Varietal Series: Pinot Noir

Nov 9, 2023by Andrew Lowry

Pinot Noir is a beloved red wine grape known for its delicate flavors and ability to reflect the terroir of its origin. But did you know that there are actually 10 major clones of Pinot Noir? Each clone has its unique characteristics, and understanding them can enhance your appreciation of this exceptional varietal. In this blog post, we will explore the 10 major clones of Pinot Noir, where they are used, and the comparisons and contrasts between them.

1. Dijon Clone 113

Dijon Clone 113 is known for its vibrant red fruit flavors, high acidity, and elegant structure. It is commonly used in Burgundy, France, and produces wines with excellent aging potential.

2. Dijon Clone 115

Dijon Clone 115 is characterized by its dark fruit flavors, medium body, and silky tannins. It is widely planted in Oregon, USA, and adds complexity to Pinot Noir blends.

3. Dijon Clone 667

Dijon Clone 667 is favored for its intense aromatics, rich texture, and dark cherry flavors. It thrives in cool-climate regions like Sonoma Coast, California, and contributes to wines with great depth.

4. Dijon Clone 777

Dijon Clone 777 is known for its bold, concentrated flavors, velvety mouthfeel, and spicy notes. It is widely planted in New Zealand and produces wines with exceptional complexity.

5. Pommard Clone

Pommard Clone is one of the oldest Pinot Noir clones and is renowned for its deep color, robust structure, and earthy flavors. It is commonly found in the Côte de Beaune region of Burgundy, France.

6. Wädenswil Clone

Wädenswil Clone is a Swiss clone that offers bright red fruit flavors, medium body, and balanced acidity. It is often used in cool-climate regions like Willamette Valley, Oregon.

7. Martini Clone

Martini Clone is a California clone known for its intense black fruit flavors, full body, and firm tannins. It is widely planted in the Russian River Valley and produces wines with great aging potential.

8. Swan Clone

Swan Clone is prized for its perfumed aromatics, bright acidity, and elegant structure. It is commonly found in the Santa Lucia Highlands of California and adds finesse to Pinot Noir blends.

9. Abel Clone

Abel Clone, also known as the "Gumboot Clone," is a New Zealand clone that offers intense dark fruit flavors, firm tannins, and a long finish. It is highly regarded for its ability to produce age-worthy wines.

10. Calera Clone

Calera Clone is named after the renowned Calera Wine Company in California. It is known for its complex flavors, vibrant acidity, and excellent structure. It is widely planted in the Central Coast region.

Each of these 10 major clones of Pinot Noir brings something unique to the table. Whether you prefer the vibrant red fruit flavors of Dijon Clone 113 or the intense black fruit flavors of Martini Clone, there is a Pinot Noir clone to suit every palate. Exploring the different clones and their respective regions can be a fascinating journey into the world of Pinot Noir, allowing you to appreciate the nuances and diversity of this exceptional grape.

Next time you enjoy a glass of Pinot Noir, take a moment to consider the clone that contributed to its creation. You may find a new level of appreciation for this remarkable varietal and the artistry of winemaking.

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