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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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    Rivers-Marie Summa Vineyard Pinot Noir 2004
    Pinot Noir from Sonoma County, California
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      Ambullneo Vineyards Canis Major Pinot Noir (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2004
      Pinot Noir from California
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        Yeringberg Pinot Noir 2004
        Pinot Noir from Yarra Valley, Victoria, Australia
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        Williams Selyem Ferrington Vineyard Pinot Noir 2004
        Pinot Noir from Anderson Valley, Mendocino, California
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          Kosta Browne Koplen Vineyard Pinot Noir 2004
          Pinot Noir from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
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          Rivers-Marie Summa Vineyard Pinot Noir (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2004
          Pinot Noir from Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
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            Nickel & Nickel Manzana Vineyard Pinot Noir 2004
            Pinot Noir from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
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              Radio-Coteau La Neblina Pinot Noir 2004
              Pinot Noir from Sonoma County, California
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                Sherbrooke Cellars Bookster Quirinus Pinot Noir 2004
                Pinot Noir from Sonoma County, California
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                  Domaine Thibault Liger-Belair Richebourg Grand Cru (torn back labels) 2004
                  Pinot Noir from Vosne-Romanee, Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
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                    Occidental Cuvee Catherine Occidental Station Pinot Noir 2004
                    Pinot Noir from Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
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                    Littorai Savoy Vineyard Pinot Noir 2004
                    Pinot Noir from Anderson Valley, Mendocino, California
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                      Williams Selyem Vista Verde Vineyard Pinot Noir 2004
                      Pinot Noir from Central Coast, California
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                        Domaine de la Romanee-Conti La Tache Grand Cru 2004
                        Pinot Noir from Burgundy, France
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                        Ken Wright Cellars Meredith Mitchell Vineyard Pinot Noir 2004
                        Pinot Noir from Willamette Valley, Oregon
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                        Calera Selleck Vineyard Pinot Noir 2004
                        Pinot Noir from Mt. Harlan, Central Coast, California
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                        WillaKenzie Estate Emery Pinot Noir 2004
                        Pinot Noir from Willamette Valley, Oregon
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                        Williams Selyem Flax Vineyard Pinot Noir 2004
                        Pinot Noir from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
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                        Dehlinger Reserve Pinot Noir 2004
                        Pinot Noir from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
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                        Argyle Spirithouse Pinot Noir 2004
                        Pinot Noir from Willamette Valley, Oregon
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                          Littorai Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir 2004
                          Pinot Noir from Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
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                            Domaine de Montille Pommard Les Pezerolles Premier Cru 2004
                            Pinot Noir from Pommard, Cote de Beaune, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
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                            Sea Smoke Cellars Southing Pinot Noir 2004
                            Pinot Noir from Central Coast, California
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                            Williams Selyem Central Coast Pinot Noir 2004
                            Pinot Noir from Central Coast, California
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                            Francois Lamarche Vosne-Romanee Les Suchots Premier Cru (torn label) 2004
                            Pinot Noir from Vosne-Romanee, Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
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