One of the most finicky yet rewarding grapes to grow, Pinot Noir is a labor of love for many. However, the greatest red wines of?Burgundy?prove that it is unquestionably worth the effort. In fact, it is the only red variety permitted in Burgundy. Highly reflective of its terroir, Pinot Noir prefers calcareous soils and a cool climate, requires low yields to achieve high quality and demands a lot of attention in the vineyard and winery. It retains even more glory as an important component of?Champagne?as well as on its own in?France?s?Loire Valley?and?Alsace?regions. This sensational grape enjoys immense international success, most notably growing in?Oregon,?California?and?New Zealand?with smaller amounts in?Chile,?Germany?(as Sp?tburgunder) and?Italy?(as Pinot Nero).
Pinot Noir is all about red fruit?strawberry, raspberry and cherry with some heftier styles delving into the red or purple plum and in the other direction, red or orange citrus. It is relatively pale in color with soft tannins and a lively acidity. With age (of which the best examples can handle an astounding amount) it can develop hauntingly alluring characteristics of fresh earth, savory spice, dried fruit and truffles.