• Wine world

Pinot Noir: a noble grape variety

  • Tue, Apr 9, 2024 at 10:00
Bunch of pinot noir grapes
Pinot Noir is one of the world's noblest and most appreciated grape varieties, offering a palette of subtle flavours and aromas that will appeal to the most demanding wine lovers. Originally from Burgundy, this grape variety has conquered vineyards all over the world, from Europe to America, via Australia and New Zealand.

The origins of pinot noir

Pinot Noir has a rich and ancient history that goes back centuries in Burgundy, where it is considered the king of grape varieties. Its name, pinot, comes from the conical shape of the bunches, reminiscent of a pine cone. Over the centuries, this grape variety has been introduced to many of the world's wine-growing regions, where it has found the right terroirs to flourish.

The characteristics of pinot noir

Pinot Noir is renowned for its versatility and its ability to faithfully reflect the terroir in which it is grown. Its wines are distinguished by their translucent red colour, delicate aromas of red fruit, cherry, strawberry and raspberry, as well as floral and spicy notes. On the palate, Pinot Noir has a silky texture, fine tannins and lively acidity, giving it remarkable balance and elegance.

However, it is a variety that requires special attention. It is susceptible to disease and pests, and is also sensitive to climatic variations, which can have a considerable impact on the yield and quality of the harvest. When grown in the right conditions, pinot noir can produce world-class red wines that are much appreciated by wine lovers.

Where can you find pinot noir? 

In Burgundy, Pinot Noir is the main grape variety for the production of red wines in appellations such as Gevrey-Chambertin, Chambolle-Musigny and Vosne-Romanée. These wines are often described as complex, elegant and fine, with great bottle ageing potential. Pinot Noir is also grown in the Champagne region for the production of sparkling wine, where it is often blended with Chardonnay and Pinot Meunier.

Pinot Noir is also used to produce high-quality white wines such as Champagne Blanc de Noirs. In this method of champagne production, the grapes are pressed immediately after harvest, producing a clear white juice from red grapes. The juice is then fermented into sparkling wine using the traditional Champagne method.

Although Burgundy remains the ultimate benchmark for Pinot Noir, the variety also thrives in many other wine-growing regions around the world. In the United States, California, Oregon and Washington produce excellent pinot noirs, while in New Zealand, the Marlborough and Central Otago regions are renowned for their elegant pinot noir wines. In Germany, pinot noir is known as Spätburgunder, and is widely grown in the Moselle and Baden regions.

Pinot noir and food pairing

Pinot Noir is a versatile grape variety that goes well with a wide range of dishes. Its soft tannins and refreshing acidity make it an excellent companion for light meats such as roast chicken, duck and pork, as well as mushroom and truffle dishes. It also goes perfectly with soft cheeses such as Brie and Camembert, as well as Asian and Indian dishes.

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