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Storm Pinot Noir Vrede 2014

  • W&S94
  • WS91
750ML / 13.06% ABV
Other Vintages
  • WS92
  • RP92
  • W&S91
  • WS92
  • W&S90
  • RP92
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750ML / 13.06% ABV

Winemaker Notes

The 2014 vintage was cooler than usual and displays richness and generosity with alluring and opulent fruit perfume. Lower alcohol levels at optimum physiological ripeness were obtained during this cool vintage. Not flashy or overly fruity, but shows depth, purity and structure – characteristic of the site’s soils.

Critical Acclaim

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W&S 94
Wine & Spirits
Soft earthy spice and sweet cured-bacon aromas are at the front of the bouquet here, with supporting fruit tones of brambly berries, wild strawberry, peach pit, fruit cake, sweet smoke and rooibos. There's a real mélange of aromas and flavors here, just stunning, with more nuance and complexity discovered with each sniff and sip. Bright, snappy red berry fruits abound on the palate, while hints of sous bois, tree bark and cocoa nib unfold on the close. It's medium in weight, well-composed and balanced, with a smooth, suave and silky texture.Editors' Choice
WS 91
Wine Spectator
Silky and perfumy, with lovely blood orange, cinnamon, rooibos tea and mineral notes that stretch out through the finish. Very elegant.
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Storm

Storm

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Storm, South Africa
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After 12 vintages in the Hemel-en-Aarde Valley, focussing on producing world class Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays, Hannes discovered two vineyards with particularly exceptional terroirs planted with the tiny bunched red grape variety that he loves intimately. With these two sites – one with low vigour, stony, clay-rich shale soils in the Hemel-en-Aarde Valley and the other, a small vineyard in the Upper Hemel-en-Aarde Valley with granite soils – Storm Wines strives to steer the purest characteristics of each site towards bottle and cork.

Meticulous viticulture, minimal intervention in the cellar and a constant nod to the Old World present the wines with a warm personality and character. With the maiden vintage for both vineyards in 2012, Storm Wines continues to handcraft, perfect and shepherd Pinot Noir from their unique terroirs into very distinctive site specific wines.

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South Africa

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With an important wine renaissance in full swing, impressive red and white bargains abound in South Africa. The country has a particularly long and rich history with winemaking, especially considering its status as part of the “New World.” In the mid-17th century, the lusciously sweet dessert wines of Constantia were highly prized by the European aristocracy. Since then, the South African wine industry has experienced some setbacks due to the phylloxera infestation of the late 1800s and political difficulties throughout the following century.

Today, however, South Africa is increasingly responsible for high-demand, high-quality wines—a blessing to put the country back on the international wine map. Wine production is mainly situated around Cape Town, where the climate is generally warm to hot. But the Benguela Current from Antarctica provides brisk ocean breezes necessary for steady ripening of grapes. Similarly, cooler, high-elevation vineyard sites throughout South Africa offer similar, favorable growing conditions.

South Africa’s wine zones are divided into region, then smaller districts and finally wards, but the country’s wine styles are differentiated more by grape variety than by region. Pinotage, a cross between Pinot Noir and Cinsault, is the country’s “signature” grape, responsible for red-fruit-driven, spicy, earthy reds. When Pinotage is blended with other red varieties, like Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah or Pinot Noir (all commonly vinified alone as well), it is often labeled as a “Cape Blend.” Chenin Blanc (locally known as “Steen”) dominates white wine production, with Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc following close behind.

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Pinot Noir

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One of the most finicky yet rewarding grapes to grow, Pinot Noir is a labor of love for many. However, the greatest red wines of Burgundy prove that it is unquestionably worth the effort. In fact, it is the only red variety permitted in Burgundy. Highly reflective of its terroir, Pinot Noir prefers calcareous soils and a cool climate, requires low yields to achieve high quality and demands a lot of attention in the vineyard and winery. It retains even more glory as an important component of Champagne as well as on its own in France’s Loire Valley and Alsace regions. This sensational grape enjoys immense international success, most notably growing in Oregon, California and New Zealand with smaller amounts in Chile, Germany (as Spätburgunder) and Italy (as Pinot Nero).

In the Glass

Pinot Noir is all about red fruit—strawberry, raspberry and cherry with some heftier styles delving into the red or purple plum and in the other direction, red or orange citrus. It is relatively pale in color with soft tannins and a lively acidity. With age (of which the best examples can handle an astounding amount) it can develop hauntingly alluring characteristics of fresh earth, savory spice, dried fruit and truffles.

Perfect Pairings

Pinot’s healthy acidity cuts through the oiliness of pink-fleshed fish like salmon and tuna but its mild mannered tannins give it enough structure to pair with all sorts of poultry: chicken, quail and especially duck. As the namesake wine of Boeuf Bourguignon, Pinot noir has proven it isn’t afraid of beef. California examples work splendidly well with barbecue and Pinot Noir is also vegetarian-friendly—most notably with any dish that features mushrooms.

Sommelier Secret

For administrative purposes, the region of Beaujolais is often included in Burgundy. But it is extremely different in terms of topography, soil and climate, and the important red grape here is ultimately Gamay, not Pinot noir. Truth be told, there is a tiny amount of Gamay sprinkled around the outlying parts of Burgundy (mainly in Maconnais) but it isn’t allowed with any great significance and certainly not in any Village or Cru level wines. So "red Burgundy" still necessarily refers to Pinot noir.

STC373714_2014 Item# 360879