I couldn’t have a wine blog and not comment on Pinot Noir. After the release of the movie Sideways, Pinot Noir’s popularity suddenly rose. This delicious grape probably draws the biggest crowd of snobs in the world of wine. It seems that everyone has a different idea on what a good Pinot Noir should taste like. The truth of the matter is that the style of Pinot Noir varies from region to region. The Californian Pinots depicted in Sideways tend to be more fruit forward with higher alcohol levels and softer acidity. A cooler climate like Burgundy, New Zealand, Oregon and Niagara produce complex Pinots with brighter acidity and have hints of earth and cedar. Donning the title Heartbreak Grape, it is thought that Pinot Noir is a difficult grape to grow. Pinot grapes have very thin skins making them more susceptible to the penetration of moulds and fungus. They tend to like warm days and cool nights.
There are some great local Pinots in my cellar. My favourite, of course, is from Coyote’s Run Estate Winery in St. David’s. We, as this is the winery I work for, make two styles of Pinot Noir distinguished by the types of soil that each section of grapes are planted in. Naturally occurring on the property is a red-clay soil, which produces wines that are more fruit forward, perfumed and aromatic. On the other half of the property is a black-clay soil, which produces wines that are more earthy, smoky, rich and spicy. Keeping with the coyote theme, they have been named Red Paw Vineyard Pinot Noir and Black Paw Vineyard Pinot Noir. The Black Paw Pinot won the prestigious title of Pinot Noir of the Year for Canada in 2003 and 2004. Both Pinots are delicious.