Balfour Hush Heath Suitcase Pinot Noir 2018

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This new entry into Hush Heath’s Winemaker’s Collection, due out early December, takes its name from the lauded Dijon 828 and 777 clones of Pinot Noir, which were allegedly smuggled in suitcases out of Burgundy and into the US in the ’60s.

Deceivingly light in complexion, the nose is immense, complex, nuanced and beguiling, with a mixture of dried cranberries, black cherry, winter berries, dried herbs, cured meat and toasted oak. Just what are you about to let yourself in for?

If the nose was a stellar first act compared to the wine’s questionable appearance, it’s the second act where it really flourishes. There’s tangy redcurrant, raspberry and cherry notes upfront, before a swift transition to a smooth, gamey, savoury and red berry compote mid-taste. The mouthfeel on this wine is off the chart, and sets itself at the pinnacle of what is possible with English reds.

When one thinks about the potential of complex Pinot and possible grouse, pigeon or duck pairings, this is one of those wines that would really be in its element… Blissful.

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