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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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  • WillaKenzie Estate Pierre Leon Pinot Noir 2012 Front Label
    WillaKenzie Estate Pierre Leon Pinot Noir 2012
    Pinot Noir from Yamhill-Carlton District, Willamette Valley, Oregon
    • W&S91
    • WE91
    • WS90
    • RP90
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  • Seresin Leah Pinot Noir 2012 Front Label
    Seresin Leah Pinot Noir 2012
    Pinot Noir from Marlborough, New Zealand
    • JS94
    • RP90
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  • Rex Hill Jacob Hart Vineyard Pinot Noir 2012 Front Label
    Rex Hill Jacob Hart Vineyard Pinot Noir 2012
    Pinot Noir from Chehalem Mountains, Willamette Valley, Oregon
    • RP94
    • WE93
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  • Dog Point Vineyard Pinot Noir 2012 Front Label
    Dog Point Vineyard Pinot Noir 2012
    Pinot Noir from Marlborough, New Zealand
    • W&S93
    • RP93
    • WS91
    • BH90
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  • Etude Carneros Estate Pinot Noir 2012 Front Label
    Etude Carneros Estate Pinot Noir 2012
    Pinot Noir from Carneros, California
    • RP91
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  • Joseph Drouhin Cote de Beaune 2012 Front Label
    Joseph Drouhin Cote de Beaune 2012
    Pinot Noir from Cote de Beaune, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
    • RP90
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    35
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  • Alma Rosa Clone 115 La Encantada Vineyard Pinot Noir 2012 Front Label
    Alma Rosa Clone 115 La Encantada Vineyard Pinot Noir 2012
    Pinot Noir from Sta. Rita Hills, Santa Barbara, Central Coast, California
    • RP92
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  • Ransom Jigsaw Pinot Noir 2012 Front Label
    Ransom Jigsaw Pinot Noir 2012
    Pinot Noir from Willamette Valley, Oregon
    • RP88
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  • Wenzlau Sta. Rita Hills Estate Pinot Noir 2012 Front Label
    Wenzlau Sta. Rita Hills Estate Pinot Noir 2012
    Pinot Noir from Sta. Rita Hills, Santa Barbara, Central Coast, California
    • RP91
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  • Calera Mills Vineyard Pinot Noir 2012 Front Label
    Calera Mills Vineyard Pinot Noir 2012
    Pinot Noir from Central Coast, California
    • RP96
    • WE92
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  • Peregrine Pinot Noir 2012 Front Label
    Peregrine Pinot Noir 2012
    Pinot Noir from Central Otago, New Zealand
    • JS93
    • RP91
    • WE90
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  • Kooyong Estate Pinot Noir 2012 Front Label
    Kooyong Estate Pinot Noir 2012
    Pinot Noir from Mornington Peninsula, Victoria, Australia
    • WE93
    • RP91
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  • Talley Rincon Vineyard Pinot Noir 2012 Front Label
    Talley Rincon Vineyard Pinot Noir 2012
    Pinot Noir from Central Coast, California
    • RP93
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  • Calera de Villiers Vineyard Pinot Noir (375ml half-bottle) 2012 Front Label
    Calera de Villiers Vineyard Pinot Noir (375ml half-bottle) 2012
    Pinot Noir from Mt. Harlan, Central Coast, California
    • RP95
    • WS91
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  • Domaine de la Vougeraie Nuits-Saint-Georges Clos de Thorey Monopole Premier Cru 2012 Front Label
    Domaine de la Vougeraie Nuits-Saint-Georges Clos de Thorey Monopole Premier Cru 2012
    Pinot Noir from Nuits-St-Georges, Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
    • RP93
    • WS91
    • W&S91
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  • WillaKenzie Estate Terres Basses Pinot Noir 2012 Front Label
    WillaKenzie Estate Terres Basses Pinot Noir 2012
    Pinot Noir from Yamhill-Carlton District, Willamette Valley, Oregon
    • RP91
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  • Lemelson Jerome Reserve Pinot Noir 2012 Front Label
    Lemelson Jerome Reserve Pinot Noir 2012
    Pinot Noir from Willamette Valley, Oregon
    • WE92
    • RP91
    • WS91
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  • Kooyong Ferrous Pinot Noir 2012 Front Label
    Kooyong Ferrous Pinot Noir 2012
    Pinot Noir from Mornington Peninsula, Victoria, Australia
    • RP93
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  • Siduri Pisoni Vineyard Pinot Noir 2012 Front Label
    Siduri Pisoni Vineyard Pinot Noir 2012
    Pinot Noir from Central Coast, California
    • RP93
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  • Clos Henri Pinot Noir 2012 Front Label
    Clos Henri Pinot Noir 2012
    Pinot Noir from Marlborough, New Zealand
    • RP92
    • WW91
    • BH91
    • WE91
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  • Domaine de la Vougeraie Nuits-Saint-Georges Les Damodes Premier Cru 2012 Front Label
    Domaine de la Vougeraie Nuits-Saint-Georges Les Damodes Premier Cru 2012
    Pinot Noir from Nuits-St-Georges, Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
    • WS93
    • W&S93
    • RP91
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  • Domaine de la Vougeraie Clos de Vougeot Grand Cru 2012 Front Label
    Domaine de la Vougeraie Clos de Vougeot Grand Cru 2012
    Pinot Noir from Vougeot, Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
    • RP93
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  • Joseph Drouhin Clos de Vougeot Grand Cru 2012 Front Label
    Joseph Drouhin Clos de Vougeot Grand Cru 2012
    Pinot Noir from Vougeot, Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
    • RP93
    • BH93
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  • Calera de Villiers Vineyard Pinot Noir 2012 Front Label
    Calera de Villiers Vineyard Pinot Noir 2012
    Pinot Noir from Mt. Harlan, Central Coast, California
    • RP95
    • WS91
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