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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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  • Domaine Michel Lafarge Volnay Clos des Chenes Premier Cru 2010 Front Label
    Domaine Michel Lafarge Volnay Clos des Chenes Premier Cru 2010
    Pinot Noir from Volnay, Cote de Beaune, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
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    • Domaine Mugneret-Gibourg Nuit Saint George Les Chaignots Premier Cru 2010 Front Label
      Domaine Mugneret-Gibourg Nuit Saint George Les Chaignots Premier Cru 2010
      Pinot Noir from Nuits-St-Georges, Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
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      • V91
      • BH91
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    • Domaine Marquis d'Angerville Volnay Champans Premier Cru 2010 Front Label
      Domaine Marquis d'Angerville Volnay Champans Premier Cru 2010
      Pinot Noir from Volnay, Cote de Beaune, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
      • RP97
      • V93
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    • Rhys Vineyards Alpine Vineyard Pinot Noir (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2010 Front Label
      Rhys Vineyards Alpine Vineyard Pinot Noir (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2010
      Pinot Noir from Santa Cruz Mountains, California
      • RP93
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    • Domaine de Courcel Pommard Rugiens Premier Cru 2010 Front Label
      Domaine de Courcel Pommard Rugiens Premier Cru 2010
      Pinot Noir from Pommard, Cote de Beaune, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
      • V94
      • WS93
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    • Marcassin Blue Slide Ridge Pinot Noir 2010 Front Label
      Marcassin Blue Slide Ridge Pinot Noir 2010
      Pinot Noir from Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
      • RP94
      • WS93
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    • Kosta Browne Gap's Crown Vineyard Pinot Noir 2010 Front Label
      Kosta Browne Gap's Crown Vineyard Pinot Noir 2010
      Pinot Noir from Petaluma Gap, Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
      • WS94
      • WW92
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    • Aubert UV-SL Vineyard Pinot Noir 2010 Front Label
      Aubert UV-SL Vineyard Pinot Noir 2010
      Pinot Noir from Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
      • WS94
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    • Marcassin Three Sisters Vineyard Pinot Noir 2010 Front Label
      Marcassin Three Sisters Vineyard Pinot Noir 2010
      Pinot Noir from Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
      • WS96
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    • Aubert Ritchie Vineyard Pinot Noir 2010 Front Label
      Aubert Ritchie Vineyard Pinot Noir 2010
      Pinot Noir from Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
      • WS94
      • RP92
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    • Aubert Reuling Vineyard Pinot Noir 2010  Front Label
      Aubert Reuling Vineyard Pinot Noir 2010
      Pinot Noir from Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
      • RP94
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    • Williams Selyem Westside Road Neighbors Pinot Noir 2010 Front Label
      Williams Selyem Westside Road Neighbors Pinot Noir 2010
      Pinot Noir from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
      • W&S93
      • WS91
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    • Domaine des Comtes Lafon Volnay 2010 Front Label
      Domaine des Comtes Lafon Volnay 2010
      Pinot Noir from Volnay, Cote de Beaune, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
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      • Ken Wright Cellars Savoya Vineyard Pinot Noir 2010 Front Label
        Ken Wright Cellars Savoya Vineyard Pinot Noir 2010
        Pinot Noir from Willamette Valley, Oregon
        • WS93
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      • Rhys Vineyards Horseshoe Vineyard Pinot Noir 2010 Front Label
        Rhys Vineyards Horseshoe Vineyard Pinot Noir 2010
        Pinot Noir from Santa Cruz Mountains, California
        • RP95
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      • Peter Michael Clos Du Ciel Pinot Noir 2010 Front Label
        Peter Michael Clos Du Ciel Pinot Noir 2010
        Pinot Noir from Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
        • RP100
        • WS95
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      • Kistler Vineyards Cuvee Catherine Pinot Noir 2010  Front Label
        Kistler Vineyards Cuvee Catherine Pinot Noir 2010
        Pinot Noir from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
        • RP94
        • WS92
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      • Kosta Browne Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir 2010 Front Label
        Kosta Browne Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir 2010
        Pinot Noir from Santa Lucia Highlands, Monterey, Central Coast, California
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        • Kosta Browne Garys' Vineyard Pinot Noir 2010 Front Label
          Kosta Browne Garys' Vineyard Pinot Noir 2010
          Pinot Noir from Santa Lucia Highlands, Monterey, Central Coast, California
          • WS94
          • RP93
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        • Domaine Arnoux-Lachaux Vosne Romanee Les Chaumes Premier Cru 2010  Front Label
          Domaine Arnoux-Lachaux Vosne Romanee Les Chaumes Premier Cru 2010
          Pinot Noir from Vosne-Romanee, Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
          • BH92
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        • The Donum Estate Russian River Valley Pinot Noir 2010 Front Label
          The Donum Estate Russian River Valley Pinot Noir 2010
          Pinot Noir from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
          • WS93
          • WE90
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        • Clos de la Tech Domaine Lois Louise Twisty Ridge Pinot Noir 2010 Front Label
          Clos de la Tech Domaine Lois Louise Twisty Ridge Pinot Noir 2010
          Pinot Noir from Santa Cruz Mountains, California
          • WE95
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        • Kosta Browne 4 Barrel Pinot Noir 2010 Front Label
          Kosta Browne 4 Barrel Pinot Noir 2010
          Pinot Noir from California
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          • Sequana Sundawg Ridge Vineyard Pinot Noir 2010 Front Label
            Sequana Sundawg Ridge Vineyard Pinot Noir 2010
            Pinot Noir from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
            • WE93
            • WS91
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          • Chanson Pere & Fils Beaune Clos du Roi Premier Cru 2010 Front Label
            Chanson Pere & Fils Beaune Clos du Roi Premier Cru 2010
            Pinot Noir from Burgundy, France
            • W&S93
            • BH92
            • WS91
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