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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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  • Domaine Drouhin Oregon Laurene Pinot Noir 1999 Front Label
    Domaine Drouhin Oregon Laurene Pinot Noir 1999
    Pinot Noir from Willamette Valley, Oregon
    • RP90
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  • Bertrand Ambroise Corton Le Rognet Grand Cru 1999 Front Label
    Bertrand Ambroise Corton Le Rognet Grand Cru 1999
    Pinot Noir from Burgundy, France
    • RP97
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  • Domaine de la Romanee-Conti La Tache Grand Cru 1999
    Pinot Noir from Burgundy, France
    • RP95
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  • Louis Jadot Beaune Clos des Ursules Premier Cru 1999 Front Label
    Louis Jadot Beaune Clos des Ursules Premier Cru 1999
    Pinot Noir from Burgundy, France
    • RP90
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  • Peter Michael Le Moulin Rouge Pinot Noir (1.5 Liter Magnum) 1999 Front Label
    Peter Michael Le Moulin Rouge Pinot Noir (1.5 Liter Magnum) 1999
    Pinot Noir from Santa Lucia Highlands, Monterey, Central Coast, California
    • RP93
    • WS92
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  • Williams Selyem Hirsch Pinot Noir 1999 Front Label
    Williams Selyem Hirsch Pinot Noir 1999
    Pinot Noir from Sonoma County, California
    • WS91
    • RP90
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  • Domaine Anne Gros Richebourg Grand Cru 1999 Front Label
    Domaine Anne Gros Richebourg Grand Cru 1999
    Pinot Noir from Vosne-Romanee, Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
    • BH94
    • RP93
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  • Michel Magnien Morey-St-Denis Chaffots Premier Cru (torn labels) 1999 Front Label
    Michel Magnien Morey-St-Denis Chaffots Premier Cru (torn labels) 1999
    Pinot Noir from Burgundy, France
    • RP92
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  • Archery Summit Arcus Pinot Noir 1999
    Pinot Noir from Willamette Valley, Oregon
    • WS95
    • RP90
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  • Michel Magnien Clos de la Roche Grand Cru 1999 Front Label
    Michel Magnien Clos de la Roche Grand Cru 1999
    Pinot Noir from Burgundy, France
    • RP93
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  • Alex Gambal Bonnes Mares 1999 Front Label
    Alex Gambal Bonnes Mares 1999
    Pinot Noir from Nuits-St-Georges, Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
    • BH91
    • RP90
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  • Louis Jadot Gevrey-Chambertin Clos St. Jacques Premier Cru 1999 Front Label
    Louis Jadot Gevrey-Chambertin Clos St. Jacques Premier Cru 1999
    Pinot Noir from Burgundy, France
    • RP93
    • BH93
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  • Williams Selyem Hirsch Pinot Noir 1999 Front Label
    Williams Selyem Hirsch Pinot Noir 1999
    Pinot Noir from Sonoma County, California
    • WS91
    • RP90
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  • Michel Magnien Clos Saint-Denis Grand Cru (torn label) 1999 Front Label
    Michel Magnien Clos Saint-Denis Grand Cru (torn label) 1999
    Pinot Noir from Morey-St-Denis, Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
    • RP96
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  • Dugat-Py Chambertin 1999 Front Label
    Dugat-Py Chambertin 1999
    Pinot Noir from Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
    • RP98
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  • Domaine Drouhin Oregon Pinot Noir 1999 Front Label
    Domaine Drouhin Oregon Pinot Noir 1999
    Pinot Noir from Willamette Valley, Oregon
    • WS90
    • WE90
    • RP87
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  • Louis Jadot Vosne Romanee Les Suchots 1999 Front Label
    Louis Jadot Vosne Romanee Les Suchots 1999
    Pinot Noir from Burgundy, France
    • RP90
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