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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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  • Marchand-Tawse Charmes-Chambertin Grand Cru 2011 Front Label
    Marchand-Tawse Charmes-Chambertin Grand Cru 2011
    Pinot Noir from Gevrey-Chambertin, Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
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    • V92
    • WW92
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  • Kosta Browne Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir 2011 Front Label
    Kosta Browne Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir 2011
    Pinot Noir from Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
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    • CG90
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    Currently Unavailable $129.00
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  • Marcassin Marcassin Vineyard Pinot Noir 2011 Front Label
    Marcassin Marcassin Vineyard Pinot Noir 2011
    Pinot Noir from Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
    • RP92
    • WS91
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  • Aubert UV-SL Vineyard Pinot Noir 2011 Front Label
    Aubert UV-SL Vineyard Pinot Noir 2011
    Pinot Noir from Sonoma County, California
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    • Kosta Browne Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir 2011 Front Label
      Kosta Browne Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir 2011
      Pinot Noir from Santa Lucia Highlands, Monterey, Central Coast, California
      • RP91
      • WS90
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    • Williams Selyem Olivet Lane Pinot Noir 2011 Front Label
      Williams Selyem Olivet Lane Pinot Noir 2011
      Pinot Noir from Sonoma County, California
      • WE92
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    • Bouchard Pere & Fils Le Corton Grand Cru (wine stained label) 2011 Front Label
      Bouchard Pere & Fils Le Corton Grand Cru (wine stained label) 2011
      Pinot Noir from Beaune, Cote de Beaune, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
      • WE96
      • BH94
      • W&S92
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    • Domaine de la Romanee-Conti Romanee-Conti 2011 Front Label
      Domaine de la Romanee-Conti Romanee-Conti 2011
      Pinot Noir from Burgundy, France
      • RP96
      • BH96
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    • Occidental Cuvee Catherine Occidental Station Pinot Noir 2011 Front Label
      Occidental Cuvee Catherine Occidental Station Pinot Noir 2011
      Pinot Noir from Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
      • RP95
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    • Kosta Browne Russian River Pinot Noir 2011 Front Label
      Kosta Browne Russian River Pinot Noir 2011
      Pinot Noir from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
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      • Domaine Perrot-Minot Mazoyeres-Chambertin Grand Cru 2011 Front Label
        Domaine Perrot-Minot Mazoyeres-Chambertin Grand Cru 2011
        Pinot Noir from Gevrey-Chambertin, Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
        • BH95
        • WS93
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      • Domaine Armand Rousseau Clos de la Roche Grand Cru 2011  Front Label
        Domaine Armand Rousseau Clos de la Roche Grand Cru 2011
        Pinot Noir from Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
        • BH94
        • D92
        • RP90
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        Currently Unavailable $579.97
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        579 97
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      • Kosta Browne Koplen Vineyard Pinot Noir 2011 Front Label
        Kosta Browne Koplen Vineyard Pinot Noir 2011
        Pinot Noir from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
        • WS93
        • CG91
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      • Williams Selyem Hirsch Pinot Noir 2011 Front Label
        Williams Selyem Hirsch Pinot Noir 2011
        Pinot Noir from Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
        • WE95
        • TP94
        • W&S91
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      • Sea Smoke Cellars Ten Pinot Noir 2011 Front Label
        Sea Smoke Cellars Ten Pinot Noir 2011
        Pinot Noir from Central Coast, California
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        • Bouchard Aine & Fils Clos de la Roche 2011 Front Label
          Bouchard Aine & Fils Clos de la Roche 2011
          Pinot Noir from Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
          • W&S92
          • WE91
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        • Domaine de Montille Pommard Les Pezerolles Premier Cru 2011 Front Label
          Domaine de Montille Pommard Les Pezerolles Premier Cru 2011
          Pinot Noir from Pommard, Cote de Beaune, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
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          • Kosta Browne Gap's Crown Vineyard Pinot Noir 2011 Front Label
            Kosta Browne Gap's Crown Vineyard Pinot Noir 2011
            Pinot Noir from Petaluma Gap, Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
            • WS93
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          • Williams Selyem Bucher Vineyard Pinot Noir 2011 Front Label
            Williams Selyem Bucher Vineyard Pinot Noir 2011
            Pinot Noir from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
            • WE92
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          • Kistler Vineyards Kistler Vineyard Pinot Noir 2011 Front Label
            Kistler Vineyards Kistler Vineyard Pinot Noir 2011
            Pinot Noir from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
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            • Aubert Ritchie Vineyard Pinot Noir 2011 Front Label
              Aubert Ritchie Vineyard Pinot Noir 2011
              Pinot Noir from Sonoma County, California
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              • Sea Smoke Cellars Southing Pinot Noir 2011 Front Label
                Sea Smoke Cellars Southing Pinot Noir 2011
                Pinot Noir from Central Coast, California
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                • Williams Selyem Ferrington Vineyard Pinot Noir 2011 Front Label
                  Williams Selyem Ferrington Vineyard Pinot Noir 2011
                  Pinot Noir from Anderson Valley, Mendocino, California
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                  • Williams Selyem Foss Vineyard Pinot Noir 2011 Front Label
                    Williams Selyem Foss Vineyard Pinot Noir 2011
                    Pinot Noir from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
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                    • Cirq Treehouse Pinot Noir 2011  Front Label
                      Cirq Treehouse Pinot Noir 2011
                      Pinot Noir from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
                      • WS90
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