“It’s flavours are the most haunting and brilliant and thrilling and subtle and ancient on the planet.” Or so says Miles (Paul Giametti) from the 2004 film, Sideways. In any case, Pinot Noir is perhaps one of the most well-known and widely planted grape varieties in the world.
With its home in Bourgogne (Burgundy), France, Pinot has found its way to almost every wine-producing region across the globe, in both the Old and New World. Areas such as the Willamette Valley in Oregon, the Yarra Valley, Mornington Peninsula and Tasmania in Australia, and Central Otago in New Zealand are all New World regions that produce outstanding Pinot Noir. The New World approach to Pinot tends to produce wines that are fuller-bodied, richer and more powerful than their Old World counterparts, but still with a level of restraint and elegance that is not always seen in other wines.
In its spiritual home of Burgundy, the wines are truly world-class. From the Côte de Nuits region, appellations such as Gevrey-Chambertin, Morey-St-Denis, Vougeot, Vosne-Romanée and Flagey-Echézeaux, to name a few, produce some of the best examples of Pinot Noir, and allow the full potential of Pinot Noir to be expressed. The flavours are layered and complex, with high notes of red cherry and currant, over sweet spice, and rounded out by earthy, forest floor characters that give the wines weight and balance. In their youth, the wines from Pinot show more bright fruit vibrancy, but with a bit of cellaring, the earthy tones can become more pronounced, leading to richer more complex wines.