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Pinot Noir
Time Out Hong Kong

7 of the best pinot noirs to drink in Hong Kong now according to wine experts

Raise a glass to one of the most hedonistic wines ever made

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Written by
Tatum Ancheta
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We don't really need an excuse to drink wine. Still, there are days when die-hard wine enthusiasts and brands are making it hard to refuse to down a glass, especially when the whole world is celebrating an 'international day' dedicated to a special variety of grape such as pinot noir. August 18 is International Pinot Noir day and it's a great day to drink one of the most-loved red wines in the world. And to get started with which bottle to drink, we spoke to some of Hong Kong's wine bars and wine experts to recommend the best pinot noir to drink in the city. 

Pinot noir is one of the oldest grape varieties in the world and renowned for being one of the hardest grapes to grow, which is often the reason why it is one of the more expensive wines in the market. This grape variety is susceptible to disease, sensitive terroir, and suffers in changeable weather, but when appropriately cultivated, it creates an elegant and complex wine that is great to pair with any dish and can be the centre of any celebrations. It is grown around the world – primarily in places with cooler climates like Burgundy in France, Walker Bay region of South Africa, Martinborough in New Zealand, and Willamette Valley in Oregon – and creates varying styles and flavour notes from Old World style's delicate, acidic, and earthy notes, to New World style's fruit-forward and woody flavours.  

So, mark this day as an occasion to raise a glass (or glasses, we are not judging) and celebrate one of the most hedonistic wines ever made. Though nothing is stopping you in getting bottles of good pinot noir to drink any day of the week. Here's a roundup of pinot noir recommendations from Hong Kong's wine connoisseurs.  

RECOMMENDED: Stock up on your wine supply from the best alcohol delivery services in Hong Kong 

The best Pinot Noirs to drink in Hong Kong now

Bodega Chacra Barda Pinot Noir 2018
Bodega Chacra Barda Pinot Noir 2018

Bodega Chacra Barda Pinot Noir 2018

Region: Argentina, Patagonia
Price: $100 a glass, $500 a bottle
Where to drink: James Suckling Wine Central paired with the restaurant's deep-fried porcini  
Tasting notes: A brambly array of bright, ripe dark fruit with a lithe and juicy feel that carries a bold, deliciously fresh array of dark-cherry and blueberry flavours long on the finish. Zingy and energetic.  

This is a refreshing, great value red wine, best served slightly chilled – perfect for summer drinking. "It comes from biodynamically grown grapes in the cool part of Argentina's Patagonia. The owner is Italian, Piero Incisa della Rocchetta, whose family also makes Sassicaia in Italy," shares James Suckling, world-renowned wine critic and owner of James Suckling Wine Central. "It's a unique wine that goes with everything from grilled fish to roasted meats," he adds. 

Montes Outer Limits Zapallar Vineyard Pinot Noir 2018 
Montes Outer Limits Zapallar Vineyard Pinot Noir 2018 

Montes Outer Limits Zapallar Vineyard Pinot Noir 2018 

Region: Aconcagua, Chile
Price: $168
Where to buy: Watson's Wine
Tasting notes: This is striking for the red-cherry aromas. It has intense – yet pure fruit – with lightly spicy oak influence. The palate is very fresh and neatly defined with a sleek, crunchy feel and bright, vibrant red cherries.  

"Chile is making some of the best value reds in the world right now, and its coastal, cool climate areas make some wonderfully fresh and fruity pinots. This is excellent value at $168 a bottle," says James Suckling. 

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David Duband Gevrey-Chambertin 2012
David Duband Gevrey-Chambertin 2012

David Duband Gevrey-Chambertin 2012

Region: Burgundy, France
Price: $1,490 per bottle; $330 per glass 
Where to drink: Tin Lung Heen, The Ritz-Carlton. Order it to pair with grilled seafood dishes, Peking duck, and wok-fried minced pigeon, dried shrimp and bean sprout served with fresh lettuce.

Tasting notes: Black fruit (black cherry, plum) and spices, with a touch of oak. It is creamy with saline notes and a refreshing finish.  

