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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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    Saintsbury Stanly Ranch Carneros Pinot Noir 2007
    Pinot Noir from Carneros, California
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    Domaine de la Romanee-Conti Richebourg Grand Cru 2007
    Pinot Noir from Burgundy, France
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    Twomey Cellars by Silver Oak Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir 2007
    Pinot Noir from Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
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    Joseph Phelps Freestone Vineyards Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir 2007
    Pinot Noir from Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
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    Cadre The Architects Pinot Noir 2007
    Pinot Noir from Central Coast, California
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    Ampelos Cellars Lambda Pinot Noir 2007
    Pinot Noir from Central Coast, California
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    Joseph Drouhin Gevrey-Chambertin 2007
    Pinot Noir from Burgundy, France
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    Westrey Oracle Vineyard Pinot Noir 2007
    Pinot Noir from Willamette Valley, Oregon
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    Westrey Justice Vineyard Pinot Noir 2007
    Pinot Noir from Willamette Valley, Oregon
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    Westrey Abbey Ridge Pinot Noir 2007
    Pinot Noir from Willamette Valley, Oregon
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    Domaine Drouhin Oregon Laurene Pinot Noir 2007
    Pinot Noir from Willamette Valley, Oregon
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    Domaine de la Romanee-Conti Echezeaux Grand Cru 2007
    Pinot Noir from Burgundy, France
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    Goldeneye Gowan Creek Vineyard Pinot Noir 2007
    Pinot Noir from North Coast, California
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    Evesham Wood Le Puits Sec Pinot Noir 2007
    Pinot Noir from Willamette Valley, Oregon
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    Domaine des Comtes Lafon Volnay Santenots-du-Milieu 2007
    Pinot Noir from Volnay, Cote de Beaune, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
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    Saintsbury Brown Ranch Pinot Noir 2007
    Pinot Noir from Carneros, California
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    Kendric Vineyards Pinot Noir 2007
    Pinot Noir from North Coast, California
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    Domaine Drouhin Oregon Laurene Pinot Noir (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2007
    Pinot Noir from Willamette Valley, Oregon
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    Domaine de la Romanee-Conti Grands Echezeaux Grand Cru 2007
    Pinot Noir from Burgundy, France
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    Domaine de la Romanee-Conti Romanee St. Vivant Grand Cru 2007
    Pinot Noir from Burgundy, France
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    Joseph Drouhin Clos de Vougeot 2007
    Pinot Noir from Burgundy, France
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    Domaine Francois Bertheau Bonnes Mares 2007
    Pinot Noir from Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
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    Dugat-Py Mazis Chambertin 2007
    Pinot Noir from Gevrey-Chambertin, Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
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    Domaine des Comtes Lafon Volnay 2007
    Pinot Noir from Volnay, Cote de Beaune, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
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    Domaine de la Romanee-Conti Romanee-Conti 2007
    Pinot Noir from Vosne-Romanee, Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
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