Berkmann gives power to the Pinot

Berkmann Wine Cellars gave into its Pinot obsession this week with a tasting dedicated to the grape.

berkman-pinot-line-upThe importer and distributor had over 60 Pinots from 38 producers available to taste including offerings from Brazil, Alsace, Italy and New Zealand to complement a strong showing of Burgundian and Californian wines which included the likes of Lucien le Moine, Saintsbury and Sylvain Cathiard.

Speaking to the drinks business, Alex Hunt MW, head of purchasing at Berkmann, explained the germ of the tasting was in part down to his and the rest of the team’s “slightly obsessive” attitude towards Pinot Noir which he credited in part to the business’s “historical relationship with Burgundy”.

He said that around a third of all the wines at the tasting had been added to the portfolio in the last two years – a testament to the growth and expected growth in demand for the grape.

“Part of it is anticipating demand, another part is responding to demand; though we’ve also come across things we couldn’t not represent,” he said.

He also talked about how Pinot Noir was gaining ground thanks to the demand for lighter wines and how Pinots from the rest of the world were really “catching up with Burgundy in the trend for lightness.”

“Pinot is benefitting from the shift to lighter, paler wines,” he said. “And of all the grapes with that profile it’s the most consistently fine. We thought it was timer to put it all out there. The idea is to show things on an even footing – taking Burgundy out of its plush comfort zone.

“Burgundy and California are fielding more wines (at the tasting) and are the ultimate expression of single vineyard and Pinot Noir as an ‘intellectual’ wine but other areas show it can be simply delicious and value for money.

“I hope everything will justify its place somewhere on that scale. The worst criticism would be, ‘it’s all samey’, that would mean we’d need to scrap it all and start again.”


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