MICHAEL FRIDJHON: Pinot noirs that consistently please — winter through summer
The difference between a good pinot noir and a great bottle plays itself out in numerous ways
While the warmer days of spring presage a shift from red wine to white, there is one variety that is pretty much the cultivar for all seasons — pinot noir. Significantly less tannic than other reds, paler in colour and characterised more by fruit than richness or weight in the mouth, pinot noir straddles the flavour and textural features of red and white wines.
Pinot noir’s traditional heartland is the Côte d’Or region in Burgundy. However, only a little over 1% of the region’s total production falls into its highest quality category (the grand cru sites). There is actually more pinot planted in Champagne than in Burgundy. This tells you that, even where pinot flourishes, there are very few sites where it yields amazing wine.