A-Z Guide to Finding the Best Pinot Noir
When it comes to the world of wine there is no shortage of options and different selections for you to choose from. Depending on your taste preference, you can choose from an array of red or white wine selections all of which range in terms of their tastes and the way in which they are made. While drinking win may seem as simple as pouring up a glass and washing it down, it’s far more complicated than what you may have thought.
When it comes to wine, there are several different factors that you need to look for before being able to decide on which selection is just right for you.
Every wine selection has subtle notes and hints of every ingredient and process which was used up until the final stages in which it was bottled. Because of this, you’ll notice a distinctive difference in every bottle of wine that you taste regardless if they’re made from the same type of grapes or not.
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This is the main reason why there is so much robust information out there regarding wine and how you should approach tasting and consuming it.
If you’ve been drinking wine for quite some time now, you’re probably familiar with terms such as Moscato, Merlot, Chardonnay, and more all of which are names for certain types of wine varieties that are made using a specially selected variety of grapes. All of these wine varieties offer you the ability to get a taste of robust flavors and unique hints of subtle ingredients that are infused into your chosen bottle of wine.
One of the most popular wine varieties out on the market is Pinot Noir, pinot noir is an especially rich red wine variety that is commonly consumed by wine lovers across the globe. Pinot Noir is actually a type of red-skinned grape that is commonly used to make red wine.
Pinot Noir that hasn’t been aged for a long time usually has a violet or red hue. Pinot Noir is one of the main noble grapes behind some of the most award-winning red wine selections out on the market right now. While Pinot Noir grapes originated in Italy as the main place for their primary growth, they are now grown in several different parts of the world across various regions.
When Pinot Noir grapes are aged, they tend to lose their color intensity, and the end resulting wine can have a color very similar to red bricks.
Pinot Noir is also used in the making of several different white wine varieties including sparkling wines and rose however the bottling and fermentation process is vastly different. If you’re someone who is interested in drinking a premium pinot noir wine selection but don’t have the information needed to begin your search for the perfect option, you’ve come to the right place.
In this guide, we’re going to go over all of the various aspects that you need to be informed about when choosing a pinot noir wine variety and how you can go about choosing the perfect bottle for your desired taste preference.
Every pinot noir wine variety out on the market will vary in its taste depending on the region in which the grapes were grown. We’ll cover the different regions that pinot noir grapes are grown in on top of some of our top recommended pinot noir selections that you can pick up today.
To begin, let’s take an overview of Pinot Noir and how it tastes in addition to the growth process involved with cultivating the grapes before they are bottled.
Pinot Noir: What is it & How Is It Produced?
Pinot Noir grapes are cultivated in several different regions across the world however the fact remains the same that their taste and unique appearance are a favorite with many wine drinkers.
While pinot noir usually has a very uniform taste, it can vary depending on the specific region in which the grapes used in your chosen bottle of wine were grown. All pinot noir wine selections have a very rich combination of texture, flavor, and aromas that you can sense and inhale simply by opening the bottle which is a great practice if you’re in a wine tasting environment so that you can get a glimpse of the wine you’re drinking before you purchase it.
Pinot noir wine is known for having a very light to medium body taste profile that is typically infused with flavors of subtle earthy tones and other key ingredients like cherry and truffle.
You can also pick up on a lot of other natural ingredients that are infused into a lot of pinot noir wine varieties such as blackberry and mushrooms. There are a lot of pinot noir fields in areas such as Oregon, California, New Zealand, and many other regions. Pinot Noir has been used in the production of red wine for well over 2,000 years, which is why it’s one of the most highly sought-after wine types currently available on the market.
When planted, pinot noir is prone to mutations during the growth process which produced clones in the process. Regular or first-generation pinot noir grapes are also known to develop mold, fungus, and root rot which is why many vineyard owners choose a specific pinot noir clone to plant in their soil depending on the conditions of the soil and common problems faced in their primary area of growth.
If a vineyard owner decided to use several different pinot noir clones in their field, the wine yielded from the crop will vary in terms of taste, color, and other notable features.
Pinot Noir has a very distinct flavor profile that incorporates a lot of very unique elements. In the next section, we’re going to go further in detail about the overall flavor and profile of pinot noir so that you can decide if it’s the right option for you or not.
Pinot Noir: Overall Flavor Profile
Pinot Noir is a very robust and full-bodied wine variety that encompasses a lot of different tastes and flavors. While each wine selection contains different flavor elements and profiles, there are some consistencies within the creation of pinot noir that most vineyards follow.
