Bests Great Western Old Vines Pinot Meunier 2012

Date of tasting: 25-26 December 2014

Given to me in July by Viv Thompson at Bests. Vines planted 1866: pre-phylloxera Pinot Meunier noir on its own roots. Lots of genetic mutations and variations in the planting.

Colour and condition: Medium dusky cherry plum. 3

Aroma: Beautiful intense lifted red cherry essence aromas, slight trace of Australian bush bark underneath (perhaps). Would pass as Pinot noir in no uncertain terms. 6

Palate and aftertaste: Lovely medium-weighted, fresh, spicy juicy red cherry core framed by fine spicy tannins and good underlying acidity that underpins the fruit freshness. Not at all over-weighted: fine, seductive, but persistent. Just a touch short however with a hollow at the back of the palate. Lovely young red Pinot otherwise. 8

General comments: Front and middle palate are delicious and nicely counter-poised between spicy fine tannins and sufficient acidity. Very enjoyable wine that might well age attractively for up to fifteen years. There is simply no way, organoleptically, to tell that this isn’t Pinot noir, and I very much doubt that the chimerism that turns this variety into Pinot Meunier noir makes any difference to the latter’s wines compared to those of the Pinot noir that is underneath the L1 cell layer of the Meunier.


Author: Dr. Gerald Atkinson

Company director, viticulturist, grapevine researcher and historian, and sometime wine-writer.