Updated: Apr 12, 2020
For winemakers around the world this classical grape is considered the Holy Grail of winemaking. The thinner and more delicate skins of the Pinot Noir grape mean this wine can give many a winemaker a sleepless night but can also produce some of the best, and certainly some of my favourite, wines in the world.
One of the oldest grapes around, this grape predates even the Romans and is thought to be over 2000 years old. It is a grape that can truly reflect the terroir it is grown in and is seen as a true test of a wine makers skills. Thin skins on this particular grape means the wine maker has much less room for error. Pinot Noir gets its name from the French words for pine and black. The bunches of grapes are shaped like pine cones so it roughly translates as pine cone shaped black grapes. The pine cone nature of the grapes means they are susceptible to disease and the nature of the thin skin of the grapes mean it’s subtle flavours can be ‘cooked’ inside the grape by too much heat and sun. Despite these difficulties it is still the grape top wine makers love to make, a true labour of love.
It benefits from a cooler climate than some other red grape varietals such as Syrah/Shiraz or Cabernet, meaning there has been a surge in planting of the Pinot Noir grape in our very own England. One thing we can guarantee here is a cooler climate!
Originating from Burgundy in France, this is also its most well known home for production. It generally enjoys the same climate as Chardonnay and is used in many of the best and most well known Champagnes. You will also find some amazing Pinot Noir from New Zealand, in particular Marlborough, and California. You will find a much more fruit driven approach to the Californian style wines but these can also show a much different side.
For food and wine pairings, I recommend our fantastic Davenport ‘Diamonds Field’ Pinot Noir from England with Peking Duck or just a really good traditional authentic pizza. A beautiful wine with nine months oak aging and the current vintage has flavours of cherries and blackberries and plenty of depth. A fantastic addition to the portfolio, and ideal if you want to try something different to the classical Burgundian style.