Remember the Grand Départ in 2014, when the Tour de France came to Yorkshire, England. My dear wife and son were caught up in it all at the cost of a three hour traffic jam on the way home! Well a certain winery had decided to sponsor the race and as a result enjoyed 74% growth in UK sales.
As outdoor weather has arrived, my choice tipple of the month is the Cono Sur 'Bicicleta' Pinot Noir, a New World red wine that speaks of Spring. Here is a light red that can be chilled slightly and will go with fish and chicken as well as more hearty roasts. Just the thing for a picnic hamper. It is described by wine blogger Jane Clare* as having a 'savoury mushroomy nose and pecks of spice', perfect with mushroom pizza too! Across the 'pond' the Wine Enthusiast talks about 'wiry acidity' (a curious phrase which makes me think of battery acid) and 'slightly salty flavours of plum and currant finish steady' which could be translated as a 'steady as she goes' sailor's wine to be enjoyed while cruising somewhere in the Caribbean.
The 'basic' releases from Cono Sur, a sister winery of the Andean behemoth Concho Y Toro, have lost a little character recently according to a UK celebrity which I mention in the interests of fairness, but this was in 2015 - there are more prestigious Pinot Noir wines in the winery's stable, such as the 20 Barrels and the flagship Ocio. But I like the Bicicleta range maybe because of my Dutch roots , and empathy with transport on two wheels, like many enthusiasts that climb the leg-sapping lane that runs outside our house.
Cono Sur, Chile
The grapes from this wine are 'carefully foot-trodden', which is a nice reference to physical effort of the more ambulatory kind, 'to softly release the juice' which sounds a bit like pillow talk, not wanting in any way to sound salacious (the wine industry seems riddled with this terminology at the moment - I blame the Americans!!). Cono Sur have chosen the bicycle logo because it represents ecological sustainability, and the fact that their workers ride around the estate on Chilean bicycles while picking the grapes - a quite remarkable feat of dexterity and balance!
The winery is described as carbon neutral which is a great achievement. As the world is faced with climate change it is surely good news that Cono Sur, the world's largest producer of New World Pinot Noir wine since the Grand Départ, has achieved the accolade of making a great quality affordable wine that is delightful to drink and plays a part in good husbandry of the planet. As Jane Clare says, 'think of those chappies cycling away and just enjoy'.
*https://www.onefootinthegrapes.co.uk/contact-jane-clare-wine/ - Wine Blog (extract), June 2014, Jane Claire – with permission
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