Wine & Ratings

Pinot Noir

About Pinot Noir

What Is Pinot Noir?聽

Pronunciation: Pee-noh Nwahr聽

Pinot Noir is a red-wine grape variety identified most closely with the Burgundy region of France, where its history runs deep. Pinot Noir wines are typically medium-bodied, not overly tannic in texture and known for their flavor complexity. The grapes are used for still red wines, ros茅s and many sparkling wines both white and ros茅 in color.聽

Pinot Noir grapes on the vine are a deep blue-black color, usually set in small to medium-sized clusters that are tightly packed. Pinot Noir vines are one of the earliest types to begin spring growth and among the earliest to be harvested.聽聽

Pinot Noir is particular about the climate in which it grows and the soil in which it is rooted. Moderate to cool regions allow slow ripening and low-fertility soils keep the crop yields low, which generally promotes higher-quality wine. As a thin-skinned variety, Pinot Noir is susceptible to mildew and mold and needs extra attention from vineyard managers.聽

Pinot Noir Synonyms聽

In France; Auvernat, Auvernaut Noir, Franc Pineau, Franc Noirien, Pineau de Bourgoyne, Salvagnin, Morillon, Plant Dor茅 and Vert Dor茅. In Germany; Spatburgunder, Burgunder Blauer, Clavner, Schwarzer Riesling, Schwarzer Burgunder. In Italy; Pinot Nero. In Austria; Blauer Nurnberger. In Hungary; Nagyburgundi.聽聽

Pinot Noir Regions

Pinot Noir grapes are densely planted in the French regions of Burgundy and Champagne, the former using them for still red wines and the latter for sparkling wines. Other regions with significant plantings of Pinot Noir include California, Oregon, Italy, New Zealand and Chile.聽

Virtually all red wines made in Burgundy use Pinot Noir grapes, from the basic Bourgogne Rouge to the rare and expensive bottlings from the districts of Chambertin, Volnay and Vosne-Roman茅e. High-quality versions are also produced in the Willamette Valley of Oregon, the Russian River Valley of California and the Marlborough area of New Zealand.聽

In Champagne and in sparkling wines from many other regions, Pinot Noir base wines are commonly blended with Chardonnay and/or Pinot Meunier base wines before they undergo a secondary fermentation that creates their bubbles.聽

Pinot Noir Tasting Notes

Wines made from Pinot Noir can be medium-to-light in color and are typically quite aromatic. They show fruity characteristics ranging from strawberries and raspberries, to red and black cherries along with possible mint, pine, tea and forest floor nuances.聽聽

Pinot Noir is considered a medium-weight wine because its tannins and alcohol tend to be lower than other popular varietal wines such as Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah. Pinot Noir is versatile in food pairing and is a classic match for seafood dishes such as salmon or fresh tuna.聽

Pinot Noir Fun Facts

  1. One of the world鈥檚 most treasured and collectible beverages, the red wine of Domaine de la Roman茅e Conti, is made with Pinot Noir grapes.聽
  2. Pinot Noir is one of the oldest grape varieties cultivated in Europe, dating at least back to the Roman empire in the first century of the common era.
  3. Pinot Noir vines are readily prone to mutations, leading to the existence of dozens of viable selections or clones that have randomly developed in vineyards and were then propagated separately by growers.聽
Related Reviews 1-20 of 39,858
Filter by
rating price varietal Category Wine Style country qualifier vintage publication date