Celebrate International Pinot Noir Day with World-class wines from around Australia
Today is International Pinot Noir Day, which means it is the perfect timing to celebrate this ethereal, elegant, expressive red wine.
Read on as we explore all things Pinot Noir and make sure to pour a glass of Pinot to celebrate one of the best wine days of the year.
From ancient origins comes greatness
Pinot Noir (pea-noh nwar) is one of the oldest grape varieties in the world.
The first written record of Pinot Noir was in 1375, however it is believed to have been planted in the ancient territory of Gallia (or Gaul, now part of Italy and France) in 300BC, long before the Roman occupation of Europe. It then survived throughout the Roman rule, the Middle Ages and the devastating vine disease, phylloxera. Incredible!
The history doesn’t stop there either. Pinot Noir has evolved over thousands of years and spontaneously reproduced to create other well-known grape varieties such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Chenin Blanc, Sauvignon Blanc, Lagrein and Savagnin! It really is the Great-Grandfather of the vine world.
The spiritual birthplace of Pinot Noir is now known as Burgundy, France. This is owed to the painstaking commitment of monks cultivating Pinot Noir vines in the region and fine-tuning traditional winemaking methods over the first millennium. Due to the fact that Burgundy was not on the main trading route, Pinot Noir was barely exported during this era and it took many years for the wines to get the recognition they deserved. It is now one of the world’s most famous red wines.
Pinot Noir is also one of the main grape varieties used in Champagne production!
Pinot Noir in the wild
Pinot Noir translates to ‘black cone’ in French, which refers to its predilection to grow in very tight, cone-shaped clusters. Berries also have very thin skins, making this varietal known for its fickle temperament if not managed carefully in the vineyard. It is very particular about where it is grown, preferring cooler climates with longer maturation periods to fully achieve sugar and phenolic ripeness.
The aromas and flavours of Pinot Noir also depend on the type of climate it is grown in. Generally it is a delicate red wine known for its finesse, with a light body, soft tannins and bright acidity.
Pinot Noir is grown across the globe and with over 100,000 hectares under vine, it is the fifth most planted red variety in the world. It is known as ‘Pinot Nero’ in Italian and ‘Spätburgunder’ in Germany and it is also planted in a number of other countries such as Chile, New Zealand, the United States, Canada and at home in Australia!
Common Pinot Noir aromas and flavours are:
- Rose petals
- Forest floor
- Dried herbs
A food match made in heaven
Pinot Noir and duck – you didn’t hear it here first. This is an age-old wine and food pairing with chefs and sommeliers around the world lauding this match made in heaven!
Other great food pairings are salmon, lobster, pasta, lightly spiced Asian dishes and cheese such as Brie, blue and tangy goat’s cheese. More traditional food pairings are classic French dishes like beef bourguignon or coq au vin.
In focus: Pinot Noir in Australia
Australia produces some exceptional, world-class Pinot Noir. Tasmania is famous for exquisite, pristine expressions of this varietal and other great regions are the Adelaide Hills in South Australia, as well as Geelong, the Mornington Peninsula and the Yarra Valley in Victoria. The Great Southern and South West regions of Western Australia are also being heralded as up-and-coming Pinot Noir regions, including Porongurup and Pemberton.
Lowestoft 2019 La Maison Pinot Noir
The fruit was sourced from the small Lowestoft estate vineyard near Hobart, Tasmania.
“This is the initial release of La Maison from this single vineyard site near Hobart. Combines all the best elements of great pinot – elegance, precision, subtle finesse and a fine acidity. On the nose, plum and raspberry notes with darker cherry notes emerge. The palate is super intense with a deep, concentrated core. Yet it delivers with so much of that pinot finesse. Richly layered dark fruits provide a dense core with earthy undertones, Christmas cake and a tea-like character bring life and length.” – 97 Points, Ray Jordan, The West Australian
Strelley Farm Estate 2019 Pinot Noir
A blend of East Coast and Coal River Valley fruit in Tasmania.
“Bright, clear crimson; a fragrant, perfumed bouquet with red fruits and spices galore, the palate elegant and fine boned. Red fruits are again leading the band, with trumpets of spices providing a resounding finish and aftertaste - opening the full peacock's tail.”- 96 Points, James Halliday, Halliday Wine Companion
Dalwhinnie 2020 Three Valleys Pinot Noir
The fruit was sourced from Huon Valley, Lower Derwent Valley and Coal River Valley in Tasmania.
“Medium depth purple-red colour, very bright and youthful, the aromas are of fragrant spices and red cherries: a really beautiful bouquet. The palate follows on from there and is intense and superbly balanced, with raspberry and red licorice added to the cherry. A subtle smoky patina from oak. Fruit-sweet core, and a long, long carry: a magical pinot.” – 95 Points, Huon Hooke, The Real Review
Smithbrook 2021 Single Vineyard Pinot Noir
The fruit was grown on the Smithbrook Estate in Pemberton.
“This aromatic pinot displays dark cherry, wild strawberry and underlying earthy, savoury notes. The palate is medium-weighted with bright, jubey red fruits and a zippy acid backbone.”- Halliday Wine Companion
To shop all FWG Pinot Noir wines, click here.