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French Pinot Noir

Learn about French Pinot Noir, common tasting notes, defining characteristics and more ...

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Pinot Noir is grown in many French regions but the greatest concentration is in the Champagne region. Here it is a key component, along with Chardonnay and Pinot Meunier, in the region’s famous sparkling wines, simply called, Champagne. On the eastern border with Germany, in Alsace, winemakers utilize it for both still and Sparkling Wines. In the Loire Valley it is used for red and rosé wines, namely in Sancerre. The Jura and Savoie also produce Pinot Noir, and small amounts are grown in higher altitude sections of southern France.

But the pinnacle of French Pinot Noir is unquestionably Burgundy, called Bourgogne locally. All top Burgundy reds are 100% Pinot Noir, with the finest—the Grand Crus—considered among the world’s most prestigious wines. The first recorded mentions of Pinot Noir in Burgundy date to the 14th century, though viticulture has been in the region for well over 2,000 years. For centuries Bourgogne was controlled by monastic orders that not only worked the vineyards but took meticulous notes about the wines that resulted from individual parcels. This detailed record-keeping led to the recognition that wines vary depending on the source of the grapes—even if made by the same person in the same way—and that certain sites consistently tend to produce superior wines.

These observations ultimately led to the designation of 33 Grands Crus (and over 600 Premiers Crus) vineyards. Most of these are in the small sloping area known as the Cote de Nuits, widely thought to be the ancestral and spiritual home of Pinot Noir. Bourgogne could also be said to epitomize the French concept of terroir—the combined sum of all-natural factors that affect a specific vineyard or parcel (called a climat). The notion of terroir lends itself perfectly to Pinot Noir, a thin-skinned grape that is highly reactive to its environment. When produced from exceptional sites, especially in fine vintages, the grape can lead to wines that are complex and sensual, with a subtlety and depth of flavor that make them both hedonistic and thought-provoking.

