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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 diominated 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 can develop hauntingly alluring characteristics of fresh earth, savory spice and dried fruit.

Perfect Food Pairings for Pinot Noir

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 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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    Acacia Pinot Noir Lee (3 Liter) 1999
    Pinot Noir from Carneros, California
    • RP89
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    Rochioli Little Hill Pinot Noir 1999
    Pinot Noir from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
    • RP93
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    Bertrand Ambroise Corton Le Rognet Grand Cru 1999
    Pinot Noir from Burgundy, France
    • RP97
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    Williams Selyem Hirsch Pinot Noir 1999
    Pinot Noir from Sonoma County, California
    • WS91
    • RP90
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    Domaine Arlaud Morey-Saint-Denis Les Ruchots Premier Cru 1999
    Pinot Noir from Morey-St-Denis, Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
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      Domaine Anne Gros Richebourg Grand Cru 1999
      Pinot Noir from Vosne-Romanee, Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
      • RP96
      • BH94
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    • Williams Selyem Vista Verde Vineyard Pinot Noir 1999
      Pinot Noir from San Benito, Central Coast, California
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        Domaine Arlaud Gevrey Chambertin Premier Cru Aux Combottes 1999
        Pinot Noir from Gevrey-Chambertin, Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
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          Marcassin Blue Slide Ridge Pinot Noir 1999
          Pinot Noir from Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
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            Rene Leclerc Griottes Chambertin Grand Cru 1999
            Pinot Noir from Burgundy, France
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              Dehlinger Octagon Pinot Noir 1999
              Pinot Noir from Sonoma County, California
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                Lynmar Winery Estate Requiem Quail Hill Vineyard Pinot Noir 1999
                Pinot Noir from Sonoma County, California
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                  Williams Selyem Central Coast Pinot Noir (1.5 Liter Magnum) 1999
                  Pinot Noir from Central Coast, California
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                    Dehlinger Goldridge Pinot Noir 1999
                    Pinot Noir from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
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                      Williams Selyem Sonoma County Pinot Noir (1.5 Liter Magnum) 1999
                      Pinot Noir from Sonoma County, California
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                        Alex Gambal Bonnes Mares 1999
                        Pinot Noir from Nuits-St-Georges, Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
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                        • RP90
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                        Williams Selyem Hirsch Pinot Noir 1999
                        Pinot Noir from Sonoma County, California
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                      • Williams Selyem Central Coast Pinot Noir 1999
                        Pinot Noir from Central Coast, California
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                          Williams Selyem Russian River Valley Pinot Noir (1.5 Liter Magnum) 1999
                          Pinot Noir from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
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                            Argyle Spirithouse Pinot Noir 1999
                            Pinot Noir from Willamette Valley, Oregon
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                            • RP90
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                            Williams Selyem Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir 1999
                            Pinot Noir from Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
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                              Sylvain Cathiard Vosne-Romanee Aux Malconsorts Premier Cru 1999
                              Pinot Noir from Vosne-Romanee, Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
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                              Williams Selyem Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir (1.5 Liter Magnum) 1999
                              Pinot Noir from Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
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                                Williams Selyem Weir Vineyard Pinot Noir (1.5 Liter Magnum) 1999
                                Pinot Noir from Yorkville Highlands, Mendocino, California
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                                  Williams Selyem Coastlands Pinot Noir 1999
                                  Pinot Noir from Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
                                  • RP90
                                  • WS90
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