What is a good alternative to Pinot Noir?

Answered by Edward Huber

When it comes to finding a good alternative to Pinot Noir, there are several grape varietals that can offer a similar experience for wine enthusiasts. These alternatives can provide a range of flavors and characteristics that are reminiscent of Pinot Noir, while also offering their own unique profiles. Here are six alternative grapes that Pinot Noir enthusiasts may want to explore:

1. Trousseau: Trousseau is a red grape variety that is native to the Jura region in France. It produces wines that are light-bodied, elegant, and often have earthy and floral notes. Trousseau wines can have a similar texture and complexity to Pinot Noir, making it a great alternative for those who appreciate the delicacy of Pinot Noir.

2. Frappato: Frappato is an indigenous grape variety from Sicily, Italy. It is known for producing light-bodied, aromatic wines with flavors of red berries, cherry, and floral notes. Frappato wines are often described as fresh, lively, and vibrant, which can be reminiscent of the elegance and finesse of Pinot Noir.

3. Garnacha: Also known as Grenache, Garnacha is a widely planted grape variety that is grown in many wine regions around the world. While it can produce bold and full-bodied wines, there are also lighter-bodied expressions of Garnacha that can resemble Pinot Noir. Look for Garnacha wines from cooler climates or old-vine plantings, as they tend to exhibit more finesse and complexity.

4. Cinsault: Cinsault is a grape variety that is often used in blends, but it can also stand on its own as a single varietal wine. It is known for its soft tannins, bright acidity, and flavors of red fruits, such as raspberry and strawberry. Cinsault wines can be light to medium-bodied, making them a good alternative for those who enjoy the elegance and lightness of Pinot Noir.

5. Mencia: Mencia is a red grape variety that is native to the northwestern region of Spain, particularly in the Bierzo region. It produces wines that are medium-bodied with flavors of black fruits, herbs, and a distinctive mineral character. Mencia wines often have a good balance of fruitiness and acidity, reminiscent of some Pinot Noir wines.

6. Blaufränkisch: Blaufränkisch, also known as Lemberger, is a red grape variety that is primarily grown in Austria, Hungary, and Germany. It produces wines that are medium-bodied with flavors of blackberries, black cherries, and spices. Blaufränkisch wines often have a good structure and acidity, which can make them a suitable alternative for Pinot Noir lovers.

These alternative grape varietals offer a range of flavors, textures, and characteristics that can appeal to Pinot Noir enthusiasts. Exploring these wines can provide a new and exciting experience while still capturing some of the essence of Pinot Noir. So, next time you’re in the mood for something different, give one of these alternative grapes a try and see how they compare to your beloved Pinot Noir. Cheers!