Ask a casual wine drinker to name their favourite red grape and chances are they’ll plump for Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot or Syrah - but ask a wine enthusiast and they’re odds-on to choose Pinot Noir, unless they’re showing off and pick an obscure variety like Baga or Zweigelt.

Pinot Noir’s charms lie in its succulence, its obvious fruitiness and its exquisite perfume. However, it’s a finicky grape which isn’t easily managed. It’s a sensitive soul and reacts badly to overcropping, which leads to a lacklustre wine with zero personality. Cheap Pinot Noir should be avoided at all costs. It’s also thin-skinned and isn’t at all happy in extreme heat, its best emanations coming from cooler climes, with Burgundy undoubtedly responsible for its greatest and most celebrated examples.

JN Wine is fortunate to have many high quality Pinots for customers to enjoy. These come from cool climate regions around the world. Burgundy of course predominates, with Germany, New Zealand, California, South Africa and Chile chipping in with fine examples. Our most recent Pinot Noir acquisition is also one of our best. J Christopher is a small winery located in Oregon's Willamette Valley that has been attracting the admiring attention of wine commentators.

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The wines are handcrafted and are sourced in small lots from some of the best vineyards in Oregon. In 2010, the winery formed a partnership with famed German winemaker and great friend of JN Wine, Ernst Loosen. The Willamette Valley Pinot Noir is the flagship J. Christopher wine. It is blended from excellent vineyards in four of the valley's top vineyard areas: Dundee Hills, Chehalem Mountains, Yamhill-Carlton and Eola-Amity Hills. Made with native yeasts and aged in barrel for up to 18 months, this is classic Oregon Pinot Noir.  Silky and nuanced, it tastes of an exotic amalgam of plums, blueberries and forest, a really elegant expression of Pinot Noir.

Jay Somers and Rhonda Newell-Somers of J.Christopher Winery

Stop Press - another exciting addition to the JN portfolio: JN has acquired all-Ireland distribution rights for New Zealand winery Felton Road, another purveyor of top-rated Pinot Noir. Please check the blog for more details soon.