Meerlust 1980 Pinot Noir
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Pinot Noir is one of the world's most prestigious grapes.
Pinot Noir is the Noble red grape of Burgundy, capable of ripening in a cooler climate, which Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot will not reliably do. It is unpredictable and difficult both to grow and to vinify, but results in some of the finest reds in the world. It is believed to have been selected from wild vines two thousand years ago. It is also used in the production of champagne.
The grape, which thrives in calcareous soils, is used primarily for the production of red wine, and it is widely regarded as producing some of the best wines in the world. The wine style is often medium-bodied with high fruit acidity and soft tannins. It can be quite peculiar in fragrance and taste, and not least in structure - which may be why it is referred to as "The Grapes Ballerina".
Pinot Noir changes quite easily and is genetically unstable. It buds and matures early which results in it often being well ripened. Climate is important for this type of grape. It likes best in cool climates - in warm climates the wines can be relaxed and slightly pickled.
In cooler climates, the wine can get a hint of cabbage and wet leaves, while in slightly warmer regions we often find notes of red berries (cherries, strawberries, raspberries, currants), roses and slightly green notes when the wine is young. With age, more complex aromas of forest floor, fungi and meat emerge.
Pinot Noir are large round grapes with thin skins. Relatively high in alcohol content. Medium rich tannins and good with acid.
As a young person, Pinot Noir has a distinctly fruity character such as raspberries, cherries and strawberries.
A mature Pinot Noir, the taste is different. Cherry goes into plum and prune flavors. It smells of rotten leaves, coffee, moist forest floor and animal wine. This must be experienced.
In warm climates you find boiled plum, some rustic, little acid.
If the grapes are over-grown, the wine will be thin.