When you buy a particular pinot noir variety, you’ll notice that it contains these key factors and elements which will help you distinguish between pinot noir and other types of red wine varieties.
Below, we’re going to go over all of the most common flavor elements and tastes that you can find in any high-quality pinot noir wine selection. Make sure that you read the following section in full to make sure that you know all of the flavors you’ll find in any premium pinot noir wine that is readily available on the market. Each of these various elements plays a key role in how the end result of a pinot noir is crafted from the ground into the bottle.
Pinot Noir Wine Profile Overview
- Aroma- cloves, vanilla, tobacco, caramel, mushroom, licorice, cola
- Tannin- medium-low to medium
- Oak- French oak barrels, American oak
- Fruit- plum, black cherry, raspberry cherry, cranberry,
- Acidity- medium-high to medium
- Serving Temp- (60-64 Degrees Fahrenheit/ 17 Degrees Celsius)
- Ageability- 2-16yrs depending on the desired age and wine style
Now that you know a little more about the overall flavor profile of pinot noir and the various elements that it contains, it’s time to look at some of the different pinot noir variations that exist out there. Each region that pinot noir grapes are grown in infuses a different taste and flavor dependent upon the various natural elements surrounding the local environment in which the grapes are grown.
In the following section, we’re going to go over some of the most common wine varieties and how they differ in taste depending on the region in which the grapes are grown. While the following wine varieties are grown in separate regions, you can find these type of wine selections in virtually any wine store near your location.
Pinot Noir Variations
- New Zealand- acidity zesty, toasted sugars, volcanic minerals, vivid red fruit
- Champagne– herbal complexity, red fruit
- Oregon- loam minerals, meaty, firm tannins, muscular structure, black pepper, kirsch
- Burgundy- earthy tones, flint minerals, dried herbs, vivid red fruit, mushrooms,
- Sonoma Coast- black pepper, fresh earthy tones, fruit berries, smoky mineral, violet
As you can see, the environment in which a particular pinot noir variety is cultivated, the flavors will vary significantly and add unique elements that you won’t find anywhere else. Now, we’re going to look at some of the most popular regions that pinot noir is grown in so you can see how every culture uses its own customs, traditions, and beliefs to create their bottled wine selections.
Most Popular Wine Regions
There are several different places in which pinot noir is cultivated, grown, and bottled which is what makes it such a robust and unique wine selection.
Pinot Noir is grown in many different regions across the globe all of which produce significantly different types of pinot noir wine selections that are loved across the world. If you’re interested in being able to distinguish the difference between each type of pinot noir wine option that is out on the market.
In the following section, we’re going to discuss some of the most popular pinot noir wine growing and cultivation regions across the globe that produce high-quality pinot noir for your consumption. The region in which a certain pinot noir is grown will have a huge impact on its overall taste and flavor profile so it’s important to know some of the subtle differences that pinot noir goes through depending on the region in which it’s grown.
Pinot Noir Wines by Region
- California: California is one of the most popular pinot noir regions in the united states and it is well-known for making some of the best type of pinot noir available worldwide. Pinot noir produced in California typically has a very bold taste that is full of fruity flavors and underlying tastes. California pinot noir also has a lot of undertones of raspberry and cherry in addition to cola, caramel, clove, vanilla, and more.
- France: France is the birthplace of pinot noir and is still known today for being some of the best pinot noirs out on the market. French pinot noirs generally have a very light taste and are infused with dominant tones of earthy flavors and aromas that are subtle yet noticeable. French pinot noirs also have hints of mushroom and wet leaves which gives the wine a medium body taste that is refreshing and appealing. French pinot noirs are also known to have fruity and floral aromas that add a pleasant overall flavor to the wine.
- Germany: Germany is one of the primary regions that produce pinot noir currently and ironically it borders France which is the birthplace of pinot noir. German pinot noir is known for having a flavor that mixes all of the common elements you would find in many French and US pinot noir wine selections. Most German pinot noir wine selections have a very earthy tone and are infused with aromas such as cherry and raspberry.
Pinot noir comes in a variety of different families and categories all of which vary in terms of their flavor and taste. Each of these pinot noir wine selections is made using pinot noir mutations which in turn create separate families from which a wide range of different grapes can be grown.
All of these pinot noir varieties have different tastes and flavors which reflect the particular family from which they are produced. Below, we’re going to take a look at some of the most common Pinot family options that are out there besides the regular pinot noir that you’re familiar with.
