Pinot Noir, the “heartbreak grape”

access_time 2020 · 08 · 18

Because it is temperamental and difficult to understand, there is a certain pride among those who manage to grow it successfully and those who discover good bottles. When Pinot Noir is in good hands, it’s one of the wines that takes you to another dimension.

Recognized as the 10th most planted variety in the world, Pinot Noir is also one of the oldest grapes. With their origins in the famous area of Burgundy, it is believed that this delicate grape variety is at least 1.000 years older than Cabernet Sauvignon. Mainly planted in Germany, France and the United States, the truth is that today it can be found in every wine producing country, including the most remote areas. In Chile there are outstanding Pinot Noirs that come from Aconcagua, Casablanca, Limarí, San Antonio and even from the extreme Bío-Bío Valley. Have you tried it? Marques de Casa Concha Pinot Noir Edición Limitada 2018 is a great example of how Pinot Noir from southern Chile tastes.

In fact, there is a certain romanticism around this grape.

Because it’s skin is extremely thin and it’s clusters very tight, Pinot Noir is susceptible to rot, fungus and temperature fluctuations more than any other grape variety. To find the right place to grow it (with the perfect combination of soil and cool weather) is another of the difficulties associated to its production. That is why it’s considered the hardest grape variety to grow and the reason why it has earned the nickname “the heartbreak grape”.

To winemakers (as happens with relationships) this grape requires a lot of time and attention in order to succeed. It’s a constant challenge from beginning to end: from the vineyard to the cellar. And the results can bring sadness and suffering. As sometimes happens with love. But when everything works well, it’s one of the wines that makes you surrender to its pleasure. A good glass of Pinot Noir is able to divert tears of frustration into tears of joy, and to make all that battle in the vineyard worth it.

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When this grape is in good hands, it can create big wines able to take you to another dimension. Although Pinot Noir is a subtle wine, with light body, low tannins and low alcohol. Their main aromas are related to red fruits as strawberries, raspberries and cherries, while a distinctive note of mushrooms is common and predominant. If you don’t get it, think in the aroma of the woods or wet soil. Also, this is a transparent grape, able to communicate its origins in the wine. Is the case of Amelia Pinot Noir 2017 and Marques de Casa Concha 2018, grown in the clay soils of Limarí Valley and only 30 kilometres away from the Pacific Ocean. Two wines that reflect the minerality and freshness of the place, with mature and juicy fruit, irresistible to drink. Two wines with a great but delicate character.

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Considered one of the finest wines in the world, Pinot Noir is also the base -with Chardonnay and Pinot Meunier- of the reputed wines of Champagne. Thanks to it’s colour that’s almost transparent, it can be used to make white, rosé, sparkling and of course, the seductive light red wines that we normally know as Pinot Noir.

At the time of drinking them, this grape variety stands out for its versatility. Works fantastically with a large range of food. From Mexican to Italian, it’s also delicious when it’s pair with duck dishes but also works as a treat with fish. When it comes to cheese there’s no doubt. If you dare, uncork a bottle of  Casillero del Diablo Reserva Pinot Noir 2018 and try it for yourself.

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At the end, the best wine and food matching are the ones you like the most. Cheers for that and Happy Pinot Noir Day!

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