101 Guide to Pinot Noir

What's with the Name?

Pinot Noir translates as 'black pine cone' and it refers to the conical shaped black bunches that the vines produce.

Where is it grown?

Pinot Noir and Burgundy is perhaps the most famous variety / region alliance in the wine world but Pinot Noir's spread is now worldwide and you will find it grown as far afield as New Zealand, Germany, the USA and Chile.

How does it taste?

When it's good, it's breathtaking! Delicacy, finesse, fragrance and complexity are just the start of the adjectives associated with its wines. In younger styles you can expect to find fresh red berry and cherry fruit flavours. Wines that are made for longer term cellaring will typically become more savoury with mouth watering gamey notes.

Pinot Noir and Food?

Whatever anyone tells you, there are no hard and fast rules about food and wine matching. Find food you want to eat and a wine you fancy drinking and you are unlikely to be disappointed.

However, if you are desperately seeking inspiration, here are a few ideas:

  • Young New Zealand Pinot Noir - Grilled Lamb, preferably a little pink. It's a classic combination
  • Young German Pinot Noir - Try a lighter-style, fresh Pinot with roasted Duck. Simple. Delicious.
  • Mature European Pinot Noir - It's a world-famous French dish but Coq au Vin is truly a great mate to an aged Pinot. There's the added advantage that it's comparatively cheap to prepare leaving you a little extra to spend on the wine...
  • Mature Californian Pinot Noir - You can serve fish with red wine and we like roasted salmon here.

Alternative Names?

If you are a fan of German Pinot Noir, you're likely to have a bottle on Spätburgunder (or, less commonly, Frühburgunder) on your table.  The Italians call it Pinot Nero, whilst the Austrians refer to it as Blauer Spätburgunder.

Abbelio's Award Winning Pinot Noir Wines 

In January 2013 The German Wine Institute gathered a host of famous wine critics from China, Japan, Singapore and Hong Kong for the International Pinot Noir Challenge, pitting 20 German Pinot Noir wines against 20 Pinot Noirs from other countries.

The astonishing results put eight German Pinot Noir wines in the top ten and Abbelio Wines are delighted that our Rudolf Fürst Centgrafenberg Spätburgunder "R" came in first and fifth places for the 2005 and 2009 vintages respectively!