Pinot Noir is one of the oldest grapes to be cultivated for making wine and is grown around the world mostly in cooler regions. It is widely thought that Pinot Noir grapes produce some of the finest wines in the world. Pinot Noir is known as a difficult grape to grow and ferment because demands constant care and optimum growing conditions. Pinot Noir is a thin-skinned black wine grape that ripens early in the season. By volume most of the Pinot Noir in America is grown in California with more than half of the statewide plantings of 30,000 acres are grown in Sonoma and Monterey Counties. Pinot Noir pairs with a wide variety of foods and is considered by many to be one of the world's most versatile food wines. Food pairings that work best with Pinot Noir are simple and rich. Pinot Noir pairs great with mushrooms, beef, lamb, pheasant, duck, pork, cheese, bacon, fresh herbs, chocolate, creamy sauces, spicy seasonings, and grilled meaty fish such as salmon, shark, and swordfish.
Pinot Noir wines have a light to medium body with an immensely broad range of bouquets, flavors, and textures. Pinot Noir does tends to reach its peak at five to eight years past vintage. Pinot Noir often has one of the most complex bouquets of all varietals. The bouquets / flavors of Pinot Noir include scents of cherry, strawberry, raspberry, ripe tomato, rose petal, violet, sassafras, rosemary, cinnamon, caraway, peppermint, rhubarb, beet, oregano, green tomato, green tea, and black olive. Pinot Noir wines processed / aged in light oak tend to exhibit bouquets / flavors of vanilla, coconut, and sweet wood. Pinot Noir wines processed / aged in heavy oak have bouquets / flavors of oak, smoke, toast, and tar. Pinot Noir wines processed / aged in the bottle have bouquets / flavors of cedar and cigar box. The soil that Pinot Noir wine grapes are grown in also has an effect on the bouquets / flavors of the wine with hints of mushroom, earth, barnyard, truffle, leather, and meat.
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