Frankly My Dear, It's Always a Good Time to Talk About Pinot Noir

pinot noir

Pinot Noir (“The heartbreak grape”) is like your first “crush".


You know that special someone from highschool you just can’t seem to get over?  Why can’t you forget them? Even years later?

pinot noirNo matter what you tried they remained blind to you. And you know what? That just made you want them more.

You were convinced that if you could just figure out what made them tick, they would be your One True Love.

Wine making shares many of the characteristics of a courtship. 

You lavish attention and love as a grower, but the grapes take something you’ve done the wrong way and..... the grapevine turns its back on you. 

These grapes have a delicate genetic makeup. And they are very thin-skinned. Sound familiar?

They are susceptible to mold and viruses. Their requirements for the ideal growing season are difficult to provide. This is why so few countries and regions can truthfully claim success creating a fine pinot noir wine year in and year out.

You see, just like your old flame, these grapes only have eyes for another.


Pinot Noir Grapes Love Burgundy. The Cote D’Or region of France.

This varietal (type of grape) needs a long cool growing season. And although other regions of France, as well as Germany, Italy and Switzerland do create versions, they are often lighter in color and do not

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achieve the full richness and complexity of the perfect Burgundy region Pinot Noir. California and Oregon too.

In fact, northern California and Oregon can provide a nice long and cool growing season and may one day, through experience and experimentation, actually come close to a great bottle from the Burgundy region. California and Oregon versions are definitely worth trying.

The processing and the “crush” of the grapes is also a delicate ritual. Again, like the big date with your old flame, things can go wrong in a heartbeat. The grapes are so thin-skinned that the winemaker has to be very careful not to let the skins overly influence the color and taste. But.......

When success is achieved the results are wonderful

pinot noir grapesA young "noir" is perfect for every wine lover. Even the beginner wine enthusiast. It’s fruity and alive with taste references to raspberries, plums, cherries.

As it ages the flavor transforms into deep soulful references to figs and prunes, a certain almost smoky well as truffles and fresh earth and lilacs.
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A final comparison to your first crush....

Although an expensive fine Burgundy may be out of your league when you are young and newly smitten, you can take comfort in the fact that it is still out there.... maturing. Maybe waiting for you to return. And like you... it just gets better with age.

Some interesting history of Pinot Noir....

  • They have been grown in the Burgundy region for over 2,000 years
  • Their name is thought to be based on the shape of the grape cluster (“Pinot” - pine cone shaped) and the color of the grape (“Noir" - black).
  • The Burgundy area of France includes the CÔTE D'OR region, which include BEAUNE, BONNES MARES, CHAMBERTIN, CORTON, MUSIGNY, POMMARD, RICHEBOURG, ROMANÉE-CONTI, and VOLNAY.

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Have a look at wines being crushed... watch someone stomp grapes the old fashioned way.

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