£12.99–£16.50, Hedley Wright, Frontier Fine Wines, Fintry Wines, The Wine Reserve, Beaucatcher Wines, Drinkfinder, Cambridge Wine Merchants, Harvey Nichols
There was a clutch of inviting Pinot Noirs in the running for this week's wine, but Chile's Kalfu Kuda won out for its combination of carolling cool-climate fruit and barrel-matured mellowness – spot on for the Christmas table, whether it's set for a traditional turkey fest, or vegetarian, salmon or red meat alternatives. If you can get to the shops in time, it's a perfect bottle for Thanksgiving, too.
Kalfu Kuda also won out for being great value for such quality and varietal expression – a wine of exotic black-cherry perfume, glowing fruit etched with cappuccino and spice, and creamy, oak-polished texture freshened by a streak of salty, wet rocks.
The freshness and elegance come from Ventisquero's Pacific-facing vineyard, Las Terrazas, which breathes in the cool sea breezes and morning fogs and sits on granite soils that winemaker Alejandro Galaz credits with giving vibrancy and tension to the palate. The wine is aged for 12 months in oak barrels, but only 10% new and 20% second use, allowing the purity of the fruit to shine.
As I say, it's versatile enough to cover a variety of Christmas options, but it also went well with a nut-sweet, aged Parmesan and wasn't blind-sided by the rose harissa, salty, oil-cured black olives, tomatoes or fennel seeds in a savoury tart. 13.5%. Empty bottle weight: 600g.
Ventisquero Wine Estates Kalfu Kuda Pinot Noir 2018, Leyda Valley, Chile
£12.99, Hedley Wright; £13.50, Frontier Fine Wines; £13.85, Fintry Wines; £13.99, or £12.99 in any 6 bottles, The Wine Reserve; £14.65, Drinkfinder.co.uk; £14.84, Beaucatcher Wines; £15.99, Cambridge Wine Merchants, £16.50, Harvey Nichols