Pinot Noir makes some of the world’s greatest and most sought after red wines. It is the main red grape in the vineyards of Burgundy and Champagne and widely referred to as “the heart break grape” as it is difficult to grow well. Though its home is in Burgundy, France there are many New World regions, particularly Oregon in the USA and Central Otago in New Zealand, that have succeeded in producing excellent wines from the grape.
Pinot Noir makes a relatively pale red wine as it is a thin-skinned grape. Despite the lack of colour, the wines are intensely perfumed and flavourful. A young Pinot Noir smells of fresh crushed raspberries, strawberries, plum jam. As wines made from Pinot Noir age, they begin to reveal aromas of violets, game or truffles. Pinot Noir is rarely blended when it is to be made into a red however in Champagne, it’s often blended with Chardonnay and another red grape called Pinot Meunier to produce some of the world’s finest sparkling wines.