Today is International Pinot Noir Day!

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Today is International Pinot Noir Day. Find out about the grape, the wines and get some recommendations from local French wine importers.

International Pinot Noir Day

What is Pinot Noir?

Pinot Noir is one of the oldest known vine grape varieties. It has been cultivated in Burgundy since the 1st century AD making it at least 1000 years older than Cabernet Sauvignon.


What does Pinot Noir mean?

Noir means black and the word Pinot comes from French word Pineau, which is a diminutive of the word “pin” meaning pine. It is named Pinot Noir because the grape clusters look like black pine cones. 


Any other names?

It’s also known as Blauburgunder, Blauer Arbst, Blauer Spätburgunder, Burgunder, Cortaillod, Morillon, Morillon Noir, Mourillon, Savagnin Noir or Salvagnin Noir.


What wines use the grape?

Apart from Pinot noir as a wine itself, the grapes are also used in the production of Champagne (usually along with Chardonnay and Pinot Meunier) and is planted in most of the world’s wine-growing regions for use in both still and sparkling wines.


In addition to being used for the production of sparkling and still red wine, Pinot noir is also sometimes used for rosé still wines, Beaujolais Nouveau-styled wines, and even vin gris white wines. Its juice is uncolored.


Where is Pinot Noir grown?

Pinot noir’s home is France’s Burgundy region, particularly in Côte-d’Or. 


It is also planted in Argentina, Australia, Austria, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, northern parts of Croatia, Czech Republic, the Republic of Georgia, Germany, Greece, Israel, Italy, Hungary, Kosovo, the Republic of Macedonia, Moldova, New Zealand, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Switzerland, Ukraine, United States and Uruguay.


In Australia, it is produced in several wine-growing areas, such as in the Southern Highlands in New South Wales, Yarra Valley, Geelong, the Bellarine Peninsula, Beechworth, South Gippsland, Sunbury, Macedon Ranges and Mornington Peninsula in Victoria, Adelaide Hills in South Australia, Great Southern Wine Region in Western Australia, all over Tasmania, and the Canberra District in the Australian Capital Territory.


French Pinot Noir recommendations for International Pinot Noir Day


Airoldi Fine Wines

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What is your favourite pinot noir and why?

The Clos de la Roche from Domaine Dujac. I’ve always been attracted to the style of this winery and the mastery in the use of the entire grape which adds an unequaled subtlety not found in many other wines.


International Pinot Noir Day recommendation

Fixin 2015 1er Cru Clos du Chapître from Chez Guy et Yvan Dufouleur. This little wooded touch at the end of the mouth is very charming for a Burgundian vintage of excellence from 2015.


What would you eat with this wine?

A good piece of grilled beef with chips and a pepper sauce. 



International Pinot Noir Day recommendation

Nathalie Taquet’s recommendation for a French Pinot Noir is “a particular varietal wine which is the 2017 “Bourgogne” rouge from Domaine Chanson Père & Fils in Burgundy where Pinot Noir is crowned and renowned.”


The Domaine is one of the mighty producers and négociants, which produces a superb Pinot Noir wine sourced from Côte d’Or where some of its grapes are sourced from several vineyards in Côte de Nuits of North and some selected from plots from its own Domaine in Côte de Beaune. The soil type in the growing regions is clayey-limestone also known as marl which is suitable for the susceptible variety.


In 2017, the growing season had commenced in a typical cold winter, it experienced a warm spring but a cool April slowed down vine growth. Prior to summer, it was rainy but sunny with several heat waves in summer, followed by occasional thunderstorms which provided essential water for phenological growth. Finally, the harvest took place in early September with outstanding and healthy crops which are a necessity for good-wine making.


Such a wine is observed with vivid ruby colour with aromatic, fresh red fruits like red currants, raspberries, cherries, underlying liquorice, earthy, forest floor notes. It is straightforward with mouth-watering acidity, fine tannins and lingering length.


Food pairing?

Roast duck with crispy skin, pan-fried salmon fillets seasoned by herbs or classic boeuf bourguignon are ideal options for the wine.


As part of Bottli’s distinctive “Concierge Service”, Bottli offers a “Sommelier on Demand” to organize private events. Nathalie of Bottli says “It would be a life-changing experience if you are a food and wine enthusiast who seek a specialist for leading the tasting event such as a classic wine comparison between French and Aussie wine or food & wine matching.” 


Clos Cachet

Alexandre Rougeot from Clos Cachet answers our questions for International Pinot Noir Day.


What’s your favourite pinot noir and why? 

