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Pinot Noir Makes for Red Wines with Many Variations

Pinot Noir is a red wine grape that is unique in its bouquet, taste and richness. It makes for light up to medium heavy red wines. It is difficult to assign a typical feature to Pinot Noir. It is extremely versatile and for many winemakers solely the flavour carrier for a particular terroir. Yet, one or more characteristics can be roughly defined. Pinot Noir red wine has a sweet and fruity taste. It is also lighter in its tannin structure and clearer than a Cabernet Sauvignon. Connoisseurs also say that a Cabernet Sauvignon wine is something for the mind, whereas a Pinot Noir mainly speaks to the senses.

Pinot Noir Is Very Demanding

Cultivating Pinot Noir poses a challenge to winemakers, which many like to face due to the high quality. The grape is fickle and prone for various diseases and pests; it therefore needs much care on the vineyard. Yields are usually small, but many winemakers proved the contrary with rich harvests. Pinot Noir prefers cooler climates, but the soil must not be too cold. As the vine buds early, it is soon exposed to frost. The plant also tends to drop many of its grapes shortly after flowering - called ‘coulure’ in French. A cool climate prevents the Pinot Noir grape to ripen too quickly. With a long ripening process, it greatly gains in quality. A difficult balancing act for the winemakers between quality and high yields.

Pinot Noir - Burgundy Wine in the New World

Pinot Noir originates from Burgundy. Yet it is mainly known and popular as a New World wine. In South Africa, Pinot Noir is part of the national grape. Crossed with Cinsaut, it forms the Pinotage grape which combines the sweetness of Pinot Noir with the fruitiness of Cinsaut. If you want to enjoy a Pinot Noir, you can pick a young vintage without hesitation; the red wine is ready to be enjoyed quite early. Patient gourmets let their Pinot Noir premium wine mature for some time as it will gain in taste and richness.

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