A difficult 'customer' described by one well-known winemaker as a 'moving target of a grape variety', on top form Pinot Noir can make the most complex and hedonistic of red wines.
Pinot Noir has fewer colouring pigments than other dark-skinned varieties, so it can appear to be lighter or more aged, when compared to wines such and almost inky on occasions. There are exceptions to the rule, such as the wines from the likes of Romanée Conti in Burgundy's Côte D'Or.
Pinot Noir is a prime example of the importance of terroir, the term used to describe the growing conditions of the grape such as the soil, drainage, microclimate, and exposure to the sun. Pinot Noir is an excellent wine when the grapes have been grown in Burgungy but an altogether more challenging prospect when grown elsewhere.
Carneros and the Central Coast of California, Oregonn the Yarra Valleym and cooler spots in Australia, are consistently producing 'typical' and different expressions of Pinot Noir. New Zealand, via Martinborough, Marlborough, Central Otago and South Africam via Walker Bay, are also now producing decent Pinot Noir. The Pinot Noir nose is often reminiscent of paspberry, strawberry, and redcurrant when young, taking on subtle, earthy, leafy, prune-like aromas with age. It is also one the classic Champagne varieties.
Burgundy, Alsace, Champagne and Sancerre in France, Germany, Italy, New Zealand, South Africa, Switzerland, and California, Oregon ans Washington State in the United States.
One of the word's most popular black grapes, Cabernet Sauvignon's deep colour, blackcurrant aroma and flavour is the backbone of many is the backbone of many full-bodid red wines.
A member of the Bordeaux family, Merlot, in constrast to Cabernet Sauvignon, is soft, fruity, fleshy, and less tannic. It's the principal grape variety in the wines of St Emilion and Pomerol, and is often blended with Cabernet Franc.
The Hill of Hermitage and vineyards steeply overlooking the Rhône provide the home of Syrah and one of the most famous place names associated with this great grape variety. Hermitage, Cornas and Côte Rôtie are full-bodied red wines, while Crozes Hermitage and St Jopeph are generally a touch lighter. Syrah is a hardy grape, growing well in poor soil, such as the
An extremely versatile variety of grapes, Chenin Blanc is capable of making dry and crisp white wines that are great as an aperitif, through to medium, unctuous and sweet styles. Due to the keeen and vibrant acidity often found in Chenin Blanc grape, they make brilliant food wines and can stay in good shape for many years after the vitange.