Pinot Noir (pee-no nwar) is one of the world’s most planted grapes and most loved wines. The grape is known for producing wines with finesse and aging potential. It is one of the world’s most expensive wines to produce, due to its popularity and difficulty to grow.
In a cooler climate region – such as France, Germany, Italy and Oregon – Pinot Noir wines showcase cranberry, red cherry and mushroom flavors. In warmer climates, the wine showcases flavors of raspberry and clove. You can see this in regions like South Australia, Chile, Argentina and California. The heat (or lack thereof) changes the flavor profile.
Dominant flavors on the nose and palate include cherry, raspberry, strawberry, earth, violet, lilac, sandalwood, mushroom, cola, clove, tobacco, pomegranate and rose.
Pinot Noir traditionally produces a medium to high acidity red wine with low tannins. To increase the tannins many winemakers choose to ferment with whole grape clusters – keeping the stems and the skins on during the fermentation process. This can initially make the wine a little bitter but it increases the tannins in the wine, making it more age-worthy (20 years) and adds a level of depth and finesse to the wine.
If you like Pinot Noir start sipping in all the Pinots! Studies have shown that Pinot Gris/Grigio and Pinot Blanc all have the same DNA as Pinot Noir, they just have different color mutations.
The Pinot Noir grape is native to Burgundy, France. The vines are temperamental and considered difficult to grow as they are persnickety about the climate in which they thrive – one with a long, cool growing season. Often times Pinot Noir grapes are planted near large bodies or water and/or an area that gets a lot of morning fog, such as Napa Valley.
The top producing countries of Pinot Noir wine includes France, United States, Germany, Moldova, Italy, New Zealand, Australia and Switzerland.
Pinot Noir is commonly called Spätburgunder in Germany.
Pinot Noir reigns supreme in the region of Burgundy where it is used to produce both Champagne. It is one of the few red grapes used to produce Champagne, in the famed French wine region. (Chardonnay, Pinot Noir or Pinot Meunier are the grapes used for Champagne.)
Flavors: Cherry, Hibiscus, Rose Petal, Mushroom, Potting Soil
New Zealand is producing world-class Pinot Noir wine that offer great value for the money as compared to old world regions like France. The country has at least six cool-climate region with Marlborough and Central Otago taking the lead (for now).
Flavors: Cherry, Raspberry
While the majority of Pinot Noir wines in the United States come from Cali, Pinot thrives in the cool climate of Oregon’s Willamette Valley, which has a similar latitude and climate as Burgundy. While the region is still young, the Pinot Noir wines coming out of Oregon have received critical acclaim from wine connoisseurs and critics, resulting in the state earning a reputation as being one of the world’s premier Pinot-producing regions.
Flavors: Strawberry, Raspberry, Delicate Floral Notes and Earthy flavors such as Mushroom and Truffle.
The majority of American Pinot Noir wines come from California. The ocean moderates the temperatures in places like Sonoma, Southern Napa Valley and the Central Coast (including Santa Barbara). The wine is typically oak-aged, but the amount of oakiness is comparable to the intensity of the fruit. Cool zone regions do not use a lot of oak. The warmer zone regions produce intense fruit and therefore need more oak support.
Flavors: Cherry, Raspberry, Allspice, Tea, Vanilla
Pinot Noir is one of the best food wines. Pairs best with Pork, Bacon, Beef, Chicken, Duck Confit, Coq Au Vin, Wild Mushrooms.
Pinot Noir should be consumed in a large red wine glass and has a shelf-life of five years or more. The average cost in for a bottle can be from $15 – $45.
There’s a day to celebrate everything, including Pinot Noir wine. Mark your calendar and plan your wine, August 18th is Pinot Noir Day.
Holiday and Hostess Gift, Dinner Party Wine, Pork Feast, Watching the Crown, Golf Course Wine
Carpe Travel collaborated with Maia Parish to compile the grape varietal overviews. Maia Parish is an award-winning events producer, sommelier, wine judge, and media consultant. She lives in Denver, Colorado and likes to eat copious amounts of food. You can find her here www.linktr.ee/thewinemistress.