Capricious Pinot Noir

Pinot Noir (called in Germany Spätburgunderem and in Italy Pinot Nero) comes from Burgundy, where it was grown in Roman times. In the Middle Ages vines were cultivated by monks and wine was used for liturgical purposes. It is very susceptible to genetic mutations, that is why it has many “brothers” and “sisters” like Pinot Blanc, Pinot Gris, Chardonnay – the University of California in Davies has documented the existence of about 100 natural subspecies of Pinot Noir. Nowadays it is present all over the world, but is especially valued in regions with colder climate. The variety that is difficult to grow gives light red wines with relatively light colour. What is characteristic for Pinot Noir is aroma of cherries, strawberries, raspberries and delicate texture in mouth with considerable acidity. This variety is good for maturing in barrels, that is why some Pinot Noir wines can be more tart and intensive. Pinot Noir is a capricious and difficult in growing variety. This is primarily due to the fact that Pinot Noir grapes has thin skin, which makes it less resistant to diseases and mold. Secondly, the vine blooms and fruits early and also ripens early. It is exposed to spring frosts, but on the other hand it does not tolerate high temperatures – before the berries gain interesting flavours and aromatic potential, they have too much sugar and too little acidity. Then the wines produced are too alcoholic or too sweet, without acid balance. Ideal conditions for growing Pinot Noir are places with a moderate climate – not too harsh winters, not too hot summers and long, sunny and dry autumn. Another problem is efficiency – unlike Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir gives high-quality wines only when yield is very low, what clearly shows that Pinot Noir is extremely easy to spoil and due to its capriciousness you can find many poor quality wines of this strain. It has week potential for aging (maximum 5-8 years), and despite its high acidity it has light structure. However, the ripening process has a significant impact on wine, which changes its characteristic aromas – fruit notes (cherry, plum, raspberry, strawberry) develop into an extremely sweet, fragrant, floral bouquet. Than we can find there some chocolate, ground, smoke and truffles aromas.

Pinot Noir