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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 Marquis d'Angerville Volnay Champans Premier Cru 2011
    Pinot Noir from Volnay, Cote de Beaune, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
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    Olivier Bernstein Gevrey-Chambertin Les Cazetiers Premier Cru 2011
    Pinot Noir from Gevrey-Chambertin, Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
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    Rhys Vineyards Bearwallow Vineyard Pinot Noir 2011
    Pinot Noir from Anderson Valley, Mendocino, California
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    Louis Latour Chateau Corton Grancey Grand Cru (1.5L Magnum) 2011
    Pinot Noir from Aloxe-Corton, Cote de Beaune, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
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    Kosta Browne Koplen Vineyard Pinot Noir 2011
    Pinot Noir from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
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    • CG91
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    Kistler Vineyards Kistler Vineyard Pinot Noir (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2011
    Pinot Noir from Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
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    Kistler Vineyards Kistler Vineyard Pinot Noir 2011
    Pinot Noir from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
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      Michel Gay & Fils Beaune Toussaints Premier Cru Vieilles Vignes 2011
      Pinot Noir from Beaune, Cote de Beaune, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
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        Jean-Claude Boisset Chambolle Musigny Les Charmes Premier Cru 2011
        Pinot Noir from Chambolle-Musigny, Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
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        Domaine Faiveley Pommard Rugiens Premier Cru 2011
        Pinot Noir from Pommard, Cote de Beaune, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
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        Kosta Browne Rosella's Vineyard Pinot Noir 2011
        Pinot Noir from Santa Lucia Highlands, Monterey, Central Coast, California
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        Kosta Browne Garys' Vineyard Pinot Noir 2011
        Pinot Noir from Santa Lucia Highlands, Monterey, Central Coast, California
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        Domaine de la Vougeraie Beaune Le Clos Du Roi Premier Cru 2011
        Pinot Noir from Beaune, Cote de Beaune, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
        • W&S92
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        Carrick Unravelled Pinot Noir 2011
        Pinot Noir from Central Otago, New Zealand
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        Kosta Browne Keefer Ranch Vineyard Pinot Noir 2011
        Pinot Noir from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
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        Aubert CIX Vineyard Pinot Noir (1.5L Magnum) 2011
        Pinot Noir from Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
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        Kosta Browne Gap's Crown Vineyard Pinot Noir 2011
        Pinot Noir from Petaluma Gap, Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
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        Kosta Browne Russian River Pinot Noir 2011
        Pinot Noir from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
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          Goldeneye Anderson Valley Pinot Noir 2011
          Pinot Noir from Anderson Valley, Mendocino, California
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          Bouchard Aine & Fils Clos de la Roche 2011
          Pinot Noir from Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
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          Domaine Joseph Roty Gevrey-Chambertin La Brunelle 2011
          Pinot Noir from Gevrey-Chambertin, Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
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            Shea West Hill Pinot Noir 2011
            Pinot Noir from Yamhill-Carlton District, Willamette Valley, Oregon
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            Domaine de la Vougeraie Vougeot Clos du Prieure Monopole Rouge 2011
            Pinot Noir from Vougeot, Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
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            Domaine Faiveley Latricieres-Chambertin Grand Cru 2011
            Pinot Noir from Gevrey-Chambertin, Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
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            Louis Jadot Cote de Nuits Villages Le Vaucrain 2011
            Pinot Noir from Burgundy, France
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