The task of picking the ten best pinot noirs proved too much for our judges, says MARY-THERESE BLAIR.

Traditionally with a pinot noir tasting the expectation is that wines from the ‘best’ vintage will come to fore as clear winners. This time however, pinots from every vintage entered – 2019, 2020 and 2021 – feature in the top wines.

‘Final recalls’ is the stage of judging when the best wines are reassessed by the judges to ensure quality and then finally wines are ranked to find a top wine and, in a tasting of this size, a top ten. It was at this point our judges started to stress, wondering if perhaps they were being too generous. The discourse that followed settled that matter: it turned out the wines in front of them were just that good. So good, in fact, that a top ten was unachievable. So Cuisine readers will just have to settle for a superlative top twelve. We’re confident you can carry the burden of an extraordinary lineup of wines.