Meet the best South African Pinot Noirs (list, map) South African Pinot Noir is the Queen of South African red wines. Good Pinot Noir wines are razor-sharp and pinpoint-precise in taste, smell and colour. While many other South African reds seem rather unrefined taste bombs – loose cannons with a haphazard tapestry of incoherent, syrupy and perfumed fruit, sugar and oak notes – good Pinot Noirs approach the nose and taste buds with a precision and finesse that leave very little margin for error or distraction. The taste and smell of quality Pinot Noirs are clean, direct, precise and pure. An honest expression of the stony, clay-rich, cool terroir in which they thrive. A subtly balanced mix of fruit, spice, minerals and oak, never too sweet. Their colour is light, modest, unassuming, modestly hiding their surprisingly big tastes and smells.