Popular Pinot Noir Clones
To give you a snapshot of a few of the popular clones, here are some great descriptions created by Melville Vineyards in Sta. Rita Hills:
Dijon Clone 113 One of the “teen” series of [Dijon] clones, clone 113 is perhaps the most elegant with perfume aromatics. It is typically seen as an aromatic component with very high-toned elements in the nose. When properly managed, the wine can possess nice weight and body as well. To amplify the prettiness of the wine, we generally de-stem the entirety of the fruit.
Dijon Clone 115 By far the most widely planted of this clonal grouping, clone 115 is undeniably the most important clone in the past decade or so of California vineyard development. If we were forced to select only one clone, we would unanimously agree upon this one. Clone 115 works great on its own, and serves as the spine to our entire pinot noir program.
Pommard Clone 5 The Pommard selection has been available in California for a number of years, and can often work great as a “stand-alone” clone. It is sometimes known for having a meaty/gamey edge, but for us, it typically expresses itself through very pure dark fruits.
Dijon Clone 777 This clone is experiencing a significant surge in planting similar to clone 115. It is known for being very dark and rich, and potentially appropriate to be produced on its own. While quite dark, it has yet to produce the velvety richness professed by a number of colleagues on our estate thus far. It has, however, resulted in very intriguing and complex wines that merit careful attention.
MV6: The largest clone variety planted at Austin’s (also known as the mothervine of Australian pinot clones). Thrives in cool climate regions and produces sweet strawberry flavours and a soft palate
D2V6: A Davis clone (originating from California). When grown in our region, D2V6 produces darker fruit flavours and tannin structure. Majority of D2V6 grapes are used in the Austin’s range and has low to medium yields
115: Dijon clone (originating from Burgundy). Typically goes to veraison first and is kept separately to blend with other varieties later. 115 is a highly valued clone for balance and aromatic richness and typically produces dark jammy fruit flavours
114: Dijon clone (originating from Burgundy). Classic pinot noir flavour profile of black cherry and raspberry and boasts good skin structure and tannins. Similar to 115, 114 is picked separately to blend
777: Dijon clone (originating from Burgundy). Achieves ripeness slightly earlier than other pinot clones. High in sugar production and sweet fruit flavour profile. When picked early, can become herbaceous.
Abel: Smuggled into New Zealand from Burgundy and confiscated by a Customs Officer called Malcolm Abel in the 1970s. Hoping to produce red fruit flavours, such as rhubarb with strong colour and tannin structure
667: Dijon clone (originating from Burgundy). We are hoping this will produce dark fruit flavours such as black cherries and rich, spicy flavours
Here is an article examining the differences between some of the clones: