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Pinot Noir - St Laurent
When grown with care and passion, Pinot Noir is a fabulous and food friendly red. We have world class "cold climate" Pinot Noir from winemakers in Switzerland, Germany and Austria. Truly unique ones, too.
Swiss Pinot Noir often manages to combine red fruit and notes of autumnal woods with cool and soft tannins. It is subtler in Vaud, bolder in Valais and Geneva, in Eastern Switzerland, it beats anything Germany can produce. Don't miss the unique Swiss "Oeil the Perdrix", a rosé of free run Pinot Noir juice that is dry and complex (and doesn't feel like rosé when tasted blind).
Austrian Pinot Noir is also delicious, often in a warmer style. In Austria it does not get the attention it deserves (neither does the Pinot Blanc or Pinot Gris). Yet, from the juicy Buchegger, the rich Klosterneuburg, the perfectly balanced Zull to the masterly oaked Lentsch and the lovely Pinot from Fischer, we have one impressive bottle after another. You can't go wrong.
Pinot Noir has many other names, some of which may offer clues as to its origin - Blauburgunder, Bourguinon, Morillon and Savagnin Noir. It probably originates in France but there are many other theories which have it coming from Egypt, Italy and Germany.
The genealogy of Pinot is hugely impressive with a wide number of well known grapes coming from it particularly through its crossings with Gouais Blanc and Savagnin (not Sauvignon which are children of this crossing).
With its somewhat low yield, the variety is considered difficult in the vineyard and was not always appreciated. It needs good sites with deep soils. It is sensitive during the flowering period and sensitive to late frost. It brings inconsistent yields.
Like many other grape varieties, the facts behind its origins are not easily confirmed. One theory suggests that cuttings were offered by a grape collector called Saint-Laurent du Var while another that it comes from Alsace, where it was known as Schwarzer. Although it shares its name with a number of French villages, there is nothing to suggest that they had anything to do with the naming of this grape. Most likely is the idea mentioned above that it was named after the patron saint of chefs, whose patronal festival coincides with the traditional day on which the berries change colour. It is one of the first grapes planted at the monastery of Klosterneuburg in their experimental vineyard in 1863.
If you are a fan of Zweigelt, remember that in 1922 Fritz Zweigelt combined the Sankt Laurent grape with Blaüfrankisch to create Zweigelt. It is a very good parent indeed.
It is not however closely related to Pinot. Sankt Laurent is not the same as Pinot Saint-Laurent. Although Sankt Laurent is not Pinot Noir, any more than Carménère is Merlot, there are some similarities to be found. If you like a meatier, gamier Pinot Noir, try this – you will not be disappointed!
ophisticated wine with a lingering finish that continues to delight for ages. It pairs well with most food, especially meats and as many commentators advise, those foods which you shouldn’t really eat like barbeques, cheese and anything fatty.