Blog Post

Varietal of the Month: Pinot Noir

Last Updated: May 24, 2024
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Pinot Noir is anything but a simple wine. What the French call “l’enfant terriable” is a bizarre and difficult to grow vine, often risky for winemakers. Pinot Noir is very difficult to grow because it needs a stable climate: neither too hot (too fast ripening), nor too cold (correct tannin evolution). It is also strongly subject to fungal diseases and rotting, so as to often compromise the quantity and quality of the grapes. In short, those who cultivate this vine must know it very well, trying to interpret every agronomic year and recent climatic changes with extremem intelligence.

Why then cultivate it? The answer is frank and straightforward: Pinot Noir is the wine of the wines. It’s like that capricious little boy in the vineyard, when followed and educated with agronomic intelligence, he turns into an elegant and refined gentleman in the glass, which evolves and improves with the years. Today, Pinot Noir is produced all over the globe, from Burgundy, to the peaks of South Tyrol, and to the "end of the world" in Patagonia or New Zealand.

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Pinot Noir Facts:

⦁ It’s delicious served chilled at 58 to 62 degrees Fahrenheit. Too warm and it can start to taste too smoky and earthy, too cold and you’re going to lose the berry, black cheery and plum flavors.

⦁ It’s one of the oldest varieties in the world having been in existence since the Roman times and over 1,000 years before Cabernet Sauvignon.

⦁ It’s vastly used in Champagne production, Dom Pérignon himself began using Pinot Noir in the late 17th century to make sparkling wines.

⦁ Pinot Noir is the 10th most planted grape in the world.

⦁ France, USA, and Germany are the world’s biggest Pinot Noir producers.

Pinot Noir Pairings:

Despite its particular characteristics, Pinot Noir lends itself to successfully accompany numerous dishes. It is particularly recommended for roasts, white meats, pasta dishes and fish fillets. You can easily create a harmonious link with numerous dishes without penalizing the flavors. The most important thing is to avoid combinations with extremely spicy or overly elaborate preparations.

Must-Try Pinot Noirs:

2015 Cloudline Pinot Noir – Williamette Valley, Oregon ($20)

Winemaker Notes: On the nose, the earth and fruit clearly say Oregon. Nicely structured, with good complexity, the 2015 Cloudline Pinot Noir has deep, dark berry fruits, blue fruits and cola nuts on the nose and palate. A long, complete finish wraps the experience up nicely.

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2014 Pinot Nero “Riserva” del Klosterhof – Trentino Alto-Adige, Italy ($29)
Winemaker Notes: Powerful Pinot Noir with intense cherry red color, a deep and fruity burgundy.This wine is aged 16 months in barrique. The selection takes place from the oldest vines of the estate and will be expanded only in particularly favorable years.

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2012 Domaine Tollot-Beaut Bourgogne Rouge – Burgundy, France ($33)

Winemaker Notes: Delicate and floral on the palate, the 2012 is an excellent choice for drinking now and over the next few years. Sweet red berries, flowers and mint grace the soft, inviting finish.

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2004 Casa Marín Lo Abarca Hills Pinot Noir – San Antonio Valley, Chile ($65)

Winemaker Notes: Located on a gentle hillside slope that surrounds the town of Lo Abarca, with western exposure facing the ocean. The soil is mainly calcareous with a small percentage of clay and lime, and the climate is quite windy, which results in lower grape productivity and improved quality. Intense aromas of plums and raspberries, with subtle undertones of smoke and vanilla. Long persistence with smooth, complex tannins.

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2011 Marcassin Vineyard Pinot Noir – Sonoma Coast, CA ($250)

Winemaker Notes: The 2011 Pinot Noir Marcassin Vineyard has sweet berry fruit, roasted herbs, incense, a touch of background wood spice and foresty notes all present in this medium-bodied Pinot Noir. This was a challenging vintage, but the wines turned out outstanding, and very Burgundian. The alcohol is 13.9%, which is one of their lowest sugar levels. The wine presents a very attractive, moderately intense perfume, good acidity and excellent precision. Drink it over the next 7-8 years.

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Thank you for reading Wineemotion USA’s very first wine blog and we hope you taste and enjoy these fantastic Pinot Noirs, perhaps in a Wineemotion wine dispenser. Our objective is to provide monthly educational blogs on any wine variety you can imagine, from Amarone to Zinfandel. Make sure to tune in for February’s wine of the month!

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About Wineemotion

Wine dispensers by Wineemotion™ USA are the perfect complement to any wine-by-the-glass program. Wineemotion™ is the creation of Riccardo Gosi, the internationally renowned creator of modern day wine dispensing systems that have transformed how wine is sold and served worldwide since 2003. Our patented wine dispenser technology eliminates cross aromatic contamination, preserves wine for over 30 days and increases profit by optimizing your wine-by-the-glass program.

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