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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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  • Frederic Magnien Gevrey-Chambertin Vieilles Vignes 2003 Front Label
    Frederic Magnien Gevrey-Chambertin Vieilles Vignes 2003
    Pinot Noir from Gevrey-Chambertin, Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
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    • Domaine de la Romanee-Conti La Tache Grand Cru 2003 Front Label
      Domaine de la Romanee-Conti La Tache Grand Cru 2003
      Pinot Noir from Burgundy, France
      • RP99
      • BH95
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    • Vincent Girardin Pommard Chalins V.V. 2003 Front Label
      Vincent Girardin Pommard Chalins V.V. 2003
      Pinot Noir from Pommard, Cote de Beaune, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
      • WS92
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    • Louis Jadot Echezeaux 2003  Front Label
      Louis Jadot Echezeaux 2003
      Pinot Noir from Flagey-Echezeaux, Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
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      • Louis Jadot Clos Vougeot 2003 Front Label
        Louis Jadot Clos Vougeot 2003
        Pinot Noir from Burgundy, France
        • RP95
        • WS92
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      • Maison Champy Mazis Chambertin Grand Cru 2003  Front Label
        Maison Champy Mazis Chambertin Grand Cru 2003
        Pinot Noir from Gevrey-Chambertin, Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
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        • Bruno Clair Chambertin Clos de Beze Grand Cru 2003 Front Label
          Bruno Clair Chambertin Clos de Beze Grand Cru 2003
          Pinot Noir from Burgundy, France
          • RP91
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        • Camille Giroud Nuits Saint Georges Les Vaucrains 2003  Front Label
          Camille Giroud Nuits Saint Georges Les Vaucrains 2003
          Pinot Noir from Nuits-St-Georges, Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
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          • Domaine Joseph Roty Charmes-Chambertin Grand Cru 2003 Front Label
            Domaine Joseph Roty Charmes-Chambertin Grand Cru 2003
            Pinot Noir from Gevrey-Chambertin, Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
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            • Dominique Laurent Nuits-St.-Georges Premier Cru 2003  Front Label
              Dominique Laurent Nuits-St.-Georges Premier Cru 2003
              Pinot Noir from Nuits-St-Georges, Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
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              • Louis Latour Chateau Corton Grancey Grand Cru 2003  Front Label
                Louis Latour Chateau Corton Grancey Grand Cru 2003
                Pinot Noir from Aloxe-Corton, Cote de Beaune, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
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                • Hubert Lignier Morey-St-Denis Premier Cru Vieilles Vignes 2003 Front Label
                  Hubert Lignier Morey-St-Denis Premier Cru Vieilles Vignes 2003
                  Pinot Noir from Morey-St-Denis, Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
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                  • Domaine Gerard Raphet Charmes-Chambertin (stained label) 2003  Front Label
                    Domaine Gerard Raphet Charmes-Chambertin (stained label) 2003
                    Pinot Noir from Gevrey-Chambertin, Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
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                    • Hospices de Beaune Corton Cuvee Docteur Peste elevage Jean Gagnerot 2003 Front Label
                      Hospices de Beaune Corton Cuvee Docteur Peste elevage Jean Gagnerot 2003
                      Pinot Noir from Cote de Beaune, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
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                      • Domaine Marquis d'Angerville Volnay Clos des Ducs Premier Cru Monopole 2003  Front Label
                        Domaine Marquis d'Angerville Volnay Clos des Ducs Premier Cru Monopole 2003
                        Pinot Noir from Volnay, Cote de Beaune, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
                        • BH93
                        • WS90
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                      • Domaine Ponsot Morey-Saint-Denis Cuvee des Grives (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2003 Front Label
                        Domaine Ponsot Morey-Saint-Denis Cuvee des Grives (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2003
                        Pinot Noir from Morey-St-Denis, Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
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                        • Domaine Philippe Charlopin-Parizot Charmes-Chambertin Grand Cru 2003  Front Label
                          Domaine Philippe Charlopin-Parizot Charmes-Chambertin Grand Cru 2003
                          Pinot Noir from Gevrey-Chambertin, Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
                          • RP95
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                        • Domaine Georges Mugneret-Gibourg Echezeaux Grand Cru 2003 Front Label
                          Domaine Georges Mugneret-Gibourg Echezeaux Grand Cru 2003
                          Pinot Noir from Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
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                          • Emmanuel Rouget Vosne-Romanee Cros-Parantoux Premier Cru 2003 Front Label
                            Emmanuel Rouget Vosne-Romanee Cros-Parantoux Premier Cru 2003
                            Pinot Noir from Vosne-Romanee, Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
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                            • Dugat-Py Gevrey Chambertin Coeur de Roy Vieilles Vignes 2003 Front Label
                              Dugat-Py Gevrey Chambertin Coeur de Roy Vieilles Vignes 2003
                              Pinot Noir from Gevrey-Chambertin, Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
                              • RP90
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                              109 97
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                            • Dominique Laurent Ruchottes-Chambertin Grand Cru (1.5L Magnum) 2003
                              Pinot Noir from Gevrey-Chambertin, Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
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                              • Dugat-Py Mazis-Chambertin Grand Cru 2003 Front Label
                                Dugat-Py Mazis-Chambertin Grand Cru 2003
                                Pinot Noir from Gevrey-Chambertin, Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
                                • RP96
                                • BH95
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                              • Domaine Gros Frere et Soeur Clos de Vougeot Musigni Grand Cru 2003 Front Label
                                Domaine Gros Frere et Soeur Clos de Vougeot Musigni Grand Cru 2003
                                Pinot Noir from Vougeot, Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
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                                  Currently Unavailable $114.97
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                                  114 97
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                                • Vincent Girardin Corton Grand Cru Vieilles Vignes 2003 Front Label
                                  Vincent Girardin Corton Grand Cru Vieilles Vignes 2003
                                  Pinot Noir from Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
                                  • RP93
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                                  Currently Unavailable $99.00
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                                  99
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                                • Domaine Henri Gouges Nuits-St-Georges Les Chenes Carteaux 2003 Front Label
                                  Domaine Henri Gouges Nuits-St-Georges Les Chenes Carteaux 2003
                                  Pinot Noir from Burgundy, France
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                                    Currently Unavailable $54.97
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                                    54 97
                                    54 97
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