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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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  • Sea Smoke Cellars Ten Pinot Noir 2010 Front Label
    Sea Smoke Cellars Ten Pinot Noir 2010
    Pinot Noir from Central Coast, California
    • WE93
    • WS91
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  • Williams Selyem Precious Mountain Pinot Noir 2010 Front Label
    Williams Selyem Precious Mountain Pinot Noir 2010
    Pinot Noir from Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
    • WE98
    • W&S92
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  • Siduri Clos Pepe Vineyard Pinot Noir 2010 Front Label
    Siduri Clos Pepe Vineyard Pinot Noir 2010
    Pinot Noir from Sta. Rita Hills, Santa Barbara, Central Coast, California
    • WS93
    • WE91
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  • Williams Selyem Hirsch Pinot Noir 2010 Front Label
    Williams Selyem Hirsch Pinot Noir 2010
    Pinot Noir from Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
    • WE99
    • WS92
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  • Rochioli West Block Pinot Noir 2010 Front Label
    Rochioli West Block Pinot Noir 2010
    Pinot Noir from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
    • WE96
    • WS93
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  • Rochioli Three Corner Pinot Noir 2010 Front Label
    Rochioli Three Corner Pinot Noir 2010
    Pinot Noir from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
    • WS96
    • WE94
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  • Belle Glos Taylor Lane Vineyard Pinot Noir 2010 Front Label
    Belle Glos Taylor Lane Vineyard Pinot Noir 2010
    Pinot Noir from Sonoma County, California
    • WS92
    • WE90
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  • Sea Smoke Cellars Southing Pinot Noir (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2010 Front Label
    Sea Smoke Cellars Southing Pinot Noir (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2010
    Pinot Noir from Central Coast, California
    • WE90
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  • Hanzell Pinot Noir 2010 Front Label
    Hanzell Pinot Noir 2010
    Pinot Noir from Sonoma County, California
    • WE91
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  • Domaine Pavelot Pernand-Vergelesses Les Vergelesses Premier Cru 2010 Front Label
    Domaine Pavelot Pernand-Vergelesses Les Vergelesses Premier Cru 2010
    Pinot Noir from Cote de Beaune, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
    • WE93
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  • Domaine Drouhin Oregon Laurene Pinot Noir 2010 Front Label
    Domaine Drouhin Oregon Laurene Pinot Noir 2010
    Pinot Noir from Willamette Valley, Oregon
    • W&S95
    • WE95
    • WS91
    • RP90
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  • Louis Latour Chateau Corton Grancey Grand Cru 2010 Front Label
    Louis Latour Chateau Corton Grancey Grand Cru 2010
    Pinot Noir from Burgundy, France
    • JS95
    • WW94
    • WE93
    • BH92
    • WS90
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  • Calera Mills Vineyard Pinot Noir 2010 Front Label
    Calera Mills Vineyard Pinot Noir 2010
    Pinot Noir from Mt. Harlan, Central Coast, California
    • RP96
    • WE92
    • WS90
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  • Mount Eden Vineyards Estate Pinot Noir (slightly torn label) 2010 Front Label
    Mount Eden Vineyards Estate Pinot Noir (slightly torn label) 2010
    Pinot Noir from Santa Cruz Mountains, California
    • RP96
    • WE91
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  • Rochioli Sweetwater Pinot Noir 2010 Front Label
    Rochioli Sweetwater Pinot Noir 2010
    Pinot Noir from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
    • WE93
    • WS91
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