Indigenous to northern France, but now grown all over the world in cooler zones, Pinot Noir is one of the greatest red varieties producing wines with a wonderfully aromatic nose and silky texture. Thins skins give Pinots a lightish colour, but levels of tannins are nonetheless high. Typically wines have medium acidity, medium body with red cherry and berry aromas in youth and develop more funky farmyard notes with age.
The Côte de Beaune area is the southern part of the Côte d’Or, the limestone ridge that is home to the great names of Burgundy wine. The Côte de Beaune starts between Nuits-Saint-Georges and Beaune, and extends southwards for about 25 km to the River Dheune. The trend of producing red wines continues from the Côte de Nuits to the north, down through Beaune, although the wines become lighter and more perfumed. Farther south lie the great villages of white Burgundy such as Meursault and Chassagne-Montrachet making wine from Chardonnay. The far south of the district sees a return to red wines in Santenay that continues across the Dheune into the Côte Chalonnaise. This mix of Pinot noir and Chardonnay grapes reflects geology in the southern Côte d’Or that is more variable than in the north.
With good acidity and medium weight Pinot Noir is a very food friendly style that works well with red meats and hard cheese. With a bit of age the wines are excellent with game birds, venison, wild mushrooms and truffles.