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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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  • Pierre Damoy Chapelle Chambertin Grand Cru 2014 Front Label
    Pierre Damoy Chapelle Chambertin Grand Cru 2014
    Pinot Noir from Gevrey-Chambertin, Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
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  • Domaine Drouhin-Laroze Clos de Vougeot Grand Cru 2014 Front Label
    Domaine Drouhin-Laroze Clos de Vougeot Grand Cru 2014
    Pinot Noir from Vougeot, Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
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  • Domaine Faiveley Latricieres-Chambertin Grand Cru 2014 Front Label
    Domaine Faiveley Latricieres-Chambertin Grand Cru 2014
    Pinot Noir from Gevrey-Chambertin, Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
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  • Louis Jadot Volnay Clos de la Barre Premier Cru 2014 Front Label
    Louis Jadot Volnay Clos de la Barre Premier Cru 2014
    Pinot Noir from Volnay, Cote de Beaune, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
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  • Domaine Armand Rousseau Chambertin Grand Cru 2014 Front Label
    Domaine Armand Rousseau Chambertin Grand Cru 2014
    Pinot Noir from Gevrey-Chambertin, Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
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    • BH97
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  • Domaine de la Vougeraie Clos de Vougeot Grand Cru 2014 Front Label
    Domaine de la Vougeraie Clos de Vougeot Grand Cru 2014
    Pinot Noir from Vougeot, Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
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    • RP92
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  • Domaine Faiveley Clos de Vougeot Grand Cru 2014 Front Label
    Domaine Faiveley Clos de Vougeot Grand Cru 2014
    Pinot Noir from Vougeot, Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
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  • Louis Jadot Echezeaux Grand Cru 2014 Front Label
    Louis Jadot Echezeaux Grand Cru 2014
    Pinot Noir from Flagey-Echezeaux, Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
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    • RP91
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  • Louis Jadot Clos de la Roche Grand Cru 2014 Front Label
    Louis Jadot Clos de la Roche Grand Cru 2014
    Pinot Noir from Burgundy, France
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    • WS94
    • RP93
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  • Chateau de la Tour Clos Vougeot Grand Cru 2014 Front Label
    Chateau de la Tour Clos Vougeot Grand Cru 2014
    Pinot Noir from Vougeot, Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
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    • WS92
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  • Lucien Le Moine Nuits-St-Georges Les Vaucrains Premier Cru 2014 Front Label
    Lucien Le Moine Nuits-St-Georges Les Vaucrains Premier Cru 2014
    Pinot Noir from Nuits-St-Georges, Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
    • WS95
    • RP94
    • BH93
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  • Louis Jadot Clos Vougeot Grand Cru 2014 Front Label
    Louis Jadot Clos Vougeot Grand Cru 2014
    Pinot Noir from Vougeot, Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
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    • WS92
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  • Domaine Drouhin-Laroze Chapelle-Chambertin Grand Cru 2014 Front Label
    Domaine Drouhin-Laroze Chapelle-Chambertin Grand Cru 2014
    Pinot Noir from Gevrey-Chambertin, Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
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    • RP91
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  • Domaine Bruno Clavelier Vosne-Romanee La Combe Brulee Vieilles Vignes 2014 Front Label
    Domaine Bruno Clavelier Vosne-Romanee La Combe Brulee Vieilles Vignes 2014
    Pinot Noir from Vosne-Romanee, Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
    • WS92
    • BH91
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  • Domaine de la Vougeraie Nuits-Saint-Georges Les Corvees Pagets Premier Cru 2014 Front Label
    Domaine de la Vougeraie Nuits-Saint-Georges Les Corvees Pagets Premier Cru 2014
    Pinot Noir from Nuits-St-Georges, Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
    • WS93
    • BH91
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  • Domaine Perrot-Minot Charmes-Chambertin Grand Cru Vieilles Vignes 2014 Front Label
    Domaine Perrot-Minot Charmes-Chambertin Grand Cru Vieilles Vignes 2014
    Pinot Noir from Gevrey-Chambertin, Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
    • WS94
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    • BH94
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  • Lucien Le Moine Chambolle-Musigny Les Hauts Doix Premier Cru 2014 Front Label
    Lucien Le Moine Chambolle-Musigny Les Hauts Doix Premier Cru 2014
    Pinot Noir from Chambolle-Musigny, Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
    • WS95
    • BH93
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  • Domaine Michel Gros Vosne-Romanee Clos des Reas Premier Cru 2014 Front Label
    Domaine Michel Gros Vosne-Romanee Clos des Reas Premier Cru 2014
    Pinot Noir from Vosne-Romanee, Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
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    • BH92
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  • Domaine de la Vougeraie Gevrey-Chambertin 2014 Front Label
    Domaine de la Vougeraie Gevrey-Chambertin 2014
    Pinot Noir from Burgundy, France
    • WS92
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  • Domaine Perrot-Minot Morey-St-Denis La Riotte Premier Cru (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2014  Front Label
    Domaine Perrot-Minot Morey-St-Denis La Riotte Premier Cru (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2014
    Pinot Noir from Morey-St-Denis, Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
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  • Chandon de Briailles Corton Marechaudes Grand Cru 2014 Front Label
    Chandon de Briailles Corton Marechaudes Grand Cru 2014
    Pinot Noir from Aloxe-Corton, Cote de Beaune, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
    • WS94
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  • Domaine de la Vougeraie Pommard Les Petits Noizons 2014 Front Label
    Domaine de la Vougeraie Pommard Les Petits Noizons 2014
    Pinot Noir from Pommard, Cote de Beaune, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
    • WS90
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  • Domaine Clos de la Chapelle Volnay En Carelle Premier Cru  2014 Front Label
    Domaine Clos de la Chapelle Volnay En Carelle Premier Cru 2014
    Pinot Noir from Volnay, Cote de Beaune, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
    • WS92
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  • Olivier Bernstein Clos de la Roche Grand Cru 2014 Front Label
    Olivier Bernstein Clos de la Roche Grand Cru 2014
    Pinot Noir from Morey-St-Denis, Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
    • BH95
    • WS95
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  • Bouchard Pere & Fils Volnay Caillerets Ancienne Cuvee Carnot Premier Cru 2014 Front Label
    Bouchard Pere & Fils Volnay Caillerets Ancienne Cuvee Carnot Premier Cru 2014
    Pinot Noir from Volnay, Cote de Beaune, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
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    • RP92
    • W&S91
    • JS91
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