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  • Bouchard Pere & Fils Gevrey-Chambertin 2018  Front Label
    Bouchard Pere & Fils Gevrey-Chambertin 2018
    Pinot Noir from Gevrey-Chambertin, Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
    • V90
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  • Joseph Drouhin Gevrey-Chambertin 2018  Front Label
    Joseph Drouhin Gevrey-Chambertin 2018
    Pinot Noir from Gevrey-Chambertin, Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
    • D93
    • RP90
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  • Joseph Drouhin Cote de Beaune 2018  Front Label
    Joseph Drouhin Cote de Beaune 2018
    Pinot Noir from Cote de Beaune, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
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    • Bouchard Pere & Fils Reserve Bourgogne Pinot Noir 2018  Front Label
      Bouchard Pere & Fils Reserve Bourgogne Pinot Noir 2018
      Pinot Noir from Burgundy, France
      • WW89
      4.0 243 Ratings
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    • Michel Magnien Chambolle-Musigny les Sentiers Premier Cru 2017  Front Label
      Michel Magnien Chambolle-Musigny les Sentiers Premier Cru 2017
      Pinot Noir from Chambolle-Musigny, Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
      • BH93
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      130
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    • Louis Jadot Pinot Noir 2018  Front Label
      Louis Jadot Pinot Noir 2018
      Pinot Noir from Burgundy, France
        3.8 9 Ratings
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      • Joseph Drouhin Laforet Pinot Noir 2018  Front Label
        Joseph Drouhin Laforet Pinot Noir 2018
        Pinot Noir from Burgundy, France
        • WW91
        3.8 50 Ratings
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      • Joseph Drouhin Echezeaux Grand Cru 2018  Front Label
        Joseph Drouhin Echezeaux Grand Cru 2018
        Pinot Noir from Flagey-Echezeaux, Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
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        • Joseph Drouhin Nuits-St-Georges Proces Premier Cru 2016 Front Label
          Joseph Drouhin Nuits-St-Georges Proces Premier Cru 2016
          Pinot Noir from Nuits-St-Georges, Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
          • WS93
          • V91
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          Currently Unavailable $129.99
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        • Joseph Drouhin Chorey Les Beaune 2018  Front Label
          Joseph Drouhin Chorey Les Beaune 2018
          Pinot Noir from Chorey-les-Beaune, Cote de Beaune, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
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          • Michel Magnien Morey-Saint-Denis Climats D'Or Premier Cru 2017  Front Label
            Michel Magnien Morey-Saint-Denis Climats D'Or Premier Cru 2017
            Pinot Noir from Morey-St-Denis, Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
            • BH92
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            Currently Unavailable $84.99
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            90
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          • Domaine Jean Grivot Vosne-Romanee Les Beaux Monts Premier Cru 2017  Front Label
            Domaine Jean Grivot Vosne-Romanee Les Beaux Monts Premier Cru 2017
            Pinot Noir from Vosne-Romanee, Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
            • D95
            • RP94
            • BH93
            0.0 0 Ratings
            Currently Unavailable $249.99
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            290
            249 99
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          • Maison Roche de Bellene Nuits-St-Georges Vieilles Vignes 2018  Front Label
            Maison Roche de Bellene Nuits-St-Georges Vieilles Vignes 2018
            Pinot Noir from Nuits-St-Georges, Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
            • WW92
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          • Domaine Jean Grivot Vosne-Romanee 2018  Front Label
            Domaine Jean Grivot Vosne-Romanee 2018
            Pinot Noir from Vosne-Romanee, Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
            • D92
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          • Maison Roche de Bellene Bourgogne Pinot Noir Cuvee Reserve 2018  Front Label
            Maison Roche de Bellene Bourgogne Pinot Noir Cuvee Reserve 2018
            Pinot Noir from Burgundy, France
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            • Louis Jadot Chambolle-Musigny Les Drazeys 2018  Front Label
              Louis Jadot Chambolle-Musigny Les Drazeys 2018
              Pinot Noir from Chambolle-Musigny, Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
              • RP91
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            • Joseph Drouhin Cote de Nuits Villages 2018  Front Label
              Joseph Drouhin Cote de Nuits Villages 2018
              Pinot Noir from Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
                4.0 6 Ratings
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              • Domaine Faiveley Mercurey Rouge 2018  Front Label
                Domaine Faiveley Mercurey Rouge 2018
                Pinot Noir from Mercurey, Cote Chalonnaise, Burgundy, France
                  3.8 51 Ratings
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                • Michel Magnien Bourgogne Pinot Noir 2018  Front Label
                  Michel Magnien Bourgogne Pinot Noir 2018
                  Pinot Noir from Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
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                  • Maison Chanzy Bourgogne Pinot Noir Les Fortunes 2018  Front Label
                    Maison Chanzy Bourgogne Pinot Noir Les Fortunes 2018
                    Pinot Noir from Burgundy, France
                    • WW91
                    • WS90
                    4.1 11 Ratings
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                  • Domaine Laroque Cite de Carcassonne Pinot Noir 2018  Front Label
                    Domaine Laroque Cite de Carcassonne Pinot Noir 2018
                    Pinot Noir from Languedoc, South of France, France
                    • JS91
                    4.0 86 Ratings
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                  • Maison Roche de Bellene Gevrey-Chambertin Vieilles Vignes 2018  Front Label
                    Maison Roche de Bellene Gevrey-Chambertin Vieilles Vignes 2018
                    Pinot Noir from Gevrey-Chambertin, Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
                    • WW93
                    0.0 0 Ratings
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                  • Pierre Gelin Fixin Les Hervelets Premier Cru 2017  Front Label
                    Pierre Gelin Fixin Les Hervelets Premier Cru 2017
                    Pinot Noir from Fixin, Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
                    • RP91
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                  • Domaine Tollot-Beaut Chorey-Les-Beaune (375ML half-bottle) 2018  Front Label
                    Domaine Tollot-Beaut Chorey-Les-Beaune (375ML half-bottle) 2018
                    Pinot Noir from Chorey-les-Beaune, Cote de Beaune, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
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                      Currently Unavailable $34.99
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                    • Domaine de Bellene Savigny-les-Beaune Premier Cru Hommage a Jean Ferte 2018  Front Label
                      Domaine de Bellene Savigny-les-Beaune Premier Cru Hommage a Jean Ferte 2018
                      Pinot Noir from Beaune, Cote de Beaune, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
                      • D93
                      • BH90
                      0.0 0 Ratings
                      Currently Unavailable $109.99
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                      109 99
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