Red wine

Litmus Wines, Litmus Red Pinot 2018

RRP £29 per bottle
UK Stockist
94
Tasted by
Adam Lechmere
Tasted in
London

It’s an odd name but it’s called that to distinguish it from its sister wine, the Litmus White Pinot. This fine red will change your mind about English Pinot. I’m a sceptic – I’ve had quite a few still whites that are delicious and (almost) worth the hefty price tag, but English Pinots have always seemed rather thin and weedy, lacking either a mid-palate or a finish, or leaving a memory of astringency. John Worontschak, the unassuming but veteran winemaking consultant who runs Litmus Wines (he also runs winemaking at Denbies Wine Estate), sources the grapes for Litmus from across southern England. There’s some grown-up winemaking behind this red: destemming, cold-soaking, punching down for fermentation on skins, it’s moved into new and older French oak barriques for malolactic fermentation and then has a further 21 months in oak and four months in bottle. I don’t care if he foot-trod the grapes himself listening to Leonard Cohen under a full moon: this Pinot Noir is unquestionably one of the best English reds I’ve tasted. Fresh, delicately fruited, nicely tannic and supported by a fine acidic backbone delivering a delicious wash of juice at the end, it’s serious enough to match game and other autumnal red meats (and actually, just about any dish you care to drink it with). Classy, elegant, robust; it’s pricey but it’s got the whole of English still winemaking on its shoulders. Splash out.

Drinking Window
2020 - 2025
Colour
red
Wine Style
Still
Alcohol
13%
Country
England
Region
South East
Bottle size
75cl
Grape Varieties
Pinot Noir (100%)