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8 Award-winning Pinot Noirs favourited by top sommeliers

As a perk of the job, every year whilst judging the competition we allow our judges to select the wines that they absolutely love.

In this way, they are able to create their own personal wine list prior to even knowing what the wine actually is. They only get to know the details once the results are released, like everybody else, but their hard work shopping for new wines is already done.

To celebrate International Pinot Noir Day we’ve selected the top 8 award-winning wines our judges simply HAD to add to their favourites list.

If you’re looking for an award-winning Pinot Noir to add to your list or recommend to a client, then look no further.


Edouard Delaunay, Septembre, Pinot Noir 2018, Burgundy, France (£14.37, Badet Clement, Matthew Clark)

'Delicate red floral aromas to start, with vanilla flavours and a touch of cinnamon too, leading to silky tannins and a creamy texture, with savoury notes and a well-balanced finish.' Valentin Radosav, Gymkhana Restaurant London. 'With big bright cherry notes and some rose on the nose too, this is fruit-forward, juicy and balanced. It would be a good wine by the glass.' Michael Driscoll, Careys Manor Hotel & SenSpa.

Favourited by: Laurent Richet MS, Restaurant Fitzgerald – Rotterdam and Michael Driscoll, Careys Manor Hotel & SenSpa

Prophet's Rock, Retrospect, Pinot Noir 2014, Central Otago, New Zealand (£77.96, Bibendum Wine)

'A delicate yet intense wine with great structure, showing some development, and notes of earthiness, forest floor and dried dark plums.' Lucie Hammerschmiedova, Portland Restaurant. 'The texture here is brilliant, with soft tannins alongside cherry and cranberry notes, as well as an oaky element.' Aurore Anguenot, Aviary. 'A really polished style, with soft, elegant fruit, sweet spice and silky tannins.' Laura Rhys MS, team leader.

Favourited by: Lucie Hammerschmiedova

Craggy Range, Te Muna, Pinot Noir 2016, Martinborough, New Zealand (£24.95, Bibendum Wine)

'This has surprising breadth that its tight focus doesn't immediately reveal. A balanced and complete wine possessing lovely charm, with potpourri aromas gracefully entwined with subtle minerality, leading to a precise yet playful palate with sandalwood and fine spice.' Emanuel Pesqueira, Edwardian Hotels London. 'Great structure with an impressive finish. This will evolve beautifully.' Sam Weatherill, Etch. by Steven Edwards.

Favourited by: Emanuel Pesqueira, Edwardian Hotels London

Foley Family Vineyards, Te Kairanga, Runholder, Pinot Noir 2017, Martinborough, New Zealand (£18.01, Matthew Clark)                                   

'A worthy alternative to Burgundy Pinot, this is elegant, complex, floral and earthy, with a lovely savoury finish. A fresh and vibrant wine with ripe, round tannins, all in harmony.' Diana Rollan, D&D London. 'Such a bewitching nose, with dark autumn fruit, cherries and plums and hints of crushed mint, with a well-directed, tannic body, and a long and complex finish. Earns its price point.' Hamish Greening, Twenty Seven by Jamie Rogers.

Favourited by: Charlie Carter, L' Atelier Du Vin

Santolin, Cosa Nostra, Pinot Noir/Syrah, 2018, Yarra Valley, Victoria, Australia (£17, Santolin Wines, Oddbins)

'Balanced and fresh, with a good savoury element, this has complexity and interest.' Martin Lam, team leader. 'Savoury and earthy, with truffle-like mushroom notes.' Cinthia Lozano, The Winery Honduras. 'Red forest fruit and cherries, with earthiness and smoke, as well as peppery and mineral notes.' Markus Dilger, Dilger Sommelier Selection.

Favourited by: Markus Dilger, Dilger Sommelier Selection Ltd and Sam Weatherill, Etch. by Steven Edwards

Luis Felipe Edwards, Olas del Sur, Gran Reserva, Pinot Noir, 2018, Leyda Valley, Chile (£10.07, LFE Wine Group, Bibendum)

'Rich and ripe cherry and strawberry lead to well-integrated oak with some big sweet spices like vanilla and cinnamon, accompanied by some savoury notes too. This has a lovely soft texture, leading to a wonderful lingering finish.' Daniel Eriksen, Anglian Country Inns. 'A ripe, fresh style with a concentrated character.' Luís Martins, team leader.

Favourited by: Andre Luis Martins, The Cavalry and Guards Club

Seresin Rachel, Pinot Noir 2014, Marlborough, New Zealand (£20.99, Enotria Winecellars Ltd)

'A finely poised bouquet of red cherry, spice, raspberry and a gentle smokiness, with a palate that's vibrantly intense with a full, rich and silky mid-palate, and a very persistent finish.' Emanuel Pesqueira, Edwardian Hotels London. 'Concentrated, pronounced cherry, blackberry and cranberry fruit - this is elegant, with ageing potential.' Harry Ballmann, Folie.

Favourited by: Valentin Radosav, Gymkhana Restaurant London


Yealands, The Crossings, Pinot Noir 2018, Awatere Valley, Marlborough, New Zealand (£8.24, Yealands Wine Group, Mentzendorff & Co)

'With its fresh and acidic backbone, integrated tannins, exuberant red fruit flavours and a refreshing red fruit finish, this is a great entry to Marlborough's red wines at a reasonable price point.' Charlie Carter, L' Atelier Du Vin. 'Round minerality, gentle black pepper and a herbaceous, leafy note - this has the potential to be served chilled.' Harry Ballmann, Folie.

Favourited by: Emanuel Pesqueira, Edwardian Hotels London

All these wines were blind tasted by category and judged on food-friendliness, versatility, typicity, personality and importantly, value for money at whatever the price.

Are you a sommelier and looking to advance your career? If ‘yes’, then you should apply to be a judge for the 2021 Sommelier Wine Awards!

This is your chance to judge alongside Master Sommeliers, Masters of Wine and some of the best names in the business in the only competition focused entirely on on-trade wines.

Apply today