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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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  • Domaine Fourrier Chambolle-Musigny Les Gruenchers Premier Cru Vieille Vigne 2002 Front Label
    Domaine Fourrier Chambolle-Musigny Les Gruenchers Premier Cru Vieille Vigne 2002
    Pinot Noir from Chambolle-Musigny, Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
    • BH91
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  • Sylvain Cathiard Vosne-Romanee (torn labels) 2002 Front Label
    Sylvain Cathiard Vosne-Romanee (torn labels) 2002
    Pinot Noir from Vosne-Romanee, Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
    • WS92
    • BH90
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  • Rene Leclerc Griottes Chambertin Grand Cru 2002 Front Label
    Rene Leclerc Griottes Chambertin Grand Cru 2002
    Pinot Noir from Gevrey-Chambertin, Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
    • BH92
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    Currently Unavailable $129.97
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  • Domaine Ponsot Clos de la Roche Vieilles Vignes 2002  Front Label
    Domaine Ponsot Clos de la Roche Vieilles Vignes 2002
    Pinot Noir from Burgundy, France
    • BH93
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    Currently Unavailable $519.00
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  • Emmanuel Rouget Vosne-Romanee Cros-Parantoux Premier Cru 2002  Front Label
    Emmanuel Rouget Vosne-Romanee Cros-Parantoux Premier Cru 2002
    Pinot Noir from Vosne-Romanee, Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
    • BH94
    • V91
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    Currently Unavailable $2,299.97
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  • Domaine Marquis d'Angerville Volnay Clos des Ducs Premier Cru Monopole 2002 Front Label
    Domaine Marquis d'Angerville Volnay Clos des Ducs Premier Cru Monopole 2002
    Pinot Noir from Volnay, Cote de Beaune, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
    • BH94
    • RP93
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  • Frederic Esmonin Clos Vougeot 2002 Front Label
    Frederic Esmonin Clos Vougeot 2002
    Pinot Noir from Vougeot, Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
    • BH91
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    Currently Unavailable $129.00
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  • Rene Engel Vosne-Romanee Les Brulees 2002 Front Label
    Rene Engel Vosne-Romanee Les Brulees 2002
    Pinot Noir from Burgundy, France
    • RP94
    • WS92
    • BH91
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    Currently Unavailable $579.97
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  • Maison Champy Mazis Chambertin Grand Cru 2002 Front Label
    Maison Champy Mazis Chambertin Grand Cru 2002
    Pinot Noir from Gevrey-Chambertin, Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
    • BH92
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    Currently Unavailable $129.00
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  • Domaine des Lambrays Clos Des Lambrays Grand Cru 2002 Front Label
    Domaine des Lambrays Clos Des Lambrays Grand Cru 2002
    Pinot Noir from Morey-St-Denis, Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
    • WE95
    • WS93
    • BH92
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    Currently Unavailable $215.00
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  • Robert Arnoux Vosne Romanee Les Chaumes 2002  Front Label
    Robert Arnoux Vosne Romanee Les Chaumes 2002
    Pinot Noir from Vosne-Romanee, Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
    • RP92
    • BH92
    • V91
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    Currently Unavailable $549.97
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  • Domaine des Comtes Lafon Volnay Santenots-du-Milieu 2002 Front Label
    Domaine des Comtes Lafon Volnay Santenots-du-Milieu 2002
    Pinot Noir from Volnay, Cote de Beaune, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
    • RP93
    • BH91
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    Currently Unavailable $145.00
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