Without a doubt Pinot Noir from Burgundy and my heart wavers between Volnay, Pommard or Gevrey-Chambertin or even Vosne-Romanée. Having been born in Meursault, my palette has been formed with nuances of each of these magnificent Pinot Noirs. They have a complex nature, sappy with an incomparable fruit.


International Pinot Noir Day recommendation

International Pinot Noir DayActually a Pinot Noir which pleases me very much is the Santenay from Domaine Alvina Pernot. A winery on the heights of the hillside, South of Chassagne-Montrachet. The fruit is glowing, fresh and with beautiful spices and a lot of freshness. 



What would you eat with this wine?

It can be enjoyed with venison, veal, duck, quail, kangaroo, smoked meats and charred eggplant.


Discover Vin


What is your favourite pinot noir and why?

Aloxe-Corton.  We love pinots from this incredible terroir as these wines have great power and intensity.


International Pinot Noir Day recommendation

Domaine Lupé-Cholet Aloxe-Corton Premier Cru Les Fournières 2015 

This estate was taken over by Albert Bitchot We love this for its power and intensity.  A common reaction when this wine is tasted is (with delight and surprise) “Is that Pinot?” 


This vineyard is featured in the movie Premier Cru (First Growth) – the famous love scene happens in the cellar of the vineyard that grew the grapes in this wine! 



What do you recommend eating with this wine?

Duck or game birds, red wine sauces.



Pierre Stock of France-Soir Wine Selections and France-Soir restaurant talks to us about pinot noir.


What is your favourite pinot noir and why?

Tough question here, my palate is evolving constantly and my curiosity helping to try something new all the time, I am still a big fan of those new modern Burgundy


International Pinot Noir Day recommendation

I am in love with the wines of Antoine Lienhardt for the time being, his domaine is located in Comblanchien in the Cotes De Nuit, he make a very refreshing 2018 bourgogne pinot noir blend of two parcels  , quiet natural , biodynamic, low yield , touch of French oak and minimal sulphites.

Domaine Antoine Lienhardt - Vigneron en Bourgogne - France
Antoine Lienhardt and his dog

What do you recommend eating with this wine?

This is a great wine on his own, it is quiet lifted and does not require much food to combat the gentle tannins, also will be lovely with chicken or pork in cream sauce


Mosaïque Wines

Thomas Gisbert from Mosaïque Wines speaks Pinot Noir.


Favourite Pinot Noir:

When we speak about Pinot Noir we think of Burgundy; I have a weakness for les Pinot de la Côtes de Nuits and particularly enjoy the Burgundies or village appellations from top producers for their price/quality balance.


International Pinot Noir Day recommendation:

At the moment, I am loving the Burgundy Pinot Noir ‘Les Charmes de Daix’ 2016 from Thierry Mortet (RRP $75). It’s a very pretty vintage, with grapes from organic vineyards in Daix and Gevrey-Chambertin. A very fine profile, energetic and a little wooded.The red fruits dominate and there is a certain spontaneity and delicacy that I very much appreciate. 


Food paring:

Recently, I popped into my favourite cheese shop at the Prahan Market in Melbourne (Maker & Monger) and I treated myself to a delicious camembert from E. Graindorge paired with Thierry Mortet red Burgundy 2016.





Le Plonque

Red Pinot Noirs are light wines, with a little body. They generally have intense red fruit aromas (cherry, raspberry) and sometimes with floral notes (hibiscus, rose petals) even spicy (clove) depending on their origin and their vinification. 


When we think of French Pinot Noir, we mainly think of Burgundy. However, it is also grown in the North of France. Alsace produces magnificent Pinot Noirs which are often forgotten. The Pinot Noirs from Alsace and from Burgundy are very different: the Burgundy ones are more structured and have more body; the Pinot Noirs from Alsace are lighter: these are really easy wines to drink.

That’s why we have chosen the Anne de Laweiss Pinot Noir Collection. It’s a delicate and light wine, which has very discrete tannins, and can be drunk at room temperature or slightly chilled (15°C). 

It goes wonderfully well with: 

  • White meats (dishes with a chicken or turkey base) especially served with a mushroom sauce, 
  • Pork (chops)
  • fish (tuna carpaccio),
  • omelettes (especially with mushrooms) 
  • cow’s milk cheeses (comté, camembert rustique) 


Here’s a fun wine expression from a French poet:

Quand mon verre est vide, je le plains… Quand mon verre est plein, je le vide… (Raoul Ponchon)


It’s a French expression which plays on words – translated it means:

“When my glass is empty, I complain… When my glass is full, I empty it”.


The French words “plains” and “plein” are pronounced very similarly.



What wine will you drink for the International Pinot Noir Day?


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International Pinot Noir Day

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