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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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  • Hudelot-Noellat Clos Vougeot Grand Cru 2005  Front Label
    Hudelot-Noellat Clos Vougeot Grand Cru 2005
    Pinot Noir from Vougeot, Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
    • V93
    • WS90
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  • Chanson Pere & Fils Beaune Bressandes Premier Cru Monopole 2005  Front Label
    Chanson Pere & Fils Beaune Bressandes Premier Cru Monopole 2005
    Pinot Noir from Burgundy, France
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    • Alex Gambal Volnay Les Santenots Premier Cru 2005
      Pinot Noir from Volnay, Cote de Beaune, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
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      • Domaine de Montille Volnay Carelle Sous la Chapelle Premier Cru 2005  Front Label
        Domaine de Montille Volnay Carelle Sous la Chapelle Premier Cru 2005
        Pinot Noir from Volnay, Cote de Beaune, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
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        • Sea Smoke Cellars Southing Pinot Noir 2005  Front Label
          Sea Smoke Cellars Southing Pinot Noir 2005
          Pinot Noir from Sta. Rita Hills, Santa Barbara, Central Coast, California
          • WE95
          • WS92
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        • Marcassin Marcassin Vineyard Pinot Noir 2005 Front Label
          Marcassin Marcassin Vineyard Pinot Noir 2005
          Pinot Noir from Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
          • RP98
          • WS94
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        • Williams Selyem Flax Vineyard Pinot Noir 2005 Front Label
          Williams Selyem Flax Vineyard Pinot Noir 2005
          Pinot Noir from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
          • WE96
          • W&S93
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        • Peay Vineyards Sonoma Coast Scallop Shelf Pinot Noir 2005 Front Label
          Peay Vineyards Sonoma Coast Scallop Shelf Pinot Noir 2005
          Pinot Noir from Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
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          • Kistler Vineyards Bodega Headlands Vineyard Cuvee Elisabeth Pinot Noir 2005  Front Label
            Kistler Vineyards Bodega Headlands Vineyard Cuvee Elisabeth Pinot Noir 2005
            Pinot Noir from Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
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            • Domaine Robert Groffier Chambolle-Musigny Les Hauts Doix Premier Cru 2005  Front Label
              Domaine Robert Groffier Chambolle-Musigny Les Hauts Doix Premier Cru 2005
              Pinot Noir from Chambolle-Musigny, Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
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              • Peay Vineyards Sonoma Coast Scallop Shelf Pinot Noir (Magnum) 2005 Front Label
                Peay Vineyards Sonoma Coast Scallop Shelf Pinot Noir (Magnum) 2005
                Pinot Noir from Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
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                • Williams Selyem Vista Verde Vineyard Pinot Noir 2005 Front Label
                  Williams Selyem Vista Verde Vineyard Pinot Noir 2005
                  Pinot Noir from San Benito, Central Coast, California
                  • WS90
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                • Martinelli Three Sisters Vineyard Pinot Noir 2005 Front Label
                  Martinelli Three Sisters Vineyard Pinot Noir 2005
                  Pinot Noir from Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
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                  • Alex Gambal Clos Vougeot Grand Cru 2005  Front Label
                    Alex Gambal Clos Vougeot Grand Cru 2005
                    Pinot Noir from Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
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                    • Domaine Arlaud Charmes-Chambertin Grand Cru 2005  Front Label
                      Domaine Arlaud Charmes-Chambertin Grand Cru 2005
                      Pinot Noir from Gevrey-Chambertin, Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
                      • V91
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                    • Louis Latour Nuits-St-Georges 2005  Front Label
                      Louis Latour Nuits-St-Georges 2005
                      Pinot Noir from Nuits-St-Georges, Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
                      • WW92
                      4.1 7 Ratings
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                    • Jean-Claude Boisset Beaune Premier Cru Les Bressandes 2005 Front Label
                      Jean-Claude Boisset Beaune Premier Cru Les Bressandes 2005
                      Pinot Noir from Burgundy, France
                      • WS90
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                    • Domaine Jean-Jacques Confuron Clos Vougeot Grand Cru 2005
                      Pinot Noir from Vougeot, Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
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                      • Siduri Rosella's Vineyard Pinot Noir 2005 Front Label
                        Siduri Rosella's Vineyard Pinot Noir 2005
                        Pinot Noir from Santa Lucia Highlands, Monterey, Central Coast, California
                        • RP92
                        • WE91
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                      • Domaine des Comtes Lafon Volnay Santenots-du-Milieu 2005 Front Label
                        Domaine des Comtes Lafon Volnay Santenots-du-Milieu 2005
                        Pinot Noir from Burgundy, France
                        • RP95
                        • BH94
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                      • Domaine des Comtes Lafon Volnay 2005 Front Label
                        Domaine des Comtes Lafon Volnay 2005
                        Pinot Noir from Volnay, Cote de Beaune, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
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                        • Michel Magnien Chambolle-Musigny les Fremieres 2005  Front Label
                          Michel Magnien Chambolle-Musigny les Fremieres 2005
                          Pinot Noir from Chambolle-Musigny, Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
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                          • Domaine Claude Dugat Charmes Chambertin 2005  Front Label
                            Domaine Claude Dugat Charmes Chambertin 2005
                            Pinot Noir from Gevrey-Chambertin, Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
                            • V95
                            • RP93
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                          • Louis Jadot Clos Vougeot Grand Cru (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2005  Front Label
                            Louis Jadot Clos Vougeot Grand Cru (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2005
                            Pinot Noir from Vougeot, Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
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                            • Kosta Browne Kanzler Vineyard Pinot Noir 2005 Front Label
                              Kosta Browne Kanzler Vineyard Pinot Noir 2005
                              Pinot Noir from Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
                              • WS96
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