Springer and Stapleton, Ben’s Reserve Pinot Noir 2017

Today’s wine is from the Czech Republic. Now if like me the first thing you think about drinking and the Czech Republic is a beer you would be right. The Czech town of Plzeň is the birthplace of one of the world’s most popular styles of beer, Pilsner. This is the definitive crisp, clear, refreshing, and very easy-to-drink lager. But there are also some really interesting and really good wines being made in the Czech Republic and they are well worth searching out. Many of the country’s vineyards were destroyed during Soviet occupation so the vineyards and winemaking are a relatively new phenomenon.

The largest wine-producing area is called Moravia which is in the southernmost part of the Czech Republic on the border with Austria. The cool climate means that Czech red wines tend to be lower in tannin and lighter in body than say Italian or Spanish reds grown in warmer climates. Depending on the location of the vineyard and local climatic conditions the wines may be relatively high in acid and with slightly lower alcohol levels than expected. The style of wines made in the Czech Republic often reflects the local microclimates, soil types, and terroir.

Ben’s Reserve Pinot Noir 2017

My choice is a delicious Pinot Noir. Now when wine drinkers think of Pinot Noir, they usually associate it with Burgundy and California and Oregon in the USA. But a Pinot Noir from Moravia has won the prestigious Mondial des Pinots, the world cup if you will for Pinot Noir producers. The Springer and Stapleton vineyard in the Czech Republic was established in 2004. Founded by a former American Ambassador to Prague, keen to promote the local viticulture and a local winemaker in an area south of Brno. The organically grown Pinot Noir grapes make up 75% of the vineyard planting and the aim is to make fine Burgundy-style wines.

Aromas of red cherry and plum are backed by lots of similar fruity flavours and vanilla and soft spice coming from the wine’s maturation in French oak barrels. The wine has moderate tannins and a helpful acidity. While there is not a great finish there is some complexity, and the finished product is soft and easily drinkable. A really pleasant surprise and a very pleasant drink.

Grape variety                                 Pinot Noir

Country of origin                           Czech Republic

Region                                             Moravia

Vintage                                            2017

Alcohol                                            12.5%


The vineyards are organic and adhere to biodynamic and natural methods of viticulture and production including minimal use of sulphur dioxide.

Published by Christian Gott - An Island Chef

I am a food and drink writer, chef, one-time publican and restaurant manager, and qualified ASET trainer with over thirty years of experience in hospitality. I now live and work in the Channel Islands with my beautiful family. I’ve worked on six islands and in probably just about every type of business you can imagine, from beachside burger joints to world-famous pizza restaurants and in more than a few really good food pubs, historic country inns, and a former RAC Blue Riband UK Hotel of the Year. I have helped to create a small informal dinning group, been a group executive chef for eighteen diverse bars and eateries, demonstrated at food festivals, and contributed to the Real Food Festival Cookery Book, national and local publications, and podcasts. I am a proud member of the Guild of Food Writers and the British Guild of Beer Writers.

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