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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 Comte Georges de Vogue Musigny Vieilles Vignes 2009 Front Label
    Domaine Comte Georges de Vogue Musigny Vieilles Vignes 2009
    Pinot Noir from Burgundy, France
    • RP97
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  • Aubert UV-SL Vineyard Pinot Noir 2009  Front Label
    Aubert UV-SL Vineyard Pinot Noir 2009
    Pinot Noir from Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
    • RP96
    • WS92
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  • Marcassin Marcassin Vineyard Pinot Noir 2009 Front Label
    Marcassin Marcassin Vineyard Pinot Noir 2009
    Pinot Noir from Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
    • RP98
    • WS97
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  • Marcassin Blue Slide Ridge Pinot Noir 2009 Front Label
    Marcassin Blue Slide Ridge Pinot Noir 2009
    Pinot Noir from Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
    • RP98
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  • Ken Wright Cellars Shea Vineyard Pinot Noir 2009 Front Label
    Ken Wright Cellars Shea Vineyard Pinot Noir 2009
    Pinot Noir from Yamhill-Carlton District, Willamette Valley, Oregon
    • RP93
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  • Marcassin Three Sisters Vineyard Pinot Noir 2009 Front Label
    Marcassin Three Sisters Vineyard Pinot Noir 2009
    Pinot Noir from Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
    • WS93
    • RP90
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  • Domaine Leroy Volnay-Santenots du Milieu (signs of past seepage) 2009 Front Bottle Shot
    Domaine Leroy Volnay-Santenots du Milieu (signs of past seepage) 2009
    Pinot Noir from Volnay, Cote de Beaune, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
    • RP94
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  • Kistler Vineyards Cuvee Catherine Pinot Noir 2009 Front Label
    Kistler Vineyards Cuvee Catherine Pinot Noir 2009
    Pinot Noir from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
    • RP97
    • WS90
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  • Carrick Bannockburn Pinot Noir 2009 Front Label
    Carrick Bannockburn Pinot Noir 2009
    Pinot Noir from Central Otago, New Zealand
    • RP92
    • WE92
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  • Domaine de la Vougeraie Clos de Vougeot Grand Cru (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2009 Front Label
    Domaine de la Vougeraie Clos de Vougeot Grand Cru (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2009
    Pinot Noir from Vougeot, Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
    • WS95
    • BH94
    • RP93
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  • Rhys Vineyards Family Farm Vineyard Pinot Noir 2009 Front Label
    Rhys Vineyards Family Farm Vineyard Pinot Noir 2009
    Pinot Noir from Santa Cruz Mountains, California
    • RP94
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  • Kosta Browne 4 Barrel Pinot Noir 2009  Front Label
    Kosta Browne 4 Barrel Pinot Noir 2009
    Pinot Noir from California
    • WS96
    • RP92
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  • Sea Smoke Cellars Southing Pinot Noir (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2009 Front Label
    Sea Smoke Cellars Southing Pinot Noir (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2009
    Pinot Noir from Central Coast, California
    • RP91
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  • Kosta Browne Pisoni Vineyard Pinot Noir 2009 Front Label
    Kosta Browne Pisoni Vineyard Pinot Noir 2009
    Pinot Noir from Santa Lucia Highlands, Monterey, Central Coast, California
    • WS93
    • RP90
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  • Domaine Ponsot Corton Cuvee du Bourdon Grand Cru 2009 Front Label
    Domaine Ponsot Corton Cuvee du Bourdon Grand Cru 2009
    Pinot Noir from Cote de Beaune, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
    • RP95
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  • Dugat-Py Mazis-Chambertin Grand Cru 2009 Front Label
    Dugat-Py Mazis-Chambertin Grand Cru 2009
    Pinot Noir from Gevrey-Chambertin, Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
    • RP97
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  • Calera Mills Vineyard Pinot Noir 2009 Front Label
    Calera Mills Vineyard Pinot Noir 2009
    Pinot Noir from Mt. Harlan, Central Coast, California
    • RP95
    • WE90
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  • Louis Jadot Beaune Boucherottes 2009 Front Label
    Louis Jadot Beaune Boucherottes 2009
    Pinot Noir from Burgundy, France
    • RP93
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  • Kutch Wines McDougall Ranch Pinot Noir 2009 Front Label
    Kutch Wines McDougall Ranch Pinot Noir 2009
    Pinot Noir from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
    • RP90
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  • Ponzi Reserve Pinot Noir 2009 Front Label
    Ponzi Reserve Pinot Noir 2009
    Pinot Noir from Willamette Valley, Oregon
    • RP91
    • WE91
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  • Domaine Drouhin Oregon Laurene Pinot Noir 2009 Front Label
    Domaine Drouhin Oregon Laurene Pinot Noir 2009
    Pinot Noir from Willamette Valley, Oregon
    • WS92
    • RP91
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  • Sea Smoke Cellars Southing Pinot Noir 2009 Front Label
    Sea Smoke Cellars Southing Pinot Noir 2009
    Pinot Noir from Sta. Rita Hills, Santa Barbara, Central Coast, California
    • RP91
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  • Dehlinger High Plains Pinot Noir 2009 Front Label
    Dehlinger High Plains Pinot Noir 2009
    Pinot Noir from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
    • RP93
    • WS93
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  • Archery Summit Red Hills Estate Pinot Noir 2009 Front Label
    Archery Summit Red Hills Estate Pinot Noir 2009
    Pinot Noir from Willamette Valley, Oregon
    • RP93
    • WE93
    • WS90
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  • Domaine Dujac Gevrey Chambertin 2009 Front Label
    Domaine Dujac Gevrey Chambertin 2009
    Pinot Noir from Burgundy, France
    • RP92
    • BH91
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