necessarily wrong with drinking this wine now, you will just be throwing away the chance of it being vastly more enjoyable in about three to five years time.

Will it come out the other side with the palate showing all that involute class and sumptuous pleasure that the nose still displays. I firmly believe it will. What is more I feel it will easily out-perform Burgundies of far higher price than this. You need an awful lot of folding in order to get Burgundy this good. I do not think I will ever be able to afford much more, if any, at this quality level. Naturally, I am more than a tad upset about this, but I am perfectly happy to drop another forty pounds and get myself a bottle of this to save for a good time with my friends.

This smells awesome and the palate promises wonderful delights in a few years time. I have no doubt this will develop into a truly world class wine. It will certainly give an awfully large number of more enthusiastically-priced red Burgundies bloody noses and dish out many not remotely pleasurable spankings to overpriced, underachieving Pinots from around the globe.


This 2013 cost £40.95, or you can buy a 2015 which should be more fun in a more primary way for £49.73 from GP Brands. They also stock a Burn Cottage for beginners (Moonlight Race) at £31.66.

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