(Pee-know na-wahr) One of the noblest red wine grapes. Pinot noir is difficult to grow, rarely blended, with no roughness.
Food pairings: excellent with grilled salmon, chicken, and lamb.
Districts: makes the great reds of Burgundy in France, and good wines from Austria, California, Oregon, and New Zealand.
Typical taste in varietal wine: very unlike Cabernet Sauvignon. The structure is delicate and fresh. The tannins are very soft; this is related to the low level of polyphenols. The aromatics are very fruity (cherry, strawberry, plum), often with notes of tea-leaf, damp earth, or worn leather.
Yet pinot noir is very transparent to the place where its is grown. “The staggering range of wines produced makes it impossible and pointless to define which personality is the best expression of the variety”, as Craig Camp put it.