This beautiful thin-skinned grape is one of the most prized varietals around the world. Pinot Noir is like the princess in the fairytale Princess in the Pea. It is very particular about it surroundings and is quick to react to anything that is off-putting. It is that very delicacy and grace that has captured so many and has challenged many winemakers.
The light body and low tannin is easy to enjoy for novices but is especially admired by wine lovers. The best of these wines can display a complexity of raspberries, cherries, vanilla, clove and herbaceous earthy nuances. Yet, it all depends on the terroir and where it is being produced.
Pinot Noir became famous in Burgundy where the quality is of legends and commands the highest price. It is also grown in many cool climate regions including California, Central Otago New Zealand, Alsace, Chile, Germany and more.
Pinot Noir wines are easy to pair with great food because it is so versatile. It can go great with mushroom risotto, grilled salmon or duck confit. It is also completely delightful on its own. Below you find great examples of Pinot Noir from around the world. Which style is your favorite?
Domaine Bouchard Pere & Fils – Vigne de l’Enfant Jésus 2012
France – Burgundy – Beaune Grèves – 1er Cru – Red
“I think that the tannins are well-distributed, very silky and refined. Delicious red fruit, fine acidity; it’s all in good proportions there. It’s still youthful however, this is very much a style that will take time to develop more complexity, but I think it already has a good harmony, fine balance. A wine which is certainly made in a more delicate and elegant style.”
Cono Sur – Ocio 2013
Chile – Casablanca Valley – Pinot Noir - Red
“Crisp acidity there. Quite long finish. It is lighter bodied but it keeps lingering and I like the spiciness on the finish. Not a very overt spiciness, but more discreet notes of plum, pepper and ginger. Delicate and juicy style.”
Dopff & Irion – Domaines du Château de Riquewihr – Les Tonnelles 2009
France – Alsace – Pinot Noir - Red
“The palate has medium weight, still with a tannic grip. It is not dominated by fruit really it is more on the meaty spicy side, with that sweet slightly dried fruit now. With some notes of prune, dried berries. Still with a high acidity.”
Bodega NQN – Malma Finca La Papay 2014
Argentina – Patagonia – Neuquen – Pinot Noir - Red
“Quite discreet on the nose at first, so lower level of ripeness here, some crushed red berries, some red plum and very discreet oak. The palate is on the lighter side, with a soft texture here. Soft texture and medium towards high acidity. The fruitiness is still youthful.”
Caves du Paradis – Symphonie 2013
Switzerland – Valais – Pinot Noir – Red
“The fruit is already quite supple and rounded, with a certain evolution. I get some hints here of pain d’épices, like sweet spices, with sweet red fruit, discreet wood. Rather elegant, well rounded, good freshness, discreet wood, and a fairly long finish.”
Champagne La Villesenière – Rosé de Saignée NV
France – Champagne – Brut – Chardonnay – Pinot Noir - Rosé
“Mid-plate really has a nice creaminess, then on the finish the youthful acidity comes back again. It is quite austere and acidity dominated finish. However, I think it is of good quality with its medium weight, intense flavours.”
Domaine Laborbe Juillot – Clos Marceaux Monopole 2013
France – Burgundy – Givry – 1er Cru – Red
“Discrete oak, giving off some notes of vanilla, with fresh sour red berries. Nice volume. Very good persistence, still youthful with a fresh acidity, very vibrant, elegant with delicate red fruit. Certainly a wine of quality, something I would like to age for sure.”