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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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  • Mongeard-Mugneret Echezeaux Grand Cru 2002  Front Label
    Mongeard-Mugneret Echezeaux Grand Cru 2002
    Pinot Noir from Flagey-Echezeaux, Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
    • WS92
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  • W.H. Smith Pinot Noir 2002
    Pinot Noir from Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
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    • Argyle Spirithouse Pinot Noir 2002
      Pinot Noir from Willamette Valley, Oregon
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      • Albert Morot Beaune Aigrots Premier Cru Rouge 2002  Front Label
        Albert Morot Beaune Aigrots Premier Cru Rouge 2002
        Pinot Noir from Beaune, Cote de Beaune, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
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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 Serene Jerusalem Hill Vineyard Pinot Noir 2002  Front Label
          Domaine Serene Jerusalem Hill Vineyard Pinot Noir 2002
          Pinot Noir from Willamette Valley, Oregon
          • RP92
          • WS90
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        • Domaine Gerard Raphet Gevrey-Chambertin Lavaux St-Jacques Premier Cru 2002  Front Label
          Domaine Gerard Raphet Gevrey-Chambertin Lavaux St-Jacques Premier Cru 2002
          Pinot Noir from Gevrey-Chambertin, Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
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          • Francois Lamarche La Grande Rue Monopole Grand Cru 2002  Front Label
            Francois Lamarche La Grande Rue Monopole Grand Cru 2002
            Pinot Noir from Vosne-Romanee, Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
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            • Williams Selyem Precious Mountain Pinot Noir 2002 Front Label
              Williams Selyem Precious Mountain Pinot Noir 2002
              Pinot Noir from Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
              • WS92
              • RP92
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            • Domaine Georges Jayer Echezeaux Grand Cru 2002
              Pinot Noir from Flagey-Echezeaux, Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
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              • Rene Leclerc Griottes Chambertin Grand Cru 2002 Front Label
                Rene Leclerc Griottes Chambertin Grand Cru 2002
                Pinot Noir from Gevrey-Chambertin, Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
                • BH92
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              • Domaine de la Romanee-Conti La Tache Grand Cru 2002
                Pinot Noir from Burgundy, France
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                • Domaine Serene Monogram Pinot Noir 2002  Front Label
                  Domaine Serene Monogram Pinot Noir 2002
                  Pinot Noir from Eola-Amity Hills, Willamette Valley, Oregon
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                  • Domaine de la Romanee-Conti Vosne-Romanee Cuvee Duvault-Blochet Premier Cru (bin soiled label) 2002 Front Label
                    Domaine de la Romanee-Conti Vosne-Romanee Cuvee Duvault-Blochet Premier Cru (bin soiled label) 2002
                    Pinot Noir from Vosne-Romanee, Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
                    • WS90
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                  • Domaine Georges Jayer Echezeaux Grand Cru 2002
                    Pinot Noir from Flagey-Echezeaux, Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
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                    • Domaine Armand Rousseau Chambertin Clos de Beze Grand Cru 2002  Front Label
                      Domaine Armand Rousseau Chambertin Clos de Beze Grand Cru 2002
                      Pinot Noir from Gevrey-Chambertin, Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
                      • RP96
                      • V94
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                    • Domaine de la Vougeraie Charmes-Chambertin Les Mazoyeres Grand Cru 2002  Front Label
                      Domaine de la Vougeraie Charmes-Chambertin Les Mazoyeres Grand Cru 2002
                      Pinot Noir from Burgundy, France
                      • RP97
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                    • Williams Selyem Rochioli Riverblock Vineyard Pinot Noir 2002 Front Label
                      Williams Selyem Rochioli Riverblock Vineyard Pinot Noir 2002
                      Pinot Noir from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
                      • WS91
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                    • Beaux Freres Belles Soeurs Shea Vineyard Pinot Noir 2002 Front Label
                      Beaux Freres Belles Soeurs Shea Vineyard Pinot Noir 2002
                      Pinot Noir from Yamhill-Carlton District, Willamette Valley, Oregon
                      • WS94
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                    • Rene Leclerc Griottes Chambertin Grand Cru (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2002  Front Label
                      Rene Leclerc Griottes Chambertin Grand Cru (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2002
                      Pinot Noir from Gevrey-Chambertin, Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
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                      • Morgan Garys' Vineyard Pinot Noir 2002 Front Label
                        Morgan Garys' Vineyard Pinot Noir 2002
                        Pinot Noir from Santa Lucia Highlands, Monterey, Central Coast, California
                        • WE89
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                      • Rochioli Little Hill Pinot Noir 2002 Front Label
                        Rochioli Little Hill Pinot Noir 2002
                        Pinot Noir from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
                        • RP93
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                      • Dominique Gallois Charmes-Chambertin Grand Cru 2002 Front Label
                        Dominique Gallois Charmes-Chambertin Grand Cru 2002
                        Pinot Noir from Gevrey-Chambertin, Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
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                        • Rochioli West Block Pinot Noir (scuffed label) 2002 Front Label
                          Rochioli West Block Pinot Noir (scuffed label) 2002
                          Pinot Noir from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
                          • RP94
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                        • Emmanuel Rouget Vosne-Romanee Cros-Parantoux Premier Cru 2002  Front Label
                          Emmanuel Rouget Vosne-Romanee Cros-Parantoux Premier Cru 2002
                          Pinot Noir from Vosne-Romanee, Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
                          • BH94
                          • V91
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                          2,299 97
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