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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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  • Shea Block 23 Pinot Noir 2010 Front Label
    Shea Block 23 Pinot Noir 2010
    Pinot Noir from Yamhill-Carlton District, Willamette Valley, Oregon
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  • Shea Block 31 Pinot Noir 2010 Front Label
    Shea Block 31 Pinot Noir 2010
    Pinot Noir from Yamhill-Carlton District, Willamette Valley, Oregon
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  • Sea Smoke Cellars Southing Pinot Noir 2010 Front Label
    Sea Smoke Cellars Southing Pinot Noir 2010
    Pinot Noir from Central Coast, California
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  • Ken Wright Cellars Meredith Mitchell Vineyard Pinot Noir 2010 Front Label
    Ken Wright Cellars Meredith Mitchell Vineyard Pinot Noir 2010
    Pinot Noir from Willamette Valley, Oregon
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  • Brewer-Clifton Melville Pinot Noir 2010 Front Label
    Brewer-Clifton Melville Pinot Noir 2010
    Pinot Noir from Central Coast, California
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  • Ken Wright Cellars Canary Hill Vineyard Pinot Noir 2010 Front Label
    Ken Wright Cellars Canary Hill Vineyard Pinot Noir 2010
    Pinot Noir from Willamette Valley, Oregon
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  • Bethel Heights Casteel Reserve Pinot Noir 2010 Front Label
    Bethel Heights Casteel Reserve Pinot Noir 2010
    Pinot Noir from Willamette Valley, Oregon
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  • Evening Land Red Queen Seven Springs Vineyard Pinot Noir 2010 Front Label
    Evening Land Red Queen Seven Springs Vineyard Pinot Noir 2010
    Pinot Noir from Eola-Amity Hills, Willamette Valley, Oregon
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  • Solomon Hills Estate Pinot Noir 2010 Front Label
    Solomon Hills Estate Pinot Noir 2010
    Pinot Noir from Santa Maria Valley, Central Coast, California
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  • Shea Homer Pinot Noir 2010 Front Label
    Shea Homer Pinot Noir 2010
    Pinot Noir from Yamhill-Carlton District, Willamette Valley, Oregon
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  • Evening Land Seven Springs Vineyard La Source  Pinot Noir 2010 Front Label
    Evening Land Seven Springs Vineyard La Source Pinot Noir 2010
    Pinot Noir from Eola-Amity Hills, Willamette Valley, Oregon
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  • Archery Summit Red Hills Estate Pinot Noir 2010 Front Label
    Archery Summit Red Hills Estate Pinot Noir 2010
    Pinot Noir from Willamette Valley, Oregon
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  • WillaKenzie Estate Aliette Pinot Noir 2010 Front Label
    WillaKenzie Estate Aliette Pinot Noir 2010
    Pinot Noir from Yamhill-Carlton District, Willamette Valley, Oregon
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  • Beaux Freres The Upper Terrace Pinot Noir 2010 Front Label
    Beaux Freres The Upper Terrace Pinot Noir 2010
    Pinot Noir from Ribbon Ridge, Willamette Valley, Oregon
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  • Beaux Freres Willamette Valley Pinot Noir (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2010 Front Label
    Beaux Freres Willamette Valley Pinot Noir (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2010
    Pinot Noir from Willamette Valley, Oregon
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  • Domaine de Courcel Pommard Grand Clos des Epenots Premier Cru 2010  Front Label
    Domaine de Courcel Pommard Grand Clos des Epenots Premier Cru 2010
    Pinot Noir from Pommard, Cote de Beaune, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
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  • Domaine Comte Georges de Vogue Musigny Vieilles Vignes 2010  Front Label
    Domaine Comte Georges de Vogue Musigny Vieilles Vignes 2010
    Pinot Noir from Burgundy, France
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  • Domaine de Courcel Pommard Grand Clos des Epenots Premier Cru (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2010  Front Label
    Domaine de Courcel Pommard Grand Clos des Epenots Premier Cru (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2010
    Pinot Noir from Pommard, Cote de Beaune, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
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  • Kosta Browne Rosella's Vineyard Pinot Noir 2010 Front Label
    Kosta Browne Rosella's Vineyard Pinot Noir 2010
    Pinot Noir from Santa Lucia Highlands, Monterey, Central Coast, California
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  • Lucien Le Moine Pommard Les Epenots Premier Cru 2010  Front Label
    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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  • Louis Latour Chambertin Cuvee Heritiers Grand Cru 2010  Front Label
    Louis Latour Chambertin Cuvee Heritiers Grand Cru 2010
    Pinot Noir from Gevrey-Chambertin, Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
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  • Schrader Aston Estate Pinot Noir 2010 Front Label
    Schrader Aston Estate Pinot Noir 2010
    Pinot Noir from Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, 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
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  • Siduri Cargasacchi Vineyard Pinot Noir 2010 Front Label
    Siduri Cargasacchi Vineyard Pinot Noir 2010
    Pinot Noir from Sta. Rita Hills, Santa Barbara, Central Coast, California
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  • Bergstrom Ribbon Ridge Le Pre Du Col Vineyard Pinot Noir 2010
    Pinot Noir from Ribbon Ridge, Willamette Valley, Oregon
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