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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
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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
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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
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  • Hanzell Pinot Noir 2005 Front Label
    Hanzell Pinot Noir 2005
    Pinot Noir from Sonoma Valley, Sonoma County, California
    • WE93
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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
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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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  • Louis Latour Volnay En Chevret Premier Cru 2005 Front Label
    Louis Latour Volnay En Chevret Premier Cru 2005
    Pinot Noir from Burgundy, France
    • WS92
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  • Nicolas Potel Echezeaux 2005 Front Label
    Nicolas Potel Echezeaux 2005
    Pinot Noir from Burgundy, France
    • RP95
    • WS92
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  • DuMOL Aidan Pinot Noir 2005 Front Label
    DuMOL Aidan Pinot Noir 2005
    Pinot Noir from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
    • WE91
    • WS90
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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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  • Chasseur Russian River Valley Pinot Noir 2005 Front Label
    Chasseur Russian River Valley Pinot Noir 2005
    Pinot Noir from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
    • WS92
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  • Chasseur Freestone Station Pinot Noir (torn label) 2005 Front Label
    Chasseur Freestone Station Pinot Noir (torn label) 2005
    Pinot Noir from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
    • RP94
    • WS91
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  • Argyle Spirithouse Pinot Noir 2005 Front Label
    Argyle Spirithouse Pinot Noir 2005
    Pinot Noir from Willamette Valley, Oregon
    • WS93
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  • Domaine Serene Jerusalem Hill Vineyard Pinot Noir (375ML half-bottle) 2005 Front Label
    Domaine Serene Jerusalem Hill Vineyard Pinot Noir (375ML half-bottle) 2005
    Pinot Noir from Willamette Valley, Oregon
    • WS94
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  • Rochioli Estate Pinot Noir 2005 Front Label
    Rochioli Estate Pinot Noir 2005
    Pinot Noir from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
    • W&S91
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    • WE90
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  • Kosta Browne Amber Ridge Vineyard Pinot Noir 2005 Front Label
    Kosta Browne Amber Ridge Vineyard Pinot Noir 2005
    Pinot Noir from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
    • WS93
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  • MacPhail Toulouse Vineyard Pinot Noir (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2005 Front Label
    MacPhail Toulouse Vineyard Pinot Noir (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2005
    Pinot Noir from Anderson Valley, Mendocino, California
    • WE94
    • WS90
    • RP90
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  • Williams Selyem Westside Road Neighbors Pinot Noir 2005 Front Label
    Williams Selyem Westside Road Neighbors Pinot Noir 2005
    Pinot Noir from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
    • W&S93
    • WE93
    • RP91
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  • Benton Lane First Class Pinot Noir 2005 Front Label
    Benton Lane First Class Pinot Noir 2005
    Pinot Noir from Willamette Valley, Oregon
    • WS92
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  • Lucien Le Moine Chambolle Musigny les Amoureuses 2005 Front Label
    Lucien Le Moine Chambolle Musigny les Amoureuses 2005
    Pinot Noir from Chambolle-Musigny, Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
    • RP95
    • WS94
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  • Marcassin Blue Slide Ridge Pinot Noir 2005 Front Label
    Marcassin Blue Slide Ridge Pinot Noir 2005
    Pinot Noir from Sonoma County, California
    • WS97
    • RP96
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  • Bernardus Rosella's Vineyard Pinot Noir 2005 Front Label
    Bernardus Rosella's Vineyard Pinot Noir 2005
    Pinot Noir from Central Coast, California
    • WS90
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  • Carneros Creek Pinot Noir Grail 2005 Front Label
    Carneros Creek Pinot Noir Grail 2005
    Pinot Noir from Carneros, California
    • WS93
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  • Lucien Le Moine Mazis-Chambertin Grand Cru 2005 Front Label
    Lucien Le Moine Mazis-Chambertin Grand Cru 2005
    Pinot Noir from Burgundy, France
    • RP97
    • WS94
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  • Camille Giroud Chapelle Chambertin Grand Cru 2005
    Pinot Noir from Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
    • BH95
    • WS94
    • RP91
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