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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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  • Cristom Eileen Vineyard Pinot Noir 2018  Front Label
    Cristom Eileen Vineyard Pinot Noir 2018
    Pinot Noir from Eola-Amity Hills, Willamette Valley, Oregon
    • JS95
    • WW93
    • W&S92
    • RP92
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  • Cristom Marjorie Vineyard Pinot Noir 2018  Front Label
    Cristom Marjorie Vineyard Pinot Noir 2018
    Pinot Noir from Eola-Amity Hills, Willamette Valley, Oregon
    • JS96
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    • WW92
    • W&S91
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  • Chanson Pere & Fils Beaune Clos des Mouches Rouge Premier Cru 2018  Front Label
    Chanson Pere & Fils Beaune Clos des Mouches Rouge Premier Cru 2018
    Pinot Noir from Beaune, Cote de Beaune, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
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    • JS92
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  • Domaine de Bellene Beaune Hommage a Francoise Potel Premier Cru 2018  Front Label
    Domaine de Bellene Beaune Hommage a Francoise Potel Premier Cru 2018
    Pinot Noir from Beaune, Cote de Beaune, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
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    • D94
    • WS92
    • W&S91
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  • Chanin Sanford and Benedict Vineyard Pinot Noir 2016  Front Label
    Chanin Sanford and 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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  • 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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  • Bethel Heights Casteel Pinot Noir 2018  Front Label
    Bethel Heights Casteel Pinot Noir 2018
    Pinot Noir from Eola-Amity Hills, Willamette Valley, Oregon
    • V95
    • W&S91
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  • Chanin Los Alamos Vineyard Pinot Noir 2017  Front Bottle Shot
    Chanin Los Alamos Vineyard Pinot Noir 2017
    Pinot Noir from Santa Barbara, Central Coast, California
    • JD95
    • WE93
    • RP93
    • W&S91
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  • Cristom Louise Vineyard Pinot Noir 2018  Front Label
    Cristom Louise Vineyard Pinot Noir 2018
    Pinot Noir from Eola-Amity Hills, Willamette Valley, Oregon
    • JS96
    • WW93
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    • W&S92
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  • Chanson Pere & Fils Beaune Clos des Feves Premier Cru Monopole 2018  Front Label
    Chanson Pere & Fils Beaune Clos des Feves Premier Cru Monopole 2018
    Pinot Noir from Beaune, Cote de Beaune, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
    • WS92
    • JS92
    • BH92
    • W&S90
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  • Michel Magnien Chambolle-Musigny Les Argillieres 2018  Front Label
    Michel Magnien Chambolle-Musigny Les Argillieres 2018
    Pinot Noir from Chambolle-Musigny, Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
    • W&S93
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  • Maison Roche de Bellene Gevrey-Chambertin Vieilles Vignes 2018  Front Label
    Maison Roche de Bellene Gevrey-Chambertin Vieilles Vignes 2018
    Pinot Noir from Gevrey-Chambertin, Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
    • WW93
    • W&S91
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  • Evening Land Seven Springs Vineyard La Source Pinot Noir 2017  Front Label
    Evening Land Seven Springs Vineyard La Source Pinot Noir 2017
    Pinot Noir from Eola-Amity Hills, Willamette Valley, Oregon
    • WS94
    • RP93
    • W&S92
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