Gevrey-Chambertin wines are one of the world's most prestigious and expensive red wines and the most iconic Burgundy wines in the market. Produced in the communes of Gevrey-Chambertin and Brochon in the Côte de Nuits subregion of Burgundy, the wine is famous for its full-bodied, firm structure, deeper colour, and slightly more oaky notes. 

"Unlike many other pinot noirs, the serving temperature of Gevrey Chambertin 2012 is 13 to 15 degree Celsius, which is perfect in the sizzling hot summer in Hong Kong," explains Benson Yan, head sommelier at Tin Lung Heen, The Ritz-Carlton. "Its special serving temperature makes it acceptable to most drinkers," he adds. 

Domaine Serafin Père Et Fils, Gevrey Chambertin 2014
Domaine Serafin Père Et Fils, Gevrey Chambertin 2014

Domaine Serafin Père Et Fils, Gevrey Chambertin 2014

Region: Burgundy, France
Price: $1,150
Where to drink: Man Ho Chinese Restaurant paired with the restaurant's smoked soy chicken with tea and brown sugar. 
Tasting notes: The bouquet offers a wonderful sweetness of red and ripe Pinot Noir grapes – this continues on the palate, with a very juicy fruitiness. 

"It's not a big village wine, but it showcases a very charming effort from Domaine Serafin. This is a bottle of wine that has begun to mature as the body has started to build up after ageing. The fruity flavour and tannin begin to merge while the wine still retains very good acidity. It matches perfectly with the tea aroma of the smoked soy chicken, especially with the chef's homemade sauces at Man Ho, which elevates both taste to a higher level," explains William Ma, sommelier at JW Marriott Hotel Hong Kong. 

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Cristom Eileen Vineyard 2016
Cristom Eileen Vineyard 2016

Cristom Eileen Vineyard 2016

Region: Oregon, USA 
Price: $500 and above
Where to buy: Man Ho Chinese Restaurant or etcwineshops.com
Tasting notes: It is textured, layered, and creamy on the palate. It is often recognisable by its bouquet sweet spices, with various aromas of sweet spices, vanilla-caramel, raspberry jam, and sandalwood. The taste is highly detailed, supple and seductive, with lots of complexity,

Great to sip for summer, "the wine is perfect for drinking now, but it also has great ageing potential for the medium to long term," shares William Ma.

Domaine Henri Gouges Nuits St Georges 1er Cru Clos des Porrets 2014
Domaine Henri Gouges Nuits St Georges 1er Cru Clos des Porrets 2014

Domaine Henri Gouges Nuits St Georges 1er Cru Clos des Porrets 2014

Region: Burgundy, France
Price: $1,550
Where to drink: Island Shangri-La, Hong Kong restaurants
Tasting notes: A lively wine with juicy summer fruits notes. It carries the classic aromas of Nuits St George wines like black pepper, herb, and earth.  

"For the very hot humid summer time in Hong Kong, I think the ideal style of red wine is fresh, high acidity, and medium body wine. Personally, this style of wine makes me feel more relaxed with a lighter, fresher taste on the palate," shares Cherish Ho, sommelier at Island Shangri-La, Hong Kong. "Domaine Henri Gouge is a very classic winery that represents the traditional Nuits St George terroir. Currently managed by its fourth generation winemakers – it is very impressive to know that they have never produced any wine outside of their village. For many years, Domaine Henry Gouge is recognised as one of the finest estates of the village. The wines are incredible! The wine would work well with a slow-cooked duck breast served with mushroom sauce."

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Domaine Roux Père & Fils Chambolle Musigny 1er Cru Combottes 2016
Domaine Roux Père & Fils Chambolle Musigny

Domaine Roux Père & Fils Chambolle Musigny 1er Cru Combottes 2016

Region: Burgundy, France
Price: $1,080
Where to buy: Watson's Wine 
Tasting notes: Ripe red fruits (cherry and raspberries) aromas integrated with vanilla and other oak flavours.

"Domaines Roux dates back to 1885, and the current generation, brothers Sebastien and Mathieu, have propelled Domaines Roux into one of the leading producers in Burgundy," shares Cherish Ho. "It shows attractive aromas with ripe red fruit. The palate is very complex, creamy with silky tannins. Lightly spiced follow with intense floral notes on the finish," she adds. 

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