Alta Pavina, Citius Pinot Noir, Spain (bottle price £21)
Pinot Noir from Spain. You don’t see that too often.
Pinot Noir grape benefits from cooler climates with long sunshine hours. Think about the north of France, South of New Zealand, Germany and the fog of California. So to grow it successfully in a warm climate you have to moderate the heat. This often means the vineyards need to be by the coast but that doesn’t help Pinot as it is a thin skinned grape and susceptible to the damage from the winds and bacterial spoilage from the rain. So the next option is altitude - cooler temperatures but plenty of sunshine. The result is a much fuller style and that’s why it can cope with 18 months of oak.
It is big, it is spicy and it is certainly not your typical Pinot Noir but it has plenty of complexity and flavour with still retaining a lightness. It’s had four years of ageing which has put it in a great drinking window and it’s worth popping up and saying hello.