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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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  • Matetic Corralillo Pinot Noir 2010 Front Label
    Matetic Corralillo Pinot Noir 2010
    Pinot Noir from San Antonio Valley (Chile), Chile
    • RP90
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  • Staete Landt Paladin Pinot Noir 2010 Front Label
    Staete Landt Paladin Pinot Noir 2010
    Pinot Noir from Marlborough, New Zealand
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  • Rippon Vineyard Mature Vine Pinot Noir 2010 Front Label
    Rippon Vineyard Mature Vine Pinot Noir 2010
    Pinot Noir from Central Otago, New Zealand
    • JS100
    • WS92
    • RP91
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  • Pyramid Valley Calvert Pinot Noir 2010 Front Label
    Pyramid Valley Calvert Pinot Noir 2010
    Pinot Noir from New Zealand
    • JS94
    • RP92
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  • Mondillo Pinot Noir 2010 Front Label
    Mondillo Pinot Noir 2010
    Pinot Noir from Central Otago, New Zealand
    • RP90
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  • Calera de Villiers Vineyard Pinot Noir (375ML Half-bottle) 2010  Front Label
    Calera de Villiers Vineyard Pinot Noir (375ML Half-bottle) 2010
    Pinot Noir from Mt. Harlan, Central Coast, California
    • RP94
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  • Evening Land Seven Springs Vineyard La Source  Pinot Noir 2010 Front Label
    Evening Land Seven Springs Vineyard La Source Pinot Noir 2010
    Pinot Noir from Eola-Amity Hills, Willamette Valley, Oregon
    • WS95
    • WE95
    • W&S93
    • RP92
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  • WillaKenzie Estate Pierre Leon Pinot Noir 2010 Front Label
    WillaKenzie Estate Pierre Leon Pinot Noir 2010
    Pinot Noir from Willamette Valley, Oregon
    • W&S93
    • RP91
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  • Cooper Mountain Life Pinot Noir 2010 Front Label
    Cooper Mountain Life Pinot Noir 2010
    Pinot Noir from Willamette Valley, Oregon
    • RP93
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  • Roco Willamette Valley Pinot Noir 2010 Front Label
    Roco Willamette Valley Pinot Noir 2010
    Pinot Noir from Willamette Valley, Oregon
    • RP90
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  • Bethel Heights Willamette Valley Pinot Noir 2010 Front Label
    Bethel Heights Willamette Valley Pinot Noir 2010
    Pinot Noir from Willamette Valley, Oregon
    • RP88
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  • WillaKenzie Estate Aliette Pinot Noir 2010 Front Label
    WillaKenzie Estate Aliette Pinot Noir 2010
    Pinot Noir from Yamhill-Carlton District, Willamette Valley, Oregon
    • W&S94
    • WS91
    • RP91
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  • Ponzi Reserve Pinot Noir 2010 Front Label
    Ponzi Reserve Pinot Noir 2010
    Pinot Noir from Willamette Valley, Oregon
    • WS92
    • TP92
    • RP90
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  • Bethel Heights Casteel Reserve Pinot Noir 2010 Front Label
    Bethel Heights Casteel Reserve Pinot Noir 2010
    Pinot Noir from Willamette Valley, Oregon
    • WS94
    • W&S94
    • RP92
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  • Baileyana Firepeak Pinot Noir 2010 Front Label
    Baileyana Firepeak Pinot Noir 2010
    Pinot Noir from Central Coast, California
    • RP91
    • TP90
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