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The Forefather: 2003, Pierres first Pinot-vintage

After uncorking the bottle I stay perplex, even thinking I took the wrong bottle. But after studying the label again there is no doubt: This is the first vintage of Pierre Cros’ Pinot noir. Let me explain: The first vintage of this Pinot was 2003. A small cuvee of only 3 barrels, that Pierre filled at the same time as his pure Grenache. In the beginning, both wines were labelled “Pierre-Henry”, with only one difference: On the Grenache label the vintage and the AOC Minervois were mentioned, whereas the Pinot was filled as a Vin de Table without vintage. Today the Grenache is still labelled Pierre-Henry, while the Pinot noir forms the Liberté-trio with Pierres Nebbiolo and Touriga nacional.

Back to the wine. The 2003 vintage was often told to be too hot for great wines, even more for Pinot noir. But the wine in my glass just proofs the opposite: A beautiful slightly orange garnet colour, a intense and elegant nose of dried apricots and currants, cedar wood, liquorice, cherry and a hint of mint. I just can’t take my nose off the glass!

On the palate it’s even gets better: Smooth and fresh, almost refreshing, with an astonishing structure of fine and soft tannins, slightly mellow, with aromas similar to the nose, spices and cocoa in addition.
After 24 hours, the wines tastes as magic as the day before. The range of flavours has become more complex, showing honey, thyme and blond tobacco, showing a tad of oxidation. But that’s neither surprising (it’s Pinot a last…) nor bothering at all.

Fragrance, power and taste made me think of a Grenache wine at first, suggesting I took the “wrong” Pierre-Henry. But after all, it’s not the first time I find similarities between old Grenache and old Pinot wines. Is Grenache the Pinot noir of the south, or Pinot noir rather the Grenache of the north? I don’t know, but for sure this southern Pinot noir 2003 is a great wine from a great vintage!

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