About Pinot Noir
Pinot Noir, along with most red wine grape varieties when crushed, has colourless juice. The red colour pigment is part of the skin and will only colour the resultant wine if the juice is left in contact with the crushed skins. In Marlboroughand in Central Otago significant volumes of Pinot Noir are grown to produce grapes for our sparkling wine industry.
Pinot Noir is planted in Wairarapa, Marlborough, Nelson, Waipara and Otago. Try the Gold medal wines from this year’s New World Wine Awards - all different, yet all displaying classic Pinot Noir flavours as well as their regional differences. The grapes are thin skinned and form tight bunches and are therefore very susceptible to fungal attack. This variety is also very climate sensitive and requires cool nights and hot days to ripen and produce ripe and complex fruit flavours, rather than just sugar sweet grapes that produce wines of high alcohol and little flavour. Given the vagaries of the weather and climate in general, it is a very difficult grape to produce consistently top wines from, which is why it is often likened to attempting to find the Holy Grail in wine making!
Outside of the Burgundy region in France, New Zealand is one of the few areas in the world that suits Pinot Noir and is able to produce, in most years, consistently good Pinot Noir. Good Pinot Noir has aromas of warm, spicy, red berry, strawberry and cherry characters and will often develop savoury, earthy mushroom components. The wine is textural in your mouth, will have soft ‘fine’ tannins and good underlying acidity.
Pinot Noir food match
It is a wine that complements light meats and bird dishes as well as salmon and a range of pâté and cheeses - a classic match with New Zealand Spring Lamb.