Pinot Noir is widely regarded as the most important and oldest Pinot grape variety. Among sommeliers, it holds the esteemed position of being the greatest red grape. When at its best, Pinot Noir can produce red wines that are exceptionally transparent, sensual, and ethereal. Even in its average form, Pinot can still yield enjoyable, fruity wines that are a delight to drink.
The birthplace of Pinot Noir is Burgundy, where it reaches its pinnacle and showcases its diverse expressions in the Côte d’Or. Here, one can experience the dark and powerful wines of Gevrey-Chambertin, the delicate perfume of Chambolle-Musigny, and the sweet generosity of Volnay.
While other regions may not consistently achieve the sublime finesse of perfume, mineral texture, and intricate details found in Burgundian Pinot, there are instances where they do, and these wines continue to improve.
In blind tastings, the colour of Pinot Noir is often the first clue, as it appears lighter and brighter red compared to many other wines. Aromas can vary, but they typically exhibit characteristics of cherries, with additional notes of raspberry, rhubarb, beet, earth, and spice contributing to the overall bouquet. Pinot Noir is renowned for its silky texture and lively acidity, giving it a bright, fresh, and expressive quality.
But there is more to Pinot than still wines.
In the Champagne region, it contributes to producing exceptional sparkling wines. Known for its elegance and finesse, Pinot Noir grapes are cultivated in the cool climate of Champagne, resulting in wines with distinct characteristics. With its delicate red fruit flavours, subtle earthy undertones, and a hint of spice, Pinot Noir wines from Champagne offer a unique sensory experience. In the realm of Champagne, Pinot Noir plays a pivotal role as a key ingredient, adding complexity and structure to the renowned sparkling wines of the region.