France, Pinot Noir, Red, USA

A Black Wine Club Guide to Pinot Noir

black wine club pinot noir wines

In the world of red wine, few varieties are as revered as Pinot Noir. This finicky grape is the darling of winemakers and wine lovers alike, with a flavor profile that can be at once delicate and complex. From its origins in Burgundy to its migration to new regions around the world, Pinot Noir has captivated palates and imaginations. But what is it about this wine that makes it so special? In this Black Wine Club guide, we'll explore the world of Pinot Noir, from its history to its flavor profile, and everything in between.

Why People Love Pinot Noir Wines

Pinot Noir is one of the most beloved wine varieties in the world. But what is it about this wine that has captivated wine lovers for centuries? For starters, Pinot Noir is known for its versatility. It can be light and fruity or full-bodied and rich, depending on where it's grown and how it's made. Pinot Noir also has a distinctive flavor profile that's hard to replicate. Its flavors range from earthy and spicy to fruity and floral, with notes of cherry, raspberry, mushroom, and even leather. But perhaps what makes Pinot Noir so special is its complexity. It's a wine that reveals something new with every sip, whether it's the terroir of the region where it was grown or the unique style of the winemaker who crafted it.


Pinot Noir is grown in many regions around the world, but it's perhaps most famous for its origins in Burgundy, France. Burgundy's Côte d'Or region is home to some of the world's most renowned Pinot Noir vineyards, including those in the villages of Gevrey-Chambertin, Chambolle-Musigny, and Vosne-Romanée. But Pinot Noir is also grown with great success in other regions, including California's Russian River Valley and Oregon's Willamette Valley. Each region imparts its own unique characteristics to the wine, from the earthy, mineral-driven notes of Burgundy to the fruity, bright flavors of California and Oregon.

Do You Want to Win a Free Bottle of Wine?

Don't miss out on the opportunity to win a free bottle of wine every week.

Enter our weekly prize draw today!


    Pinot Noir grapes thrive in cooler climates, where the grapes ripen slowly and maintain their acidity. These grapes prefer cooler temperatures, which allows them to ripen slowly and maintain their acidity. The ideal temperature range for Pinot Noir is 60 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Cool nights and mild days help to keep the grapes’ acidity level high, while also ensuring they develop their signature fruity flavors.

    Flavour Profile

    Pinot Noir is known for its light to medium body, delicate flavors, and complexity. The wine’s aromas and flavors can vary depending on where it’s grown and the winemaker’s technique, but some common characteristics include cherry, raspberry, mushroom, earthy, and smoky notes. When the wine is young, it has bright fruit flavors and a hint of spice. As it ages, Pinot Noir develops more complex flavors and aromas, including leather, tobacco, and truffle.

    Popular Vintages

    Pinot Noir is a wine that ages well, and some of the best vintages can be decades old. Some of the most popular vintages of Pinot Noir include:

    • 2015: This was an excellent vintage, with many wines exhibiting strong fruit flavors and excellent structure.
    • 2012: Another standout vintage, the wines from 2012 were known for their complexity and balance.
    • 2009: A cooler vintage, 2009 produced wines with bright acidity and red fruit flavors.
    • 2005: Considered a classic vintage, the wines from 2005 are known for their elegance and finesse.

    As with all wine, it’s important to keep in mind that vintage quality can vary depending on the region, winemaker, and other factors. However, these vintages are a good starting point for those looking to try some exceptional Pinot Noir.

    Most Popular Pinot Noir Wines & Details About Each One

    Domaine de la Romanee-Conti (DRC)

    This is one of the most expensive and sought-after Pinot Noir wines in the world, and for good reason. The Domaine de la Romanee-Conti vineyard is located in the Burgundy region of France, and their Pinot Noir is often described as complex, elegant, and earthy. The price tag may be steep, but the experience of sipping on a glass of DRC Pinot Noir is one that wine enthusiasts dream about.

    Williams Selyem Pinot Noir

    This California-based winery has gained a cult-like following among Pinot Noir lovers for their exceptional wines. The Williams Selyem Pinot Noir is known for its bright acidity, bold fruit flavors, and subtle tannins. Their winemaking process involves careful selection of grapes and aging in French oak barrels, resulting in a wine that is both complex and approachable.

    Cloudy Bay Pinot Noir

    From the Marlborough region of New Zealand comes Cloudy Bay Pinot Noir, a wine that is known for its intense fruit flavors and delicate spice notes. This wine is often described as silky, with a velvety mouthfeel and a long, lingering finish. It's a great option for those who enjoy a fruit-forward Pinot Noir with a bit of spice.

    Alternatives to Pinot Noir


    Gamay is a red grape variety that is most famously grown in the Beaujolais region of France. It produces wines that are light-bodied, fruity, and low in tannins. Gamay wines are a great alternative to Pinot Noir because they offer similar flavor profiles, but at a more affordable price point.


    Grenache is a red grape variety that is grown all over the world, but is most commonly associated with the Rhone Valley in France and Spain. It produces wines that are full-bodied, with flavors of red fruit and spices. Grenache is a great alternative to Pinot Noir because it offers a similar complexity and richness, but with a slightly different flavor profile.


    Zinfandel is a red grape variety that is primarily grown in California. It produces wines that are full-bodied, bold, and fruit-forward, with flavors of blackberry, raspberry, and spice. Zinfandel is a great alternative to Pinot Noir because it offers a similar intensity and fruitiness, but with a bit more of a spicy kick.

    Whether you're a seasoned wine enthusiast or just starting to explore the world of wine, Pinot Noir is a grape variety that is definitely worth getting to know. From its delicate fruit flavors and silky mouthfeel to its complex and nuanced aromas, Pinot Noir is a wine that can be enjoyed in a variety of settings and occasions. And if you're ever looking for an alternative to Pinot Noir, there are plenty of other grape varieties out there that offer a similar experience. So go ahead, pour yourself a glass of Pinot Noir and savor the moment!

    Do You Want to Win a Free Bottle of Wine?

    Don't miss out on the opportunity to win a free bottle of wine every week.

    Enter our weekly prize draw today!