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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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  • Devillard Domaine des Perdrix Echezeaux 2002 Front Label
    Devillard Domaine des Perdrix Echezeaux 2002
    Pinot Noir from Flagey-Echezeaux, Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
    • RP96
    • WE91
    • WS91
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  • Mommessin Clos de Tart Grand Cru 2002 Front Label
    Mommessin Clos de Tart Grand Cru 2002
    Pinot Noir from Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
    • RP96
    • WS93
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  • Louis Latour Volnay En Chevret Premier Cru 2002 Front Label
    Louis Latour Volnay En Chevret Premier Cru 2002
    Pinot Noir from Burgundy, France
    • WS90
    3.2 6 Ratings
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  • Vincent Girardin Chambertin-Clos de Beze Grand Cru 2002 Front Label
    Vincent Girardin Chambertin-Clos de Beze Grand Cru 2002
    Pinot Noir from Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
    • WS98
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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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  • Vincent Girardin Gevrey Chambertin Vieilles Vignes 2002 Front Label
    Vincent Girardin Gevrey Chambertin Vieilles Vignes 2002
    Pinot Noir from Burgundy, France
    • WS92
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  • Jean-Claude Boisset Echezeaux Grand Cru 2002 Front Label
    Jean-Claude Boisset Echezeaux Grand Cru 2002
    Pinot Noir from Burgundy, France
    • WS92
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    Currently Unavailable $109.00
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    127
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  • Joseph Drouhin Beaune Clos des Mouches Premier Cru Rouge 2002 Front Label
    Joseph Drouhin Beaune Clos des Mouches Premier Cru Rouge 2002
    Pinot Noir from Burgundy, France
    • WS91
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    Currently Unavailable $59.99
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  • Domaine Georges & Christophe Roumier Bonnes Mares Grand Cru 2002
    Pinot Noir from Burgundy, France
    • WS97
    • RP97
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  • Domaine Perrot-Minot Nuits-Saint-Georges La Richemone Premier Cru 2002  Front Label
    Domaine Perrot-Minot Nuits-Saint-Georges La Richemone Premier Cru 2002
    Pinot Noir from Nuits-St-Georges, Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
    • WS91
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  • Domaine Perrot-Minot Gevrey-Chambertin 2002  Front Label
    Domaine Perrot-Minot Gevrey-Chambertin 2002
    Pinot Noir from Gevrey-Chambertin, Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
    • WS91
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    Currently Unavailable $119.97
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  • Domaine Georges & Christophe Roumier  Morey-St. Denis Clos de la Bussiere 2002 Front Label
    Domaine Georges & Christophe Roumier Morey-St. Denis Clos de la Bussiere 2002
    Pinot Noir from Burgundy, France
    • WS90
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    Currently Unavailable $229.00
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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
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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
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  • Devillard Domaine des Perdrix Nuits-Saint-Georges Aux Perdix Premier Cru 2002 Front Label
    Devillard Domaine des Perdrix Nuits-Saint-Georges Aux Perdix Premier Cru 2002
    Pinot Noir from Nuits-St-Georges, Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
    • RP93
    • WS92
    • WE90
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    Currently Unavailable $129.00
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    129
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  • Dominique Laurent Mazis Chambertin Cuvee B 2002 Front Label
    Dominique Laurent Mazis Chambertin Cuvee B 2002
    Pinot Noir from Burgundy, France
    • WS95
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    Currently Unavailable $139.00
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  • Domaine des Lambrays Clos Des Lambrays 2002 Front Label
    Domaine des Lambrays Clos Des Lambrays 2002
    Pinot Noir from Morey-St-Denis, Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
    • WE95
    • WS93
    • BH92
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  • Vincent Girardin Clos de La Roche Grand Cru Vieilles Vignes (stained labels) 2002 Front Label
    Vincent Girardin Clos de La Roche Grand Cru Vieilles Vignes (stained labels) 2002
    Pinot Noir from Burgundy, France
    • WS93
    • RP91
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  • Domaine de la Vougeraie Vougeot Clos du Prieure Monopole Rouge 2002 Front Label
    Domaine de la Vougeraie Vougeot Clos du Prieure Monopole Rouge 2002
    Pinot Noir from Vougeot, Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
    • WS91
    • WE90
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