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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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  • Louis Latour Chateau Corton Grancey Grand Cru 2016 Front Label
    Louis Latour Chateau Corton Grancey Grand Cru 2016
    Pinot Noir from Aloxe-Corton, Cote de Beaune, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
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  • Domaine Jean Grivot Nuits-St-Georges Aux Boudots Premier Cru 2016 Front Label
    Domaine Jean Grivot Nuits-St-Georges Aux Boudots Premier Cru 2016
    Pinot Noir from Nuits-St-Georges, Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
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    • BH94
    • WS94
    • RP91
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  • Domaine Henri Gouges Nuits-St-Georges 2013 Front Label
    Domaine Henri Gouges Nuits-St-Georges 2013
    Pinot Noir from Nuits-St-Georges, Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
    • BH91
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  • Bouchard Pere & Fils Beaune du Chateau Premier Cru Rouge 2017  Front Label
    Bouchard Pere & Fils Beaune du Chateau Premier Cru Rouge 2017
    Pinot Noir from Beaune, Cote de Beaune, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
    • D92
    • BH91
    4.2 6 Ratings
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  • Bouchard Pere & Fils Savigny-les-Beaune Les Lavieres Premier Cru 2017  Front Label
    Bouchard Pere & Fils Savigny-les-Beaune Les Lavieres Premier Cru 2017
    Pinot Noir from Savigny-les-Beaune, Cote de Beaune, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
    • BH92
    • WS92
    • W&S91
    • WW90
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  • Domaine Tollot-Beaut Beaune Greves Premier Cru 2017 Front Label
    Domaine Tollot-Beaut Beaune Greves Premier Cru 2017
    Pinot Noir from Beaune, Cote de Beaune, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
    • WS93
    • BH91
    • W&S91
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  • Alex Gambal Chambolle-Musigny 2015  Front Label
    Alex Gambal Chambolle-Musigny 2015
    Pinot Noir from Chambolle-Musigny, Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
    • WS92
    • BH91
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  • Louis Jadot Gevrey-Chambertin Estournelles St. Jacques Premier Cru 2017  Front Label
    Louis Jadot Gevrey-Chambertin Estournelles St. Jacques Premier Cru 2017
    Pinot Noir from Gevrey-Chambertin, Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
    • V94
    • BH93
    • RP93
    5.0 28 Ratings
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  • Domaine Henri Gouges Nuits-St-Georges 2017  Front Label
    Domaine Henri Gouges Nuits-St-Georges 2017
    Pinot Noir from Nuits-St-Georges, Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
    • WS93
    • WW92
    • JD91
    • BH90
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  • Alex Gambal Vosne-Romanee Vieilles Vignes 2016  Front Label
    Alex Gambal Vosne-Romanee Vieilles Vignes 2016
    Pinot Noir from Vosne-Romanee, Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
    • BH91
    • WS90
    0.0 0 Ratings
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  • Rapet Pere & Fils Aloxe-Corton 2015 Front Label
    Rapet Pere & Fils Aloxe-Corton 2015
    Pinot Noir from Aloxe-Corton, Cote de Beaune, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
    • D91
    • BH91
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  • Domaine de l'Arlot Nuits-St-Georges Clos des Forets St Georges Premier Cru Monopole 2017  Front Label
    Domaine de l'Arlot Nuits-St-Georges Clos des Forets St Georges Premier Cru Monopole 2017
    Pinot Noir from Nuits-St-Georges, Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
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    • WS93
    • BH92
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  • Alex Gambal Nuits-St-Georges Clos des Argillieres Premier Cru 2016  Front Label
    Alex Gambal Nuits-St-Georges Clos des Argillieres Premier Cru 2016
    Pinot Noir from Nuits-St-Georges, Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
    • BH92
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  • Bouchard Pere & Fils Nuits-St-Georges Les Cailles Premier Cru 2016 Front Label
    Bouchard Pere & Fils Nuits-St-Georges Les Cailles Premier Cru 2016
    Pinot Noir from Burgundy, France
    • BH95
    • WS93
    0.0 0 Ratings
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  • Lignier-Michelot Morey-St-Denis En la Rue de Vergy 2016 Front Label
    Lignier-Michelot Morey-St-Denis En la Rue de Vergy 2016
    Pinot Noir from Morey-St-Denis, Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
    • RP92
    • BH90
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  • Domaine de la Pousse d'Or Volnay En Caillerets Premier Cru 2017  Front Label
    Domaine de la Pousse d'Or Volnay En Caillerets Premier Cru 2017
    Pinot Noir from Volnay, Cote de Beaune, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
    • BH91
    • V91
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  • Louis Jadot Pommard 2017  Front Label
    Louis Jadot Pommard 2017
    Pinot Noir from Pommard, Cote de Beaune, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
    • BH92
    • W&S92
    5.0 56 Ratings
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  • Domaine Henri Gouges Nuits-St-Georges (375ML half-bottle) 2017  Front Label
    Domaine Henri Gouges Nuits-St-Georges (375ML half-bottle) 2017
    Pinot Noir from Nuits-St-Georges, Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
    • WS93
    • WW92
    • JD91
    • BH90
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    Currently Unavailable $49.99
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  • Joseph Drouhin Gevrey-Chambertin 2017  Front Label
    Joseph Drouhin Gevrey-Chambertin 2017
    Pinot Noir from Gevrey-Chambertin, Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
    • WW93
    • JS92
    • BH91
    • RP91
    • WS91
    4.1 5 Ratings
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  • Bouchard Pere & Fils Le Corton Grand Cru 2017 Front Label
    Bouchard Pere & Fils Le Corton Grand Cru 2017
    Pinot Noir from Aloxe-Corton, Cote de Beaune, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
    • V94
    • WW94
    • WS94
    • JS93
    • BH92
    • RP92
    4.2 5 Ratings
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  • Louis Jadot Chambolle-Musigny Les Sentiers Premier Cru 2016  Front Label
    Louis Jadot Chambolle-Musigny Les Sentiers Premier Cru 2016
    Pinot Noir from Chambolle-Musigny, Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
    • RP92
    • BH92
    5.0 38 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $179.99
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  • Lignier-Michelot Gevrey-Chambertin Cuvee Bertin 2016 Front Label
    Lignier-Michelot Gevrey-Chambertin Cuvee Bertin 2016
    Pinot Noir from Gevrey-Chambertin, Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
    • BH92
    • RP91
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $89.99
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  • Chateau de Meursault Savigny Les Beaune 2016  Front Label
    Chateau de Meursault Savigny Les Beaune 2016
    Pinot Noir from Savigny-les-Beaune, Cote de Beaune, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
    • BH90
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    Currently Unavailable $69.99
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  • Domaine Francois Lumpp Givry A Vigne Rouge Premier Cru  2016 Front Label
    Domaine Francois Lumpp Givry A Vigne Rouge Premier Cru 2016
    Pinot Noir from Givry, Cote Chalonnaise, Burgundy, France
    • TA95
    • BH93
    • RP92
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $64.99
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  • Louis Jadot Morey-Saint-Denis Clos des Ormes Premier Cru 2016 Front Label
    Louis Jadot Morey-Saint-Denis Clos des Ormes Premier Cru 2016
    Pinot Noir from Morey-St-Denis, Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
    • RP92
    • BH92
    5.0 37 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $114.99
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    114 99
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