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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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  • Bouchard Pere & Fils Savigny-les-Beaune Les Lavieres Premier Cru 2012  Front Label
    Bouchard Pere & Fils Savigny-les-Beaune Les Lavieres Premier Cru 2012
    Pinot Noir from Savigny-les-Beaune, Cote de Beaune, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
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  • Domaine Faiveley Corton Clos des Cortons Faiveley Grand Cru 2012 Front Label
    Domaine Faiveley Corton Clos des Cortons Faiveley Grand Cru 2012
    Pinot Noir from Cote de Beaune, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
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    • RP94
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  • Lucien Le Moine Charmes-Chambertin Grand Cru 2012 Front Label
    Lucien Le Moine Charmes-Chambertin Grand Cru 2012
    Pinot Noir from Gevrey-Chambertin, Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
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  • Domaine de la Vougeraie Nuits-Saint-Georges Clos de Thorey Monopole Premier Cru 2012 Front Label
    Domaine de la Vougeraie Nuits-Saint-Georges Clos de Thorey Monopole Premier Cru 2012
    Pinot Noir from Nuits-St-Georges, Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
    • RP93
    • WS91
    • W&S91
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  • Bouchard Pere & Fils Premier Cru Beaune Teurons Domaine 2012 Front Label
    Bouchard Pere & Fils Premier Cru Beaune Teurons Domaine 2012
    Pinot Noir from Beaune, Cote de Beaune, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
    • WS92
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  • Lecheneaut Morey-Saint-Denis 2012 Front Label
    Lecheneaut Morey-Saint-Denis 2012
    Pinot Noir from Morey-St-Denis, Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
    • BH91
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  • Louis Latour Aloxe-Corton Les Chaillots Premier Cru 2012 Front Label
    Louis Latour Aloxe-Corton Les Chaillots Premier Cru 2012
    Pinot Noir from Aloxe-Corton, Cote de Beaune, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
    • WE91
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    Currently Unavailable $119.99
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  • Louis Jadot Clos Vougeot Grand Cru 2012 Front Label
    Louis Jadot Clos Vougeot Grand Cru 2012
    Pinot Noir from Vougeot, Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
    • RP92
    • WS92
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  • Chanson Pere & Fils Clos des Mouches Rouge 2012 Front Label
    Chanson Pere & Fils Clos des Mouches Rouge 2012
    Pinot Noir from Beaune, Cote de Beaune, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
    • TA93
    • WS92
    • BH91
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  • Louis Latour Beaune Perrieres Premier Cru 2012 Front Label
    Louis Latour Beaune Perrieres Premier Cru 2012
    Pinot Noir from Beaune, Cote de Beaune, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
    • WS91
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  • Domaine Faiveley Echezeaux Grand Cru 2012 Front Label
    Domaine Faiveley Echezeaux Grand Cru 2012
    Pinot Noir from Flagey-Echezeaux, Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
    • WS91
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  • Domaine Faiveley Mazis-Chambertin Grand Cru 2012  Front Label
    Domaine Faiveley Mazis-Chambertin Grand Cru 2012
    Pinot Noir from Burgundy, France
    • RP97
    • WS91
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  • Domaine Faiveley Nuits-Saint-Georges Aux Chaignots Premier Cru 2012 Front Label
    Domaine Faiveley Nuits-Saint-Georges Aux Chaignots Premier Cru 2012
    Pinot Noir from Nuits-St-Georges, Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
    • WS91
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  • Pierre Damoy Chambertin Grand Cru 2012 Front Label
    Pierre Damoy Chambertin Grand Cru 2012
    Pinot Noir from Gevrey-Chambertin, Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
    • WS95
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  • Louis Latour Corton-Perrieres Grand Cru 2012 Front Label
    Louis Latour Corton-Perrieres Grand Cru 2012
    Pinot Noir from Aloxe-Corton, Cote de Beaune, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
    • WS92
    • RP90
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  • Bouchard Pere & Fils Gevrey-Chambertin 2012 Front Label
    Bouchard Pere & Fils Gevrey-Chambertin 2012
    Pinot Noir from Gevrey-Chambertin, Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
    • WS91
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    Currently Unavailable $64.99
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  • Michel Gay & Fils Aloxe-Corton Vieilles Vignes 2012 Front Label
    Michel Gay & Fils Aloxe-Corton Vieilles Vignes 2012
    Pinot Noir from Aloxe-Corton, Cote de Beaune, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
    • WS90
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  • Lucien Le Moine Pommard Les Epenots Premier Cru 2012 Front Label
    Lucien Le Moine Pommard Les Epenots Premier Cru 2012
    Pinot Noir from Pommard, Cote de Beaune, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
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    • BH92
    • RP91
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  • Chanson Pere & Fils Beaune Clos du Roi Premier Cru 2012 Front Label
    Chanson Pere & Fils Beaune Clos du Roi Premier Cru 2012
    Pinot Noir from Beaune, Cote de Beaune, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
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    • RP90
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  • Domaine de Courcel Pommard Premier Cru Grand Clos des Epenots 2012 Front Label
    Domaine de Courcel Pommard Premier Cru Grand Clos des Epenots 2012
    Pinot Noir from Pommard, Cote de Beaune, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
    • BH93
    • WS92
    • RP91
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  • Aurelien Verdet Gevrey Chambertin 2012 Front Label
    Aurelien Verdet Gevrey Chambertin 2012
    Pinot Noir from Gevrey-Chambertin, Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
    • WS92
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  • Domaine Faiveley Mercurey Clos des Myglands Premier Cru Monopole 2012 Front Label
    Domaine Faiveley Mercurey Clos des Myglands Premier Cru Monopole 2012
    Pinot Noir from Mercurey, Cote Chalonnaise, Burgundy, France
    • WS90
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  • Louis Latour Beaune Clos du Roi 2012 Front Label
    Louis Latour Beaune Clos du Roi 2012
    Pinot Noir from Beaune, Cote de Beaune, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
    • WS91
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  • Domaine Henri Gouges Nuits-St-Georges Les Chenes Carteaux 2012 Front Label
    Domaine Henri Gouges Nuits-St-Georges Les Chenes Carteaux 2012
    Pinot Noir from Burgundy, France
    • RP93
    • WS93
    • W&S93
    • BH92
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    Currently Unavailable $77.99
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  • Chanson Pere & Fils Savigny-Dominode Premier Cru 2012 Front Label
    Chanson Pere & Fils Savigny-Dominode Premier Cru 2012
    Pinot Noir from Savigny-les-Beaune, Cote de Beaune, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
    • BH92
    • RP91
    • JS91
    • WS90
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    Currently Unavailable $69.99
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