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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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  • Calera de Villiers Vineyard Pinot Noir 2015 Front Label
    Calera de Villiers Vineyard Pinot Noir 2015
    Pinot Noir from Mt. Harlan, Central Coast, California
    • TP96
    • WW95
    • WE94
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  • Beaux Freres Zena Crown Pinot Noir 2015 Front Label
    Beaux Freres Zena Crown Pinot Noir 2015
    Pinot Noir from Eola-Amity Hills, Willamette Valley, Oregon
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    • Kosta Browne Cohn Vineyard Pinot Noir 2015 Front Label
      Kosta Browne Cohn Vineyard Pinot Noir 2015
      Pinot Noir from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
      • JS95
      • WS92
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    • Beaux Freres Willamette Valley Pinot Noir 2015 Front Label
      Beaux Freres Willamette Valley Pinot Noir 2015
      Pinot Noir from Willamette Valley, Oregon
      • WW92
      • WS92
      • JS92
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    • Domaine de la Vougeraie Gevrey-Chambertin 2015 Front Label
      Domaine de la Vougeraie Gevrey-Chambertin 2015
      Pinot Noir from Burgundy, France
      • RP91
      • BH91
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    • Joseph Drouhin Chambolle-Musigny Premier Cru 2015 Front Label
      Joseph Drouhin Chambolle-Musigny Premier Cru 2015
      Pinot Noir from Chambolle-Musigny, Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
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      • Calera Jensen Vineyard Pinot Noir 2015 Front Label
        Calera Jensen Vineyard Pinot Noir 2015
        Pinot Noir from Mt. Harlan, Central Coast, California
        • WS90
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      • Domaine de la Vougeraie Nuits-Saint-Georges Les Damodes Premier Cru 2015  Front Label
        Domaine de la Vougeraie Nuits-Saint-Georges Les Damodes Premier Cru 2015
        Pinot Noir from Nuits-St-Georges, Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
        • WS94
        • BH91
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      • Domaine de Montille Volnay Les Taillepieds Premier Cru 2015  Front Label
        Domaine de Montille Volnay Les Taillepieds Premier Cru 2015
        Pinot Noir from Volnay, Cote de Beaune, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
        • RP96
        • V95
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      • Archery Summit Arcus Pinot Noir 2015 Front Label
        Archery Summit Arcus Pinot Noir 2015
        Pinot Noir from Dundee Hills, Willamette Valley, Oregon
        • WE93
        • WS91
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      • Joseph Drouhin Chambolle-Musigny 2015 Front Label
        Joseph Drouhin Chambolle-Musigny 2015
        Pinot Noir from Chambolle-Musigny, Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
        • W&S92
        • RP90
        • BH90
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      • Domaine de la Vougeraie Charmes-Chambertin Les Mazoyeres Grand Cru 2015 Front Label
        Domaine de la Vougeraie Charmes-Chambertin Les Mazoyeres Grand Cru 2015
        Pinot Noir from Gevrey-Chambertin, Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
        • RP95
        • D94
        • BH92
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      • Joseph Drouhin Chambertin-Clos de Beze Grand Cru 2015 Front Label
        Joseph Drouhin Chambertin-Clos de Beze Grand Cru 2015
        Pinot Noir from Gevrey-Chambertin, Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
        • RP98
        • BH94
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      • Etude Grace Benoist Ranch Estate Pinot Noir 2015 Front Label
        Etude Grace Benoist Ranch Estate Pinot Noir 2015
        Pinot Noir from Carneros, California
        • RP92
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      • Domaine de l'Arlot Nuits-St-Georges Clos des Forets St Georges Premier Cru Monopole 2015 Front Label
        Domaine de l'Arlot Nuits-St-Georges Clos des Forets St Georges Premier Cru Monopole 2015
        Pinot Noir from Nuits-St-Georges, Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
        • RP95
        • BH94
        • WS93
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      • Andrew Rich Age of Majority Pinot Noir (Willamette Barrel Auction) 2015 Front Label
        Andrew Rich Age of Majority Pinot Noir (Willamette Barrel Auction) 2015
        Pinot Noir from Willamette Valley, Oregon
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