In the wine world pinot noir is the difficult child. Attention seeking, and needing lots of love and care from viticulturalists and winemakers alike, it is the variety beloved of those red winemakers who love a challenge. Absolutely sublime when it is good, but thin and disappointing when it's not, pinot is worth the effort. Good pinot is ethereal and the aromas and flavours can range from strawberry to cherry to forests bestrewn with mushrooms. Quite frankly there is no other wine like it.
In the vineyard pinot buds early and ripens early and prefers a cool climate with long autumns and plenty of hang time in the vineyard. The best results come from tiny crops – sometimes only one bunch or two bunches per plant, which makes it an expensive wine to produce. As far as winemaking goes pinot demands plenty of hands on labour- hand plunging of skins and as little pumping and filtering as possible. It does benefit from maturation and fermentation in French wood and prefers the most expensive barrels.
All the effort to produce good pinot noir makes sense at the table where its sophistication and complexity can add an extra dimension to a simple coq au vin, or a duck breast.