The Name Pinot Noir comes from the dark or black colour of the grapes and the shape of the grape cluster on the vine which resembles a pine-cone.
This varietal is usually used to make red wines which are lighter in colour. One of the main producers of Pinot Noir is France, specifically in the wine region of Burgundy. Buisson-Charles, a brilliant producer in Meursault, produce their Bourgogne Pinot Noir Hautes Coutures 2017 from 55 year-old-vines, and is truly impressive for its appellation! The wine has notes of violets and sweet bramble fruits on the nose whilst the palate opens with black cherry and juicy ripe plum before finishing with some spice. It is an easy drinking wine and would pair beautifully with any type of dish, be that beef, pork, chicken, fish or vegetarian dishes.
Though Pinot Noir hails for the Old-World, the New-World also has some delicious offerings of this much loved grape. Ten Sisters, based in Marlborough New Zealand, makes quite a pretty example that has lots of freshness, sweet fruit and which doesn’t take itself too seriously. Their 2019 vintage won a bronze medal at the 'International Wine Challenge 2021'.
Another region, where Pinot Noir shines, is from the Willamette Valley, situated in Oregon on the west coast of the USA. Producer Nicholas Keeler of Authentique Wine Cellars is one of the most dynamic new producers coming out of this region. A French wine barrel expert by trade, he expanded his love and hobby of making wine in 2011 when he produced his first Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Authentique's Chehalem Mountain Vineyard Pinot Noir 2016 has great structure, refreshing acidity, and a long and savoury finish on crushed earth and chocolate. One wine definitely to savour!
The Pinot Noir grape is one of the most challenging grapes to grow! Due to the grapes having a thin skin, it makes it sensitive to the terrior in which it grows. Any harsh weather conditions have a big influence on this grape, which means it is susceptible to rot and disease. When a Pinot Noir is done right, it is not one to be missed! If you haven’t discovered a Pinot Noir yet, we encourage you to try something different and explore this popular grape varietal!
If sparkling wine is more your preference, Pinot Noir is often blended with Chardonnay to make Champagne, we highly recommend one such blend from Champagne Corbon, their Absolument Brut NV. Now you know a bit more about the grape and the challenge of growing it, why not raise a glass to the talented wine makers who are producing these fine wines!