I’M BACK, BABY! The Pinot grape is back!
Pinot Noir is a thin-skinned black grape variety that is notoriously difficult to grow. Some of the best examples come from cool climates such as Burgundy in France, Sonoma in California, Willamette Valley in Oregon, and Central Otago in New Zealand.
2021 Pinot!? Why so young?!
Wine connoisseurs often say that Pinot Noir allows the terrior to shine through. AND BOY did Pinot show a sense of place in the 2020 vintage. Most of California and the Pacific Northwest was ravaged by wildfires. White wines and early ripening grapes were less affected but many of the 2020 Pinot Noirs that we have tasted are showing signs of smoke taint. A wine that is tainted wine will have intense smokey aromas and a finish reminiscent of an ashtray. There are ways to test for the volatile compounds that contribute to these off-putting notes and many winemakers decide whether to bottle or dump based on these analyses.
Many producers, like Banshee, did not produce their full lineup of wines in 2020.
Terroir is an all-encompassing (yet vague) French term that refers to the impact of a region’s location and environment on the final wine. Topography, geology, and climate are all factors that can give wines a distinctive flavor.