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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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    Louis Latour Volnay En Chevret Premier Cru 2010
    Pinot Noir from Volnay, Cote de Beaune, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
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    Marcassin Marcassin Vineyard Pinot Noir 2010
    Pinot Noir from Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
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    Geantet-Pansiot Chambolle-Musigny Les Baudes Premier Cru 2010
    Pinot Noir from Chambolle-Musigny, Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
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      Kosta Browne Gap's Crown Vineyard Pinot Noir 2010
      Pinot Noir from Petaluma Gap, Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
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      Lucien Le Moine Pommard Les Epenots Premier Cru 2010
      Pinot Noir from Pommard, Cote de Beaune, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
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      Movia Pinot Nero 2010
      Pinot Noir from Slovenia
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        Ken Wright Cellars Savoya Vineyard Pinot Noir 2010
        Pinot Noir from Willamette Valley, Oregon
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        Chanson Pere & Fils Beaune Clos du Roi Premier Cru 2010
        Pinot Noir from Burgundy, France
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        Clos de la Tech Domaine Lois Louise Twisty Ridge Pinot Noir 2010
        Pinot Noir from Santa Cruz Mountains, California
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        Sojourn Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir 2010
        Pinot Noir from Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
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          Kosta Browne Keefer Ranch Vineyard Pinot Noir 2010
          Pinot Noir from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
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          Westrey Reserve Pinot Noir 2010
          Pinot Noir from Dundee Hills, Willamette Valley, Oregon
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          Clos de la Tech Santa Cruz Mountains Estates Pinot Noir 2010
          Pinot Noir from Santa Cruz Mountains, California
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          Jean-Claude Boisset Chambolle Musigny Les Chardannes 2010
          Pinot Noir from Chambolle-Musigny, Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
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            Bernardus Soberanes Vineyard Pinot Noir 2010
            Pinot Noir from Central Coast, California
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            Flying Goat Cellars Rio Vista Vineyard Clone 2A Pinot Noir 2010
            Pinot Noir from Sta. Rita Hills, Santa Barbara, Central Coast, California
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            Pyramid Valley Calvert Pinot Noir 2010
            Pinot Noir from New Zealand
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            Bravium Thomson Vineyard Pinot Noir 2010
            Pinot Noir from Carneros, California
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              Clos de la Tech Domaine Valeta Sunny Slope Pinot Noir 2010
              Pinot Noir from Santa Cruz Mountains, California
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              Flying Goat Cellars Salisbury Vineyard Pinot Noir 2010
              Pinot Noir from Central Coast, California
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              Sequana Dutton Ranch Green Valley Pinot Noir 2010
              Pinot Noir from Green Valley, Russian River, Sonoma County, California
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              Longoria Fe Ciega Vineyard Pinot Noir (375ML half-bottle) 2010
              Pinot Noir from Sta. Rita Hills, Santa Barbara, Central Coast, California
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              Flowers Sea View Ridge Pinot Noir 2010
              Pinot Noir from Sonoma County, California
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              Guarachi Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast 2010
              Pinot Noir from Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
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              Chehalem Reserve Pinot Noir 2010
              Pinot Noir from Ribbon Ridge, Willamette Valley, Oregon
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