3rd February, 2012 by Sally Easton MW
“Pinot Noir is the next wine fashion” declared Ross Brown, of Brown Brothers, speaking at the closing session of the 9th International Cool Climate Symposium in Hobart, Tasmania.
In terms of trending fashions driven by technical changes and consumer tastes, the grape variety ticks all the boxes, he said.
“The technical changes of being able to make Pinot Noir open, accessible and generous to consumers will help make it successful – the Pinot Noir category has now got some scope to it,” explained Brown. “Consumers can come in at a level that gives them great value and a great drink.”
Brown coupled this with the fact that consumer tastes are changing to “lighter and lower alcohol, and more savoury reds” into which Pinot Noir can tap.
Suggesting that wine fashions go in approximately 15 year cycles, Brown argued argued that after Cabernet Sauvignon in the ‘70s, Chardonnay in the early ‘80s and Sauvignon Blanc in the late ‘90s, now is the time for another red cycle.
Having recently bought the sizeable Tamar Ridge and other properties in Tasmania, it came as no surprise when he said: “Tasmanian Pinot Noir has every possibility to be regarded as the finest in the southern hemisphere, and to challenge any comer to the Pinot Noir story.”
But the cool climate category is not just Pinot Noir, and the category “transcends both state and national boundaries” said Robyn Lewis, CEO of VisitVineyards.com, Australia’s leading online guide to food and wine travel, and specialist in new media.
Picking up on the challenges of marketing cool climate wines, keynote speaker Jancis Robinson OBE MW, said she would “be wary of plugging cool climate itself as though it’s absolutely magic and automatically a positive.”
She suggested, rather that the “message might be to concentrate on the wines themselves rather than the climate that produced them.”