Pinot Noir Family Varieties
- Pinot Grigio– Pinot Grigio means grey in Italian and uses the same grapes are pinot gris for production. Pinot Grigio is made using a very unique and special cultivation process that infuses an array of unique flavors and tastes throughout the entire bottle of wine. Pinot Grigio has a very fresh fruit aroma and is generally a very light body wine which is why so many people enjoy it as their main wine selection.
- Pinot Gris-Pinot gris also means grey in Italian similar to pinot grigio however the process used to make the two varieties is vastly different. Pinot Gris is made using grapes that have a rather pink tint and you’ll be able to notice the color difference once you open the bottle. Pinot Gris is known for being very rich and having a taste that is infused with honey.
- Pinot Blanc- Pinot blanc means white in French and pinot blanc is known for having the perfect balance of light tastes and a refreshing crisp tone to the overall flavor of the wine. Pinot blanc is perfect for those that want a high-quality glass of pinot wine without the heavy and bold taste commonly found in pinot noir wine varieties.
Now that you know a little bit more about the various types of pinot noir wine varieties out there and how they differ in terms of taste, it’s time to take a look at how pinot wine selections are made and how the entire creation process plays a role in the ending taste that you’ll find in any pinot wine variety that you decide to go with.
How Pinot Noir Is Made
While each pinot noir wine selection is made using a different creative process and several varying ingredients, the creation process is generally the same across the board.
Knowing about the process involved with making the various pinot noir can help you decide on which variety is best for your preferred taste pallet. In the following section, we’re going to go over all of the steps involved with making Pinot Noir so that you can decide on the right bottle for you. Make sure you read the following section in full so that you can totally understand all of the critical elements that are combined to make the pinot noir selection of your choice.
Sorting & Harvesting
After the grapes have grown to their full blossom and are ready to be picked, they will be sorted to separate any stems, insects, or loose leaves from the usable grapes. During the sorting process, contaminated grapes will also be removed from the overall batch to ensure that the resulting bottle is a premium selection free of any potential contaminants.
The sorting process is oftentimes done by someone with a lot of experience in grape sorting and is done all by hand. Sometimes the grapes will also be run through a dosimeter just to ensure that no extra contaminants or other products make their way into the final mix that will be used to make the wine. After sorting, it’s time for the next step.
Once the grapes are sorted, it’s time to ferment the grapes and this process starts out by the grapes being put through a crusher which splits them down the middle. Once the grapes are split, the juices in them are released and captured in a large vessel in which they sit for a predetermined amount of time.
The soaking process allows the grapes to develop the proper amount of native yeast which begins the fermentation process. The process of fermentation allows the yeast to consume the natural sugars in the grapes which is what is ultimately converted into alcohol in the end product.
Pinot noir wine is oftentimes fermented at very low temperatures which allows it to retain the aromas that are naturally produced from the ingredients used in its creation process. During the fermentation process, the grapes and juices are often times stirred and pressed in order to further concentrate the naturally contained flavors and aromas. Some winemakers will also use their own choice of yeast to the mixture in order to speed up the fermentation process.
Bottling & Aging
Once the grapes have been picked, harvested, and fermented, it’s time to begin to the bottling process so that the wine can properly age in order to bring out all of the underlying flavors contained in the mixtures complete, the resulting mixture is then place.
Once the fermentation is complete, the wine juices are separated from the solid points in the mixture to skim off any seeds. After that processed into barrels, most pinot noir wines are aged in French oak barrels which is another factor that contributes to the overall taste and flavor of the wine itself.
Once the wine is placed into barrels for aging, the winemaker will decide how long the wine mixture sits before it can be bottled and sold to the public. After it’s aged for the designated amount of time set out by the winemaker, it’s time for the wine to be bottled.
Some winemakers also allow their wine to age once it has been bottled to further bring out any in-depth flavors and tastes in the mixture. After the wine has been bottled and aged properly, it will be packaged and transported to wine stores across the world for consumption.
Now that you know a little bit more about all of the different factors that go into making a premium selection of pinot noir, it’s time to begin looking at some of our tops recommended Pinot Noir wine selections. There are a lot of different Pinot Noir options out there for you to choose from which can become overwhelming, in the following section we’re going to list some of the most popular pinot noir wine selections ranging in the region and overall taste.
See How Pinot Noir Compares With Other Wines here:
Top Pinot Noir Wine Recommendations
Below, we’re going to list some of our top pinot noir choices that are currently available for sale on the market. All of these pinot noir selections will vary in terms of flavor, taste, and a variety of other factors.
