Origin: Burgundy, France
Mugshot: A gold-digging femme fatale. Slim, tall, elegant, often strikingly beautiful, and always costly. She also often smells of mushrooms.
Local Haunt: Burgundy, South Africa’s Walker Bay, and Elgin, Williamette Valley and Russian River Valley in California, as well as New Zealand’s Martinborough.
Positively waif-like in comparison to the Bordeaux gang across the way, Burgundy’s Pinot Noir is the only real rival to Cab’s heavy crown. It’s finicky nature, susceptible to weather and disease, and even when successfully raised, the vines are remarkably low-yielding, which has earned the nickname, “the Heartbreak Grape”. Also, it’s rumoured that Billy Ray Cyrus…actually forget that. That was about to be dumb.
The fruit notes in a Pinot Noir (ranging from cranberries to red cherries to rasberries to plums) only ever form part of the pleasure, and the remainder is to be found in the many weird and wonderful savoury notes like cloves, mushrooms, forest floor, gunsmoke and truffle.
If you hate tannins, love acidity, crave fungus, and happened to have just won the lottery, Pinot Noir is very much your bag, baby.