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Pinot Noir

What is Pinot Noir?

Pinot Noir is a black wine grape variety of the species Vitis vinifera that hails from France. It’s one of France’s oldest grapes, cultivated more than a century ago by the Cistercian monks in Burgundy. Today, collectors prize Pinot Noir for its finesse and age worthiness, especially from the most famous vineyards in Burgundy. Due to its popularity and difficulty to grow, it’s one of the world’s most expensive wines.

Pinot Noir is the name of a grape, and the single-varietal wine produced from that grape. The name comes from the French words for “pine” and “black,” a reference to the pine-cone shape of its clusters on the vine and the color of the grapes.

 It’s normal for consumers to ask: is Pinot Noir sweet? This question stems from the fact that Pinot Noir has lovely red fruit flavors and is juicy from its naturally high acidity. But the juicy fruit taste is not an indication of sugar. In fact, Pinot Noir is almost always made in a dry style.

A dry wine means that after the grapes are pressed, the sugar from the grape must is converted into alcohol by yeast. When all the sugar is converted, it creates a fully dry wine. Sometimes, a little sugar is left behind, called residual sugar (RS). This might be purposeful, to give a hint of richness and sweetness to the wine, or it might be because the yeast didn’t finish the fermentation. A few grams per liter of RS is still considered a dry wine, however.

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