WSET3 Palate Notes

Body - Medium,
Acid - Medium,
Tannin - Light / Medium,
Alcohol - Medium.

Tastes Like: Forest floor, Mushroom, Cherry, Strawberry, Raspberry

King of Grapes and important for Sparkling too. Embark on a voyage through the captivating world of Pinot Noir, a grape that weaves tales of sophistication, delicacy, and profound flavor profiles.

What you can expect to taste and smell?

Primary Flavours & Aromas

Made in 2 stlyes

  1. light, fruity, ready to drink
  2. complex earthy, savoury aromsa, spice, forest floor

Cool vs. Warm Climate

Too Cool - may not ripen - vegetal, cabbage notes

Cool Climate: In cooler climates, Pinot Noir showcases bright acidity and red fruit dominance, emphasizing elegance and finesse.

Moderate Climate Think USA - ripe fruits

Hot Climate

  • Not suited - excessively jammy, unattractive


  • oak maturation - not new oak - toast, vanilla


  • forest floor, mushroom,
  • clove, smoke

Notes on Viticulture

Challenging Grape: Pinot Noir is famously finicky, requiring meticulous care and attention in the vineyard due to its sensitivity to terroir variations - example if it’s too cool it won’t ripen, if it’s too damp it is disease prone.

Appelations / Producers of Note

  • Appellations: Burgundy’s Côte de Nuits and Côte de Beaune are legendary for producing exceptional Pinot Noir.

  • Producers: Domaine de la Romanée-Conti, Domaine Leroy, and Maison Louis Jadot are esteemed producers in Burgundy.

  • Oregon, USA: The Willamette Valley is renowned for its exceptional cool-climate Pinot Noir,

Ageing Potential?

Depending on the style and vineyard, well-crafted Pinot Noir wines can evolve gracefully over years, revealing deeper complexities.

First Published: Sunday, Mar 13, 2022 Last updated: Sep 2, 2023

If you're a wine enthusiast like me ... follow my adventures, learn about grapes or winemaking.

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Meet the author

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Damien Saunders
WSET3 award - Has been on a journey to learn more about wine, viticulture since I started travelling. Every country has something to drink.