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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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  • 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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  • Domaine Drouhin Oregon Laurene Pinot Noir 2005 Front Label
    Domaine Drouhin Oregon Laurene Pinot Noir 2005
    Pinot Noir from Willamette Valley, Oregon
    • RP93
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  • Domaine de la Romanee-Conti La Tache Grand Cru 2005 Front Label
    Domaine de la Romanee-Conti La Tache Grand Cru 2005
    Pinot Noir from Burgundy, France
    • RP99
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  • Domaine de la Romanee-Conti Echezeaux Grand Cru 2005 Front Label
    Domaine de la Romanee-Conti Echezeaux Grand Cru 2005
    Pinot Noir from Flagey-Echezeaux, Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
    • RP95
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  • Nicolas Potel Clos de la Roche 2005 Front Label
    Nicolas Potel Clos de la Roche 2005
    Pinot Noir from Burgundy, France
    • RP96
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  • Domaine de la Romanee-Conti Romanee-Conti 2005 Front Label
    Domaine de la Romanee-Conti Romanee-Conti 2005
    Pinot Noir from Burgundy, France
    • RP100
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  • Bouchard Pere & Fils Clos Vougeot Grand Cru 2005 Front Label
    Bouchard Pere & Fils Clos Vougeot Grand Cru 2005
    Pinot Noir from Vougeot, Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
    • BH96
    • RP91
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  • Domaine de la Romanee-Conti Romanee St. Vivant Grand Cru 2005 Front Label
    Domaine de la Romanee-Conti Romanee St. Vivant Grand Cru 2005
    Pinot Noir from Burgundy, France
    • RP97
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  • Etude Heirloom Pinot Noir 2005 Front Label
    Etude Heirloom Pinot Noir 2005
    Pinot Noir from Sonoma County, California
    • WE96
    • RP90
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  • Williams Selyem Ferrington Vineyard Pinot Noir 2005 Front Label
    Williams Selyem Ferrington Vineyard Pinot Noir 2005
    Pinot Noir from Anderson Valley, Mendocino, California
    • WE95
    • RP90
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  • Aubert Reuling Vineyard Pinot Noir 2005 Front Label
    Aubert Reuling Vineyard Pinot Noir 2005
    Pinot Noir from Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
    • RP95
    • WS93
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  • Domaine des Comtes Lafon Volnay Santenots-du-Milieu 2005 Front Label
    Domaine des Comtes Lafon Volnay Santenots-du-Milieu 2005
    Pinot Noir from Burgundy, France
    • RP95
    • BH94
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  • Archery Summit Red Hills Estate Pinot Noir 2005 Front Label
    Archery Summit Red Hills Estate Pinot Noir 2005
    Pinot Noir from Willamette Valley, Oregon
    • RP93
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  • Domaine de la Romanee-Conti Grands Echezeaux Grand Cru 2005 Front Label
    Domaine de la Romanee-Conti Grands Echezeaux Grand Cru 2005
    Pinot Noir from Burgundy, France
    • RP96
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  • Domaine Claude Dugat Charmes Chambertin 2005  Front Label
    Domaine Claude Dugat Charmes Chambertin 2005
    Pinot Noir from Gevrey-Chambertin, Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
    • V95
    • RP93
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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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  • Martinelli Lolita Ranch Pinot Noir 2005 Front Label
    Martinelli Lolita Ranch Pinot Noir 2005
    Pinot Noir from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
    • RP92
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  • Williams Selyem Hirsch Pinot Noir 2005 Front Label
    Williams Selyem Hirsch Pinot Noir 2005
    Pinot Noir from Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
    • W&S93
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    • RP93
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  • Louis Jadot Pommard Les Rugiens Premier Cru 2005 Front Label
    Louis Jadot Pommard Les Rugiens Premier Cru 2005
    Pinot Noir from Burgundy, France
    • RP90
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  • Williams Selyem Peay Vineyard Pinot Noir 2005 Front Label
    Williams Selyem Peay Vineyard Pinot Noir 2005
    Pinot Noir from Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
    • WE92
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  • Williams Selyem Peay Vineyard Pinot Noir 2005 Front Label
    Williams Selyem Peay Vineyard Pinot Noir 2005
    Pinot Noir from Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
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  • Williams Selyem Rochioli Riverblock Vineyard Pinot Noir 2005 Front Label
    Williams Selyem Rochioli Riverblock Vineyard Pinot Noir 2005
    Pinot Noir from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
    • WE95
    • WS92
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  • Louis Jadot Beaune Clos des Ursules Premier Cru 2005 Front Label
    Louis Jadot Beaune Clos des Ursules Premier Cru 2005
    Pinot Noir from Burgundy, France
    • WS93
    • BH92
    • RP91
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  • Domaine Dujac Chambolle-Musigny Les Gruenchers Premier Cru 2005 Front Label
    Domaine Dujac Chambolle-Musigny Les Gruenchers Premier Cru 2005
    Pinot Noir from Chambolle-Musigny, Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
    • RP91
    • BH91
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  • Peter Michael Le Moulin Rouge Pinot Noir 2005 Front Label
    Peter Michael Le Moulin Rouge Pinot Noir 2005
    Pinot Noir from Santa Lucia Highlands, Monterey, Central Coast, California
    • RP91
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