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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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  • Joseph Drouhin Cote de Beaune 2005 Front Label
    Joseph Drouhin Cote de Beaune 2005
    Pinot Noir from Burgundy, France
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  • Domaine des Lambrays Clos Des Lambrays 2005 Front Label
    Domaine des Lambrays Clos Des Lambrays 2005
    Pinot Noir from Morey-St-Denis, Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
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  • Jean-Claude Boisset Beaune Premier Cru Les Bressandes 2005 Front Label
    Jean-Claude Boisset Beaune Premier Cru Les Bressandes 2005
    Pinot Noir from Burgundy, France
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  • Alex Gambal Chambolle Musigny Les Charmes 2005 Front Label
    Alex Gambal Chambolle Musigny Les Charmes 2005
    Pinot Noir from Chambolle-Musigny, Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
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  • Chanson Pere & Fils Bourgogne Pinot Noir 2005 Front Label
    Chanson Pere & Fils Bourgogne Pinot Noir 2005
    Pinot Noir from Burgundy, France
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  • Louis Latour Marsannay Rouge 2005 Front Label
    Louis Latour Marsannay Rouge 2005
    Pinot Noir from Burgundy, France
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  • Nicolas Potel Echezeaux 2005 Front Label
    Nicolas Potel Echezeaux 2005
    Pinot Noir from Burgundy, France
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  • Louis Jadot Beaune-Theurons 2005 Front Label
    Louis Jadot Beaune-Theurons 2005
    Pinot Noir from Burgundy, France
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  • Bouchard Pere & Fils Gevrey-Chambertin 2005 Front Label
    Bouchard Pere & Fils Gevrey-Chambertin 2005
    Pinot Noir from Gevrey-Chambertin, Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
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  • Louis Latour Volnay En Chevret Premier Cru 2005 Front Label
    Louis Latour Volnay En Chevret Premier Cru 2005
    Pinot Noir from Burgundy, France
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  • Louis Jadot Beaune Clos des Ursules Premier Cru 2005 Front Label
    Louis Jadot Beaune Clos des Ursules Premier Cru 2005
    Pinot Noir from Burgundy, France
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  • Bouchard Pere & Fils Volnay Caillerets Ancienne Cuvee Carnot Premier Cru 2005 Front Label
    Bouchard Pere & Fils Volnay Caillerets Ancienne Cuvee Carnot Premier Cru 2005
    Pinot Noir from Volnay, Cote de Beaune, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
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  • Vincent Girardin Gevrey Chambertin Vieilles Vignes 2005 Front Label
    Vincent Girardin Gevrey Chambertin Vieilles Vignes 2005
    Pinot Noir from Burgundy, France
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  • Lucien Le Moine Chambolle Musigny les Amoureuses 2005 Front Label
    Lucien Le Moine Chambolle Musigny les Amoureuses 2005
    Pinot Noir from Chambolle-Musigny, Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
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  • Louis Latour Chambertin Cuvee Heritiers Grand Cru 2005 Front Label
    Louis Latour Chambertin Cuvee Heritiers Grand Cru 2005
    Pinot Noir from Gevrey-Chambertin, Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
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  • Lucien Le Moine Mazis-Chambertin Grand Cru 2005 Front Label
    Lucien Le Moine Mazis-Chambertin Grand Cru 2005
    Pinot Noir from Burgundy, France
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  • Louis Jadot Corton Greves Grand Cru 2005 Front Label
    Louis Jadot Corton Greves Grand Cru 2005
    Pinot Noir from Burgundy, France
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  • Domaine Marquis d'Angerville Volnay Champans 2005 Front Label
    Domaine Marquis d'Angerville Volnay Champans 2005
    Pinot Noir from Volnay, Cote de Beaune, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
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  • Domaine Bertagna Corton les Grandes Lolieres 2005 Front Label
    Domaine Bertagna Corton les Grandes Lolieres 2005
    Pinot Noir from Burgundy, France
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  • Domaine Faiveley Corton 'Clos des Cortons' Monopole (1.5L Magnum) 2005 Front Label
    Domaine Faiveley Corton 'Clos des Cortons' Monopole (1.5L Magnum) 2005
    Pinot Noir from Cote de Beaune, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
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  • Camille Giroud Chapelle Chambertin Grand Cru 2005 Front Label
    Camille Giroud Chapelle Chambertin Grand Cru 2005
    Pinot Noir from Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
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  • Devillard Domaine des Perdrix Nuits-Saint-Georges Aux Perdix Premier Cru 2005 Front Label
    Devillard Domaine des Perdrix Nuits-Saint-Georges Aux Perdix Premier Cru 2005
    Pinot Noir from Burgundy, France
    • WS94
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