Consider going on a wine tasting to see what kind of pinot noir you like the most before making a habit out of buying random bottles. All of the pinot noir wine selections listed below come in different sizes and taste profiles so keep that in mind before making a decision on which pinot noir wine variety is best for you.
#1 Jean-Claude Boisset Pinot Noir Les Ursulines 2016
Jean-Claude Boisset Pinot Noir Les Ursulines 2016 is a very high-quality pinot noir selection that is produced using controlled yields in order to provide the perfect blend of aromatic flavors and bold tastes.
Jean-Claude Boisset Pinot Noir Les Ursulines 2016 is very pure and has a ruby red color to it largely due to the natural raspberries and strawberries that are used in the fermentation and aging process.
Jean-Claude Boisset Pinot Noir Les Ursulines 2016 is very juicy and has a powerful blend of the perfect ingredients that add a unique flavor you won’t find anywhere else.
#2 Albert Bichot Cote de Nuits Villages 2012
Albert Bichot Cote de Nuits Villages 2012 is a spectacular ruby red pinot noir wine selection that is crafted using premium grape selections which are blended from unique mixes of floral essences and other flavorful ingredients.
Albert Bichot Cote de Nuits Villages 2012 has a very light smoky taste to it and also has redcurrant and raspberry tones infused into the final bottle. Albert Bichot Cote de Nuits Villages 2012 has a bold yet supple taste that is blended with tannins which add a nice crisp taste that every wine lover can enjoy
#3 Joseph Drouhin Cote de Beaune 2015
Joseph Drouhin Cote de Beaune 2015 is a delicate and aromatic pinot noir selection that is infused with a lot of fruity aromas such as strawberry and red currant just to name a few.
Joseph Drouhin Cote de Beaune 2015 has a very rich purple color and contains the perfect balance of bold yet subtle flavors which will tingle your palate. Joseph Drouhin Cote de Beaune 2015 leaves a refreshing aftertaste and has tannins that refine the overall mix to near perfection. Joseph Drouhin Cote de Beaune 2015 has a very light yet round body to the wine selection which makes it a very pleasant drinking option.
#4 Gary Farrell Russian River Pinot Noir 2015
Gary Farrell Russian River Pinot Noir 2015 is a very rich and bold pinot noir selection that is infused with an interesting combination of natural flavors including wild strawberries and raspberry.
Gary Farrell Russian River Pinot Noir 2015 also has notes of pomegranate that accent the delicate floral aroma of the wine brought out by rose petals. Gary Farrell Russian River Pinot Noir 2015 has a violet color and contains hints of cinnamon which add great depth and variety to the wine overall.
Gary Farrell Russian River Pinot Noir 2015 also has grated nutmeg and pink peppercorn, and dried cloves which all bring out the full and rich body experience that this particular wine selection offers. Gary Farrell Russian River Pinot Noir 2015 has a rather medium body taste and feel to it that is combined with Ceylon black tea and cherry cola which add a nice vibrant mix to the wine blend itself.
To top it all off, Gary Farrell Russian River Pinot Noir 2015 has hints of vanilla and blonde toast which make the wine very light-bodied and refreshing.
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FAQs About Pinot Noir
Yes. While most people drink Pinot Noir without previously chilling it, the best way to serve it is chilled to 55-60°F as this wine is highly acidic and with low tannin levels.
Pinot Noir along with Merlot are the two best red wines that you can use to play it safe with food, and they are also typical for the Burgundy region in France where the best red wines are still produced.
If you keep it in the fridge, an opened bottle of Pinot Noir will last you anywhere from 3 to 5 days before it starts to lose the flavor and if you don’t want to drink it, but you don’t want to trow it away, you can always cook it as long as the wine has not spend more than 10 days in the fridge.
Not necessarily. Since Pinot Noir is one of the hardest grapes that can withstand heat, rain, frost, pests, and other natural causes, it becomes the No.1 wanted red wine worldwide. However, not all wines are of 100% Pinot Noir grapes, but there is a 20% blend of different types of grapes that make this sort.
Use all of this information to help you make the right decision about which pinot noir wine selection is best suited for your taste buds. After reading this guide, you should be able to point all of the key differences between each type of pinot noir selection out there in order to establish which varieties offer you the most robust flavor profile that you’re interested in.
By using all of the tips and info in the guide, you will be able to choose between all of the various pinot noir options out there to find your perfect glass of wine in no time.
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