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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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  • Williams Selyem Flax Vineyard Pinot Noir 2002 Front Label
    Williams Selyem Flax Vineyard Pinot Noir 2002
    Pinot Noir from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
    • RP90
    • WE90
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  • Marcassin Marcassin Vineyard Pinot Noir 2002 Front Label
    Marcassin Marcassin Vineyard Pinot Noir 2002
    Pinot Noir from Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
    • RP98
    • WS95
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  • Ojai Melville Vineyard Pinot Noir 2002 Front Label
    Ojai Melville Vineyard Pinot Noir 2002
    Pinot Noir from California
    • RP92
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  • Roar Rosella's Vineyard Pinot Noir 2002 Front Label
    Roar Rosella's Vineyard Pinot Noir 2002
    Pinot Noir from Santa Lucia Highlands, Monterey, Central Coast, California
    • WS91
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  • Domaine Fourrier Chambolle-Musigny Les Gruenchers Premier Cru Vieille Vigne 2002 Front Label
    Domaine Fourrier Chambolle-Musigny Les Gruenchers Premier Cru Vieille Vigne 2002
    Pinot Noir from Chambolle-Musigny, Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
    • BH91
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  • Flowers Keefer Ranch Pinot Noir 2002 Front Label
    Flowers Keefer Ranch Pinot Noir 2002
    Pinot Noir from Green Valley, Russian River, Sonoma County, California
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    • Williams Selyem Vista Verde Vineyard Pinot Noir 2002 Front Label
      Williams Selyem Vista Verde Vineyard Pinot Noir 2002
      Pinot Noir from San Benito, Central Coast, California
      • WS91
      • WE90
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    • Williams Selyem Weir Vineyard Pinot Noir 2002 Front Label
      Williams Selyem Weir Vineyard Pinot Noir 2002
      Pinot Noir from Yorkville Highlands, Mendocino, California
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      • Marcassin Blue Slide Ridge Pinot Noir 2002 Front Label
        Marcassin Blue Slide Ridge Pinot Noir 2002
        Pinot Noir from Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
        • WS96
        • RP95
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      • Sine Qua Non Hollerin' M Shea Vineyard Pinot Noir 2002 Front Label
        Sine Qua Non Hollerin' M Shea Vineyard Pinot Noir 2002
        Pinot Noir from Yamhill-Carlton District, Willamette Valley, Oregon
        • RP96
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      • Ken Wright Cellars Shea Vineyard Pinot Noir 2002 Front Label
        Ken Wright Cellars Shea Vineyard Pinot Noir 2002
        Pinot Noir from Yamhill-Carlton District, Willamette Valley, Oregon
        • WS93
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      • Roar Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir 2002 Front Label
        Roar Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir 2002
        Pinot Noir from Santa Lucia Highlands, Monterey, Central Coast, California
        • WS90
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      • Ojai Clos Pepe Pinot Noir 2002 Front Label
        Ojai Clos Pepe Pinot Noir 2002
        Pinot Noir from California
        • RP94
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      • Marcassin Three Sisters Vineyard Pinot Noir 2002 Front Label
        Marcassin Three Sisters Vineyard Pinot Noir 2002
        Pinot Noir from Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
        • WS97
        • RP96
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      • Sylvain Cathiard Vosne-Romanee (torn labels) 2002 Front Label
        Sylvain Cathiard Vosne-Romanee (torn labels) 2002
        Pinot Noir from Vosne-Romanee, Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
        • WS92
        • BH90
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      • Domaine Perrot-Minot Vosne-Romanee Les Beaux Monts Premier Cru 2002  Front Label
        Domaine Perrot-Minot Vosne-Romanee Les Beaux Monts Premier Cru 2002
        Pinot Noir from Vosne-Romanee, Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
        • V91
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      • Domaine Joseph Roty Charmes-Chambertin Grand Cru 2002  Front Label
        Domaine Joseph Roty Charmes-Chambertin Grand Cru 2002
        Pinot Noir from Gevrey-Chambertin, Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
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        • Domaine Michel Lafarge Volnay Premier Cru 2002 Front Label
          Domaine Michel Lafarge Volnay Premier Cru 2002
          Pinot Noir from Burgundy, France
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          • Benton Lane First Class Pinot Noir 2002 Front Label
            Benton Lane First Class Pinot Noir 2002
            Pinot Noir from Willamette Valley, Oregon
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            • Domaine Perrot-Minot Mazoyeres-Chambertin Vieilles Vignes Grand Cru 2002  Front Label
              Domaine Perrot-Minot Mazoyeres-Chambertin Vieilles Vignes Grand Cru 2002
              Pinot Noir from Gevrey-Chambertin, Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
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              • Domaine Perrot-Minot Nuits-Saint-Georges La Richemone Premier Cru 2002  Front Label
                Domaine Perrot-Minot Nuits-Saint-Georges La Richemone Premier Cru 2002
                Pinot Noir from Nuits-St-Georges, Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
                • WS91
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              • Argyle Spirithouse Pinot Noir 2002
                Pinot Noir from Willamette Valley, Oregon
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                • Williams Selyem Allen Vineyard Pinot Noir 2002 Front Label
                  Williams Selyem Allen Vineyard Pinot Noir 2002
                  Pinot Noir from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
                  • WS93
                  • RP93
                  • W&S90
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                • Domaine de la Romanee-Conti La Tache Grand Cru 2002
                  Pinot Noir from Burgundy, France
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                  • Domaine Armand Rousseau Chambertin Clos de Beze Grand Cru 2002
                    Pinot Noir from Gevrey-Chambertin, Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
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