I feel it needs to be pointed out that both Mitch and Tim have banned me from inserting any UB40 or Neil Diamond references into this strain description.
Initially released as Illuminauto #44, Pinot Noir was part of the strong 2020 Illuminauto lineup, and yet still managed to be one of the most eye-catching for all of our connoisseur smokers out there. I'd have sworn that with time thoughts of #44 would leave my head, but the more I tried of our 2020 drop the more Pinot Noir stood out to me as a supreme smoker’s strain. Combining the sweet grape and overtones of that sweet red, red wine with the spice of Creme de la Chem, and doubling up on the gas, Pinot Noir has been a favourite smoke of mine since day 1.
We went back to the drawing board to breed out Pinot Noir, using the same parent stock from another project using these strains *wink wink* to make sure we could bring to the table the very best of what Pinot Noir can be; the ‘Mitch’s Pick’ Creme de la Chem, in particular, is a standout performer during our Zoom staff meetings and a regular on Mitch’s very own (Mephisto branded…) rolling tray.
The Reserva line in general has been one of my favourite things over the last few years, allowing us to explore what our Illuminauto and Limited Edition strains can be when given a chance to be selectively bred and have their traits nailed down. Pinot Noir is a strain that I want to stay close to me and one I will be keeping in my personal perpetual for the foreseeable future. And if there’s one thing you don’t want to forget, make sure it’s to pick up some Pinot Noir otherwise it might just tear apart your blue heart.
Pinot Noir is essentially one of the gnarliest hybrids we’ve made over the years. She starts pretty squatly, pushing out huge fan leaves which get larger and larger the more established she becomes. Don’t be alarmed by this though as when she hits the pre-flowering/stretch stage she can put on a lot of size pretty quickly.
Pinot Noir naturally likes to bush out when given the opportunity, and you can assist her with some light defoliation or L.S.T along the way. However, for those with a less sadistic nature, a handful of sessions of strategic gentle leaf tucking will also go down a treat. Whilst being medium-sized, she can easily be as wide as she is tall and deliver a very high flower/plant size ratio. One of the most exciting aspects of Pinot Noir is the incredible journey of different aromas she will take you on.
She offers up a naughty tasting menu throughout; in earlier stages, she has hints of the ‘avert your nostrils,’ offensive/slightly eye-watering burnt rubber of her Creme de la Chem parentage, however, this tapers into mellower notes of coffee, pepper, deep red wine and your granny's meaty gravy in the background. Eventually, she finishes with something much sweeter and pleasant with elements of grape, candy and liquorice. Trichome production is rampant from the off, hitting big fans, coating small fans, and overflowing onto stems too.
Looking objectively through the catalogue, Pinot Noir stands out as one of the beauty queens when it comes to her visual bouquet. The flower structure is a tighter, denser, toned-down version of the Double Grape but not to the golf ball cluster side of the spectrum often found in Creme de la Chem; it’s a perfect middle ground between the parents, and as previously mentioned more dollops of frosting than a decent cake shop. Nearing the end of her cycle is another show to behold too, even more so exacerbated in slightly cooler temperatures Pinot Noir can give a madder fade than a Mexican barber fueled on Bolivian marching powder.
The smoke from our Pinot hits nicely, the buzz is well balanced, and will neither knock you on your arse nor leave you licking windows or on a cleaning frenzy. Instead, you’ll feel a pleasant wave come over you until you’re sweetly cosy and feeling mollycoddled. You can remain happily functional with a clear head and nice body feels - easy ride up, gentle ride down.