Pinot Noir is a thin-skinned red grape, capable of producing light-coloured red wines that often feature attractive red fruit flavours, soft tannins and a hint of sweetness.
Although the wines are usually easy-to-drink, Pinot Noir is by no means an easy-to-plant variety. Only in a moderate or cool climate can this early-budding, early-ripening variety develop its delicate, perfumed fruit characters; as it gets too jammy in hot climates and doesn’t ripe properly in overly cold regions. However, due to the high demand, Pinot Noir can be found throughout the main wine regions in the world, with exceptions of the hottest areas.
Pinot Noir is responsible for classic Red Burgundy. The subtle differences of terroir in individual vineyards are reflected in this environment-sensitive variety, and lead to various styles of wines. The communes Gevrey-Chambertin and Nuits-Saint-Georges produce some of the most powerful and long-lasting Pinot Noirs in the world.
Pinot Noir can also be used to make sparkling wines, with the finest examples produced in Champagne.
Other classic Pinot Noir regions include Pfalz and Baden in Germany (it is called Spätburgunder in Germen). Among New World countries, New Zealand produces intensely fruit-flavoured fine Pinot Noirs in Central Otago, Martinborough and Canterbury. Other relatively cooler regions, such as Oregon in the USA, Yarra Valley, Mornington Peninsula in Australia and San Antonio, Casablanca in Chile, also have great potentials in making premium Pinot Noir.
What does it taste like?
Strawberry and raspberry when young,
hints of meat, mushroom and wet leaves with age
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