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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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  • 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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    Currently Unavailable $179.00
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    179
    179
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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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    Currently Unavailable $149.97
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    149 97
    149 97
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  • Joseph Drouhin Chambolle-Musigny Premier Cru 2002 Front Label
    Joseph Drouhin Chambolle-Musigny Premier Cru 2002
    Pinot Noir from Chambolle-Musigny, Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
    • BH90
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    Currently Unavailable $55.97
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    100
    55 97
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  • Domaine Pavelot Savigny-les-Beaune La Dominode Premier Cru 2002 Front Label
    Domaine Pavelot Savigny-les-Beaune La Dominode Premier Cru 2002
    Pinot Noir from Savigny-les-Beaune, Cote de Beaune, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
    • BH92
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $57.99
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    57 99
    57 99
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  • Rene Leclerc Gevrey Chambertin Combes aux Moines Premier Cru 2002 Front Label
    Rene Leclerc Gevrey Chambertin Combes aux Moines Premier Cru 2002
    Pinot Noir from Gevrey-Chambertin, Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
    • BH90
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    Currently Unavailable $69.97
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    69 97
    69 97
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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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    Currently Unavailable $129.97
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    129 97
    129 97
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  • Domaine Ponsot Clos de la Roche Vieilles Vignes 2002  Front Label
    Domaine Ponsot Clos de la Roche Vieilles Vignes 2002
    Pinot Noir from Burgundy, France
    • BH93
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $519.00
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    519
    519
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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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    Currently Unavailable $2,299.97
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    2,299 97
    2,299 97
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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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    Currently Unavailable $369.97
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    369 97
    369 97
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  • Rene Engel Vosne-Romanee Les Brulees 2002 Front Label
    Rene Engel Vosne-Romanee Les Brulees 2002
    Pinot Noir from Burgundy, France
    • RP94
    • WS92
    • BH91
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $579.97
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    579 97
    579 97
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  • Maison Champy Mazis Chambertin Grand Cru 2002 Front Label
    Maison Champy Mazis Chambertin Grand Cru 2002
    Pinot Noir from Gevrey-Chambertin, Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
    • BH92
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $129.00
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    129
    129
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  • Rene Engel Clos Vougeot Grand Cru 2002 Front Label
    Rene Engel Clos Vougeot Grand Cru 2002
    Pinot Noir from Burgundy, France
    • RP95
    • WS93
    • BH92
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $579.97
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    579 97
    579 97
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