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Best’s Great Western

Pinot Meunier and Pinot Noir

    Bottle shots of Pinot Meunier and Pinot Noir

Pinot Meunier is not a widely grown grape variety in Australia. The red grape’s main claim to fame is that it’s the third grape variety allowed in Champagne, alongside Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. It’s also one of the oldest grape varieties growing at Best’s Wines. Best’s is one of the few wineries in the world to produce a pure Pinot Meunier as a wine, with the first vintage made in 1967; just as those vines were turning 100 years old.

The name “Meunier” comes from the French word for “miller,” due to the white downy appearance on the underside of the grape leaves, resembling flour dust. This distinguishes it from Pinot Noir, which has green leaves. Pinot Meunier tends to ripen earlier than Pinot Noir, making it well-suited for cooler climates with shorter growing seasons. The grape’s flavor profile includes notes of red fruits such as strawberries and raspberries, as well as some darker fruits like blackberries and cherries. Pinot Meunier can also exhibit floral and herbal aromas and typically retain good acidity, providing freshness and balance, the wines are often medium-bodied and can have a softer, more approachable structure compared to the tannic Pinot Noir.

Pinot Noir is a red grape variety that is known for producing elegant and complex wines with a range of flavors, often characterized by red fruit notes such as cherry, raspberry, and strawberry. When grown in the Great Western region, Pinot Noir can take on unique characteristics influenced by the local terroir, climate, and winemaking practices. Great Western experiences a cool to temperate climate, which is well-suited for growing Pinot Noir  as the region’s cooler temperatures help the grapes retain acidity, allowing for the development of vibrant and fresh flavors in the wine. The region’s soil varies, it often includes ancient, deep, and well-drained soils, which are beneficial for vine health and grape development. Different soil types can contribute to the wine’s complexity and specific flavor profiles. Great Western Pinot Noir tends to exhibit red fruit flavors, such as cherry and raspberry, with subtle floral and spice notes. The wines are generally medium-bodied with smooth tannins and a balanced acidity, making them approachable and enjoyable in their youth. Pinot Noir from Great Western is delightful when young, and can also age gracefully with proper cellaring. Some Pinot wines can develop more complex tertiary flavors, like earth, mushroom, and forest floor notes. Winemakers at Bests Wines use various techniques, such as oak aging and different fermentation methods, to highlight specific characteristics of the grapes and enhance the wine quality.

Overall, Pinot Meunier and Pinot Noir from Best’s Great Western are a sublime representation of these classic grape varieties and its wines offer a unique expression of the regions terroir and winemaking craftsmanship.


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Pinot Meunier vs Pinot Noir

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