A very old variety believed to date back to the first century A. D., although the name Pinot appeared considerably later. In Burgundy, the Pinot Noir is the red grape of the Cote d'Or and the Cote Chalonnaise with only a tiny amount grown in the Maconnais. It's wines are the base of some of the best French champagnes to which it gives a pronounced character. Today some outstanding wines are now made in the cooler regions of California and New Zealand
Synonyms; Auvemat, Blauburgunder, Blauer spatburgunder, Cortaillod, Klevner, Morillon, Nagi-burgundi, Nagyburgundi, Noiren, Pinneau, Plant dore, Pinot Verdot, Rot clevener, Savagnin noir, Savagnin, Schwartz Kleuner, Spatburgunder, Vert doreCharacteristics
The clusters are small in size, well-filled to compact which unfortunately encourages mould. The berries are small, oval, blue-black with plump seeds, which are large, light brown and numerous for the size of the berry. Skin is fairly thin and not resistant to water loss. The Pinot Noir both buds and ripens early, and it is susceptible to spring frost which may cause total or partial crop failure, and winter cold.
All the color in the wine comes from the skins as the flesh and juice of the grape are colorless. So as the skins are thin Pinot typically has a light color. The Pinot wines are usually more acidic than those of the Cabernet, but less tannic, rich ruby in color with aromas of the red soft fruits. Description of aromas can include roses, violets, cherries, brambly and more specifically from Burgundy as pepperminty " floral " or fleshy.Food Recommendations
Lighter style would pair best with simple dishes such as roast chicken or even simply prepared fish such as salmon. Grand Cru or new world medium bodied Pinot Noir on the other hand will have sufficient weight and structure to match such flavorful dishes as Enoki Mushrooms and Green Onions wrapped in Bacon or the more traditional fare such as venison, pheasant or hare.