Origins and history: – the main grape in Burgundy, but also making up a third of most blends in Champagne as well. Tricky grape to grow – likes a cooler climate and is susceptible to every disease going. Wines can vary from the completely and utterly sublime to the very ordinary, but nearly all of them are on the expensive side which makes it difficult to buy. Has had success in Northern states of America (Oregon and Washington) and also in New Zealand too.
Characteristics: – difficult to ripen so doesn’t produce a particularly dark-coloured wine. Don’t be fooled into thinking it is light and easy-drinking however – good Pinots have plenty of elegant red fruit flavours (strawberries, cranberries) with perfumed notes of Earl Grey tea and a good tannic structure.
Famous Wines: – Domaine de la Romanée-Conti, Richebourg, Gevrey-Chambertin (all Burgundy, France)
Good Local Examples: – Catherine Marshall Wines, Newton-Johnson, Bouchard-Finlayson, Hamilton Russell
If it was a Person: – Clive Owen