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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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  • Francois Lamarche La Grande Rue Monopole Grand Cru 2002  Front Label
    Francois Lamarche La Grande Rue Monopole Grand Cru 2002
    Pinot Noir from Vosne-Romanee, Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
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    • Domaine Fourrier Chambolle-Musigny Les Gruenchers Premier Cru Vieille Vigne 2002 Front Label
      Domaine Fourrier Chambolle-Musigny Les Gruenchers Premier Cru Vieille Vigne 2002
      Pinot Noir from Chambolle-Musigny, Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
      • BH91
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    • Dominique Laurent Mazis Chambertin Cuvee B 2002 Front Label
      Dominique Laurent Mazis Chambertin Cuvee B 2002
      Pinot Noir from Burgundy, France
      • WS95
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    • Sylvain Cathiard Vosne-Romanee (torn labels) 2002 Front Label
      Sylvain Cathiard Vosne-Romanee (torn labels) 2002
      Pinot Noir from Vosne-Romanee, Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
      • WS92
      • BH90
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    • Domaine Perrot-Minot Vosne-Romanee Les Beaux Monts Premier Cru 2002  Front Label
      Domaine Perrot-Minot Vosne-Romanee Les Beaux Monts Premier Cru 2002
      Pinot Noir from Vosne-Romanee, Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
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      • Domaine Henri Gouges Nuits-St-Georges Les Chenes Carteaux 2002
        Pinot Noir from Burgundy, France
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        • Domaine Joseph Roty Charmes-Chambertin Grand Cru 2002  Front Label
          Domaine Joseph Roty Charmes-Chambertin Grand Cru 2002
          Pinot Noir from Gevrey-Chambertin, Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
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          • Domaine Michel Lafarge Volnay Premier Cru 2002 Front Label
            Domaine Michel Lafarge Volnay Premier Cru 2002
            Pinot Noir from Burgundy, France
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            • Domaine Marchand Freres Gevrey-Chambertin Vieilles Vignes 2002
              Pinot Noir from Gevrey-Chambertin, Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
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              • Domaine Perrot-Minot Mazoyeres-Chambertin Vieilles Vignes Grand Cru 2002  Front Label
                Domaine Perrot-Minot Mazoyeres-Chambertin Vieilles Vignes Grand Cru 2002
                Pinot Noir from Gevrey-Chambertin, Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
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                • Domaine Perrot-Minot Nuits-Saint-Georges La Richemone Premier Cru 2002  Front Label
                  Domaine Perrot-Minot Nuits-Saint-Georges La Richemone Premier Cru 2002
                  Pinot Noir from Nuits-St-Georges, Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
                  • WS91
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                • Mongeard-Mugneret Echezeaux Grand Cru 2002
                  Pinot Noir from Flagey-Echezeaux, Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
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                  • Albert Morot Beaune Aigrots Premier Cru Rouge 2002
                    Pinot Noir from Beaune, Cote de Beaune, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
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                    • Domaine Gerard Raphet Gevrey-Chambertin Lavaux St-Jacques Premier Cru 2002  Front Label
                      Domaine Gerard Raphet Gevrey-Chambertin Lavaux St-Jacques Premier Cru 2002
                      Pinot Noir from Gevrey-Chambertin, Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
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                      • Rene Leclerc Griottes Chambertin Grand Cru 2002 Front Label
                        Rene Leclerc Griottes Chambertin Grand Cru 2002
                        Pinot Noir from Gevrey-Chambertin, Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
                        • BH92
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                      • Domaine Armand Rousseau Chambertin Clos de Beze Grand Cru 2002  Front Label
                        Domaine Armand Rousseau Chambertin Clos de Beze Grand Cru 2002
                        Pinot Noir from Gevrey-Chambertin, Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
                        • RP96
                        • V94
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                      • Domaine Georges Jayer Echezeaux Grand Cru 2002
                        Pinot Noir from Flagey-Echezeaux, Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
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                        • Domaine Georges Jayer Echezeaux Grand Cru 2002
                          Pinot Noir from Flagey-Echezeaux, Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
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                          • Domaine de la Romanee-Conti La Tache Grand Cru 2002
                            Pinot Noir from Burgundy, France
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                            • Domaine de la Romanee-Conti Vosne-Romanee Cuvee Duvault-Blochet Premier Cru (bin soiled label) 2002 Front Label
                              Domaine de la Romanee-Conti Vosne-Romanee Cuvee Duvault-Blochet Premier Cru (bin soiled label) 2002
                              Pinot Noir from Vosne-Romanee, Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
                              • WS90
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                            • Rene Leclerc Griottes Chambertin Grand Cru (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2002
                              Pinot Noir from Gevrey-Chambertin, Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
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                              • Domaine de la Vougeraie Charmes-Chambertin Les Mazoyeres Grand Cru 2002  Front Label
                                Domaine de la Vougeraie Charmes-Chambertin Les Mazoyeres Grand Cru 2002
                                Pinot Noir from Burgundy, France
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                                • Dominique Gallois Charmes-Chambertin Grand Cru 2002 Front Label
                                  Dominique Gallois Charmes-Chambertin Grand Cru 2002
                                  Pinot Noir from Gevrey-Chambertin, Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
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                                  • Emmanuel Rouget Vosne-Romanee Cros-Parantoux Premier Cru 2002  Front Label
                                    Emmanuel Rouget Vosne-Romanee Cros-Parantoux Premier Cru 2002
                                    Pinot Noir from Vosne-Romanee, Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
                                    • BH94
                                    • V91
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                                  • Domaine Marquis d'Angerville Volnay Clos des Ducs Premier Cru Monopole 2002 Front Label
                                    Domaine Marquis d'Angerville Volnay Clos des Ducs Premier Cru Monopole 2002
                                    Pinot Noir from Volnay, Cote de Beaune, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
                                    • BH94
                                    • RP93
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                                    369 97
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