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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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  • Marchand-Tawse Charmes-Chambertin Grand Cru 2014  Front Label
    Marchand-Tawse Charmes-Chambertin Grand Cru 2014
    Pinot Noir from Gevrey-Chambertin, Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
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    • Marchand-Tawse Morey-St-Denis Les Millandes Premier Cru 2014 Front Label
      Marchand-Tawse Morey-St-Denis Les Millandes Premier Cru 2014
      Pinot Noir from Morey-St-Denis, Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
      • BH92
      • WW91
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    • Marchand-Tawse Mazy-Chambertin Grand Cru 2014  Front Label
      Marchand-Tawse Mazy-Chambertin Grand Cru 2014
      Pinot Noir from Vougeot, Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
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    • Domaine de la Romanee-Conti Romanee St. Vivant Grand Cru 2014 Front Label
      Domaine de la Romanee-Conti Romanee St. Vivant Grand Cru 2014
      Pinot Noir from Vosne-Romanee, Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
      • D96
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      • RP95
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    • Faiveley Volnay Fremiets Premier Cru 2014 Front Label
      Faiveley Volnay Fremiets Premier Cru 2014
      Pinot Noir from Volnay, Cote de Beaune, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
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      • Domaine Maurice Charleux & Fils Maranges Le Clos des Rois Premier Cru 2014 Front Label
        Domaine Maurice Charleux & Fils Maranges Le Clos des Rois Premier Cru 2014
        Pinot Noir from Maranges, Cote de Beaune, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
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        • Philippe Livera Fixin En Olivier 2014 Front Label
          Philippe Livera Fixin En Olivier 2014
          Pinot Noir from Fixin, Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
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          • Domaine de Montille Beaune Les Sizies Premier Cru 2014 Front Label
            Domaine de Montille Beaune Les Sizies Premier Cru 2014
            Pinot Noir from Beaune, Cote de Beaune, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
            • RP91
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          • Domaine Robert Chevillon Nuits-Saint-Georges Les Vaucrains Premier Cru 2014  Front Label
            Domaine Robert Chevillon Nuits-Saint-Georges Les Vaucrains Premier Cru 2014
            Pinot Noir from Nuits-St-Georges, Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
            • BH95
            • RP94
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          • Domaine Sarrazin Givry Sous La Roche Rouge 2014 Front Label
            Domaine Sarrazin Givry Sous La Roche Rouge 2014
            Pinot Noir from Givry, Cote Chalonnaise, Burgundy, France
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            • Faiveley Gevrey-Chambertin Les Cazetiers Premier Cru 2014 Front Label
              Faiveley Gevrey-Chambertin Les Cazetiers Premier Cru 2014
              Pinot Noir from Gevrey-Chambertin, Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
              • WE94
              • BH94
              • WS91
              • RP90
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            • Denis Carre Savigny-Les-Beaune Vieilles Vignes 2014 Front Label
              Denis Carre Savigny-Les-Beaune Vieilles Vignes 2014
              Pinot Noir from Savigny-les-Beaune, Cote de Beaune, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
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              • Domaine Arlaud Morey-St-Denis Les Ruchots Premier Cru 2014 Front Label
                Domaine Arlaud Morey-St-Denis Les Ruchots Premier Cru 2014
                Pinot Noir from Morey-St-Denis, Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
                • BH93
                • RP92
                • WS91
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              • Frederic Esmonin Ruchottes-Chambertin Grand Cru 2014  Front Label
                Frederic Esmonin Ruchottes-Chambertin Grand Cru 2014
                Pinot Noir from Gevrey-Chambertin, Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
                • BH91
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              • Domaine Gerard Raphet Gevrey-Chambertin Champ Chenys Vieilles Vignes 2014 Front Label
                Domaine Gerard Raphet Gevrey-Chambertin Champ Chenys Vieilles Vignes 2014
                Pinot Noir from Gevrey-Chambertin, Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
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                • Domaine Michel & Joanna Ecard Savigny-les-Beaune Premier Cru Les Serpentieres 2014 Front Label
                  Domaine Michel & Joanna Ecard Savigny-les-Beaune Premier Cru Les Serpentieres 2014
                  Pinot Noir from Savigny-les-Beaune, Cote de Beaune, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
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                  • Domaine de la Romanee-Conti Richebourg Grand Cru 2014 Front Label
                    Domaine de la Romanee-Conti Richebourg Grand Cru 2014
                    Pinot Noir from Vosne-Romanee, Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
                    • RP96
                    • BH95
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                  • Domaine Jean Grivot Nuits-St-Georges Ronciere Premier  Cru 2014 Front Label
                    Domaine Jean Grivot Nuits-St-Georges Ronciere Premier Cru 2014
                    Pinot Noir from Nuits-St-Georges, Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
                    • RP93
                    • BH92
                    • WS91
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                  • Faiveley Chambolle-Musigny 2014 Front Label
                    Faiveley Chambolle-Musigny 2014
                    Pinot Noir from Chambolle-Musigny, Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
                    • WS92
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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
                    • RP93
                    • BH93
                    • WS92
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                  • Faiveley Volnay Santenots Premier Cru 2014 Front Label
                    Faiveley Volnay Santenots Premier Cru 2014
                    Pinot Noir from Volnay, Cote de Beaune, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
                    • WS91
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                  • Maison Roche de Bellene Bourgogne Pinot Noir Vieilles Vignes 2014 Front Label
                    Maison Roche de Bellene Bourgogne Pinot Noir Vieilles Vignes 2014
                    Pinot Noir from Burgundy, France
                    • D90
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                  • Albert Bichot Mercurey 2014 Front Label
                    Albert Bichot Mercurey 2014
                    Pinot Noir from Mercurey, Cote Chalonnaise, Burgundy, France
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                    • Domaine de Montille Volnay Les Taillepieds Premier Cru 2014  Front Label
                      Domaine de Montille Volnay Les Taillepieds Premier Cru 2014
                      Pinot Noir from Volnay, Cote de Beaune, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
                      • BH93
                      • RP93
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                    • Domaine Arlaud Bourgogne Hautes-Cotes de Nuits 2014 Front Label
                      Domaine Arlaud Bourgogne Hautes-Cotes de Nuits 2014
                      Pinot Noir from Burgundy, France
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