I love White Pinot Noir or Pinot Noir Blanc. I am fascinating with this wine style… no I am obsessed with any of these wines that I can find. There are so few examples in the world today.
In my review of Torti Pinot Nero Bianco, I stated that “…in my universe it would be every single Pinot Noir producer would set a little bit (Pinot Noir) aside for a vinification in white…” I wish that would happen or that more producers would consider doing this. The reason is simple–Pinot Noir fruit is expensive and consumers might not be willing to pay a higher price point for this special white wine. And well to a certain extent this is potentially correct. You can look at Domaine Carneros has their White Pinot Noir called Pinot Clair at $58.00 a bottle which is higher than some of their red Pinot Noir wines.
There is a reason to produce and equally important to taste White Pinot Noirs. They are a distinct snapshot of Pinot Noir sans skin contact. I am not the only person to find admiration and fascination with Pinot Noir–haunting, compelling, distinct and cannot be mistaken for any other variety. Even a wine drinker without a lot of tasting experience could pick it out easily.
Now fascination of Pinot Noir is not just the experience from each bottle but also its unstable genetics. The instability is noticeable–the many clones that exist–no other Vitis vinifera grape has more and eventually more to come. No other Vitis vinifera has more synonyms with 291 names.
Pinot Blanc, Pinot Gris are not Pinot Noir but a genetic mutation. And that Pinot Meunier is a chimeric mutation. And well Pinot Noir has been parent to many other varieties as well. Mutation from Pinot Noir don’t necessarily taste like Pinot Noir…. they are distinct and each beloved. Pinot Blanc does not taste like a White Pinot Noir and vice versa. The only thing that is the same is the genetic material are very close but the colour is what they absolutely have in common. The flavour and nose of Pinot Gris and Pinot Blanc don’t have the same characterization of Pinot Noir. The reason is simple–each is a distinct Vitis vinifera grape.
White Pinot Noir on the senses level does have a distinct characterization. The casual taster might not realise on a blind tasting if the wine is White Pinot Noir. The experienced taster will pick this out as a White Pinot Noir. It is reminiscent to it’s red wine brethren but chilled and no maceration. The weight and mouthfeel are heavier–almost like a Chardonnay in it’s richness. But Chardonnay would never be mistake as White Pinot Noir. And White Pinot Noir for any other white wine variety.
A lovely wine style and if you haven’t tasted this wine seek it out. A nice way to treat yourself to the richness of our modern wine world.
James the Wine Guy
Demystifying Wine…One Bottle at a Time from all wine regions around the world.
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