Pinot noir is one of the oldest grape varieties to be cultivated for the purpose of making wine and it is recognized worldwide as a great wine grape. The reputation that gets Pinot noir so much attention, however, is owed to the wines of Burgundy (Bourgogne), France.
Pinot noir is often described as being a "difficult" grape, to grow, to deal with in the winery, and to find truly great examples of.
Pinot noir is also one of the more difficult wines to ferment. Color retention is a major problem for the thin-skinned berries. Pinot is very prone to acetification and often loses the sometimes promising aromas and flavors it seems to display through fermentation and aging, as soon as it is bottled.
Great Pinot noir creates a lasting impression on the palate and in the memory. Its aroma is often one of the most complex of all varietals and can be intense with a ripe-grape or black cherry aroma, frequently accented by a pronounced spiciness that suggests cinnamon, sassafras, or mint. Ripe tomato, mushroom, and barnyard are also common descriptors for identifying Pinot noir. The most appealing quality of Pinot noir may be its soft, velvety texture. Pinot does not have the longevity in the bottle of the darker red wines and tends to reach its peak at five to eight years past the vintage.