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Pinot Noir

Learn about Pinot Noir — taste profile, popular regions and more ...

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One of the most finicky yet rewarding grapes to grow, Pinot Noir is a labor of love for many. However, the greatest red wines of Burgundy prove that it is unquestionably worth the effort. In fact, it is the only red variety permitted in Burgundy. Highly reflective of its terroir, Pinot Noir prefers calcareous soils and a cool climate, requires low yields to achieve high quality and demands a lot of attention in the vineyard and winery. It retains even more glory as an important component of Champagne as well as on its own in France’s Loire Valley and Alsace regions. This sensational grape enjoys immense international success, most notably growing in Oregon, California and New Zealand with smaller amounts in Chile, Germany (as Spätburgunder) and Italy (as Pinot Nero).

Tasting Notes for Pinot Noir

Pinot Noir is a dry red wine, typically dominated by red fruit—strawberry, raspberry and cherry with some heftier styles showing black plum and more delicate styles of Pinot giving citrus qualities. It is relatively pale in color with soft tannins and a lively acidity. With age Pinot Noir wine can develop hauntingly alluring characteristics of fresh earth, savory spice and dried fruit.

Pinot Noir Food Pairings

Pinot’s healthy acidity cuts through the oiliness of salmon or texture of tuna but its mild-mannered tannins give it enough structure to pair the wine with all sorts of poultry: chicken, quail and especially duck. As the namesake wine of Boeuf Bourguignon, Pinot Noir has proven it isn’t afraid of beef. California examples work splendidly well with barbecue and Pinot Noir is also vegetarian-friendly—most notably with any dish that features mushrooms.

Sommelier Secrets for Pinot Noir

For administrative purposes, the region of Beaujolais is often included in Burgundy. But it is extremely different in terms of topography, soil and climate, and the important red grape here is ultimately Gamay, not Pinot Noir. Truth be told, there is a tiny amount of Gamay sprinkled around the outlying parts of Burgundy (mainly in Maconnais) but it isn’t allowed with any great significance and certainly not in any Village or Cru level wines. So "red Burgundy" still necessarily refers to Pinot noir.

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  • Patz & Hall Chenoweth Ranch Pinot Noir 2016  Front Label
    Patz & Hall Chenoweth Ranch Pinot Noir 2016
    Pinot Noir from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
    • JD94
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  • Montsecano Pinot Noir 2016 Front Label
    Montsecano Pinot Noir 2016
    Pinot Noir from Casablanca Valley, Chile
    • TA95
    • RP94
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  • Benton Lane First Class Pinot Noir 2016  Front Label
    Benton Lane First Class Pinot Noir 2016
    Pinot Noir from Willamette Valley, Oregon
    • WE91
    • JS90
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  • Capiaux Cellars Pisoni Vineyard Pinot Noir 2016 Front Label
    Capiaux Cellars Pisoni Vineyard Pinot Noir 2016
    Pinot Noir from Santa Lucia Highlands, Monterey, Central Coast, California
    • V93
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  • Rhys Vineyards Bearwallow Vineyard Pinot Noir 2016  Front Label
    Rhys Vineyards Bearwallow Vineyard Pinot Noir 2016
    Pinot Noir from Anderson Valley, Mendocino, California
    • JD93
    • RP92
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  • St. Innocent Shea Vineyard Pinot Noir 2016  Front Label
    St. Innocent Shea Vineyard Pinot Noir 2016
    Pinot Noir from Yamhill-Carlton District, Willamette Valley, Oregon
    • WS93
    • RP91
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  • Patz & Hall Gap's Crown Vineyard Pinot Noir 2016  Front Label
    Patz & Hall Gap's Crown Vineyard Pinot Noir 2016
    Pinot Noir from Petaluma Gap, Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
    • JD94
    4.4 10 Ratings
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  • Saintsbury Lee Vineyard Carneros Pinot Noir 2016 Front Label
    Saintsbury Lee Vineyard Carneros Pinot Noir 2016
    Pinot Noir from Carneros, California
    • WS90
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  • Domaine Denis Bachelet Charmes-Chambertin Grand Cru Vieilles Vignes 2016 Front Label
    Domaine Denis Bachelet Charmes-Chambertin Grand Cru Vieilles Vignes 2016
    Pinot Noir from Gevrey-Chambertin, Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
    • RP98
    • V96
    • D95
    • BH94
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  • Fort Ross Vineyard Estate Pinot Noir 2016  Front Label
    Fort Ross Vineyard Estate Pinot Noir 2016
    Pinot Noir from Fort Ross-Seaview, Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
    • WS93
    • RP93
    4.4 10 Ratings
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  • Aurelien Verdet Vosne-Romanee Vieilles Vignes 2016 Front Label
    Aurelien Verdet Vosne-Romanee Vieilles Vignes 2016
    Pinot Noir from Vosne-Romanee, Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
    • WS93
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  • Brittan Gestalt Block Pinot Noir 2016  Front Label
    Brittan Gestalt Block Pinot Noir 2016
    Pinot Noir from Willamette Valley, Oregon
    • RP95
    • WE94
    • JS93
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  • Storm Pinot Noir Vrede 2016  Front Label
    Storm Pinot Noir Vrede 2016
    Pinot Noir from South Africa
    • WE93
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  • Scherrer Winery Sonoma County Pinot Noir 2016  Front Label
    Scherrer Winery Sonoma County Pinot Noir 2016
    Pinot Noir from Sonoma County, California
    • V91
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  • Saintsbury Sundawg Ridge Vineyard Pinot Noir 2016 Front Label
    Saintsbury Sundawg Ridge Vineyard Pinot Noir 2016
    Pinot Noir from Green Valley, Russian River, Sonoma County, California
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    • Schug Carneros Estate Grown Pinot Noir 2016 Front Label
      Schug Carneros Estate Grown Pinot Noir 2016
      Pinot Noir from Carneros, California
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      • Radio-Coteau Savoy Vineyard Pinot Noir 2016  Front Label
        Radio-Coteau Savoy Vineyard Pinot Noir 2016
        Pinot Noir from Anderson Valley, Mendocino, California
        • JD93
        • W&S92
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      • Domaine Gerard Raphet Clos Vougeot Grand Cru Cuvee Unique 2016  Front Label
        Domaine Gerard Raphet Clos Vougeot Grand Cru Cuvee Unique 2016
        Pinot Noir from Vougeot, Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
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        • Domaine Parent Corton-Renardes Grand Cru 2016  Front Label
          Domaine Parent Corton-Renardes Grand Cru 2016
          Pinot Noir from Aloxe-Corton, Cote de Beaune, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
          • RP92
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        • Capiaux Cellars Garys' Vineyard Pinot Noir 2016  Front Label
          Capiaux Cellars Garys' Vineyard Pinot Noir 2016
          Pinot Noir from Santa Lucia Highlands, Monterey, Central Coast, California
          • V92
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        • Chanin Sanford & Benedict Vineyard Pinot Noir 2016  Front Label
          Chanin Sanford & Benedict Vineyard Pinot Noir 2016
          Pinot Noir from Sta. Rita Hills, Santa Barbara, Central Coast, California
          • JD94
          • V94
          • RP93
          • W&S93
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