First, let me thank everyone who responded to last week’s blog request to complete our survey on our proposed wine and dinner club at the LEX 530 Event Center. If you haven’t yet completed the survey I would really appreciate you do so here. We need as many opinions as we can get to make the wine and dinner club just what you want and for it to be a success.
I have written on specific Pinot Noir wines in the past but I have never addressed the actual grape and its history. I’ll share with you in today’s blog what I know and what I learned in my research on the topic.
Since I didn’t drink Pinot Noir wines early in my wine-drinking days, over time I have had to acquire a taste for Pinot Noir wines. Today I am pleased to say I have done so. I now enjoy them very much and drink them often. When we release our 2015 Glenwood Cellars Pinot Noir (find the story here) it will be the third vintage of Pinot Noir I have produced. I believe this means I am “into” Pinot Noirs.
Pinot Noir’s dominant home and place of origin is the Burgundy region in eastern France, particularly in the Côte-d’Or. Burgundy’s Côte-d’Or is the heart of the Burgundy vineyards. Côte-d’Or is divided into two main wine regions: the Côte de Nuits area is the northern most region while the Côte de Beaune region lies to the south.
Burgundy is home to some of the most expensive wines in the world. I did some research and found some pricing for one of Burgundy’s most famous wines from Domaine de la Romanée-Conti vineyards located in the Côte de Nuits area. Wine-searcher.com indicates the global average price per bottle in August 2018 for Domaine de la Romanée-Conti Richebourg Grand Cru was:
- 2009: $2,981
- 2013: $2,561
- 2014: $2,412
- 2015: $4,065
There are some top vintage, first-growth Bordeaux wines that are not as expensive as some Grand Cru Classe Burgundies.
Pinot Noir grapes are also grown throughout the rest of the world, particularly in California, Oregon, New Zealand and many other New World countries. The grapes for my Glenwood Cellar Pinots come from the Sonoma County and Carneros regions in California. Pinot Noir grapes fair well in cooler climates.
Wine Spectator magazine’s October 2018 issue focused on California Pinot Noir wines. They listed the pricing and rating for more than 200 Pinot Noirs. In reviewing the lists I noticed that the majority of the wines scored in the 88-93/100 range while pricing ranged from $35.00 to $75.00 per bottle. It is important to remember the price doesn’t always speak to the quality of the wine in the bottle.
Pinot Noir Grapes
The Pinot Noir grape is black skinned and is smaller than the well-known Cabernet grape and has a much lighter color than Cabernet or other red wines.
Pinots are fruit forward, have medium-to-high acidity but medium-to-low tannins and a low-to-high body range. It is also good to remember that better quality wines have more body to them.
The aromas and flavors of Pinot Noir vary. Normally you smell and taste:
- Black cherry
Some great foods to pair with Pinot Noirs are duck (my favorite), grilled poultry, fish, pork, beef and another of my favorites: lamb. Pinots also taste great when paired with Italian and Mexican foods. They also pair well with certain cheeses such as Cheddar, Gouda and Edam.
I highly recommend you keep a number of bottles of different Pinot Noirs in your wine cellar or collection. I have learned that it is great fun to experiment with different food and wine pairings involving Pinot Noir…and just to enjoy the wine for its amazing taste.
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Until next week,
Calendar of Events
- November 7th – International Merlot Day
- November 12th – International Tempranillo Day
- November 15th – International Zinfandel Day
- December 16th – National Wine Club Day
- December 20th – National Sangria Day
- December 31st – National Champagne Day