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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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  • Domaine Michel Lafarge Volnay 2012  Front Label
    Domaine Michel Lafarge Volnay 2012
    Pinot Noir from Volnay, Cote de Beaune, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
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      Currently Unavailable $109.97
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    • Ventana Arroyo Seco Estate Pinot Noir 2012 Front Label
      Ventana Arroyo Seco Estate Pinot Noir 2012
      Pinot Noir from Arroyo Seco, Monterey, Central Coast, California
        4.3 5 Ratings
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        Currently Unavailable $29.99
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      • Francis Tannahill The Hermit Pinot Noir 2012 Front Label
        Francis Tannahill The Hermit Pinot Noir 2012
        Pinot Noir from Dundee Hills, Willamette Valley, Oregon
        • WS92
        • WE92
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        Currently Unavailable $49.99
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        55
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      • Movia Pinot Nero 2012 Front Label
        Movia Pinot Nero 2012
        Pinot Noir from Slovenia
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          Currently Unavailable $44.99
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          44 99
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        • Giesen Clayvin Single Vineyard Pinot Noir 2012 Front Label
          Giesen Clayvin Single Vineyard Pinot Noir 2012
          Pinot Noir from Marlborough, New Zealand
          • JS94
          • WW93
          • BH91
          0.0 0 Ratings
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          Currently Unavailable $59.99
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          70
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        • Benton Lane First Class Pinot Noir 2012 Front Label
          Benton Lane First Class Pinot Noir 2012
          Pinot Noir from Willamette Valley, Oregon
          • WS92
          • WE90
          3.7 6 Ratings
          Price per bottle
          Currently Unavailable $69.99
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          69 99
          69 99
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        • DeLoach Green Valley Pinot Noir 2012 Front Label
          DeLoach Green Valley Pinot Noir 2012
          Pinot Noir from Green Valley, Russian River, Sonoma County, California
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            Currently Unavailable $34.99
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            45
            34 99
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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
            0.0 0 Ratings
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            Currently Unavailable $89.99
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            89 99
            89 99
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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
            0.0 0 Ratings
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            Currently Unavailable $46.99
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            46 99
            46 99
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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
            0.0 0 Ratings
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            Currently Unavailable $129.99
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            129 99
            129 99
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          • Rex Hill Willamette Valley Pinot Noir 2012 Front Label
            Rex Hill Willamette Valley Pinot Noir 2012
            Pinot Noir from Willamette Valley, Oregon
            • WS92
            • WE91
            • TP91
            • WW90
            3.9 10 Ratings
            Price per bottle
            Currently Unavailable $33.99
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            33 99
            33 99
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          • Sokol Blosser Dundee Hills Estate Pinot Noir 2012 Front Label
            Sokol Blosser Dundee Hills Estate Pinot Noir 2012
            Pinot Noir from Dundee Hills, Willamette Valley, Oregon
            • WE92
            • TP92
            • WS91
            • D90
            0.0 0 Ratings
            Price per bottle
            Currently Unavailable $37.99
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            37 99
            37 99
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          • Peregrine Pinot Noir 2012  Front Label
            Peregrine Pinot Noir 2012
            Pinot Noir from Central Otago, New Zealand
            • JS93
            • RP91
            • WE90
            4.4 7 Ratings
            Price per bottle
            Currently Unavailable $31.99
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            31 99
            31 99
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          • Elk Cove Willamette Valley Pinot Noir 2012 Front Label
            Elk Cove Willamette Valley Pinot Noir 2012
            Pinot Noir from Willamette Valley, Oregon
            • WS90
            0.0 0 Ratings
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            Currently Unavailable $29.99
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            29 99
            29 99
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          • Raptor Ridge Reserve Pinot Noir 2012 Front Label
            Raptor Ridge Reserve Pinot Noir 2012
            Pinot Noir from Willamette Valley, Oregon
            • WW92
            • WS91
            • WE90
            4.2 7 Ratings
            Price per bottle
            Currently Unavailable $39.99
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            45
            39 99
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          • JCB No. 7 Pinot Noir 2012 Front Label
            JCB No. 7 Pinot Noir 2012
            Pinot Noir from Sonoma County, California
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              Currently Unavailable $49.99
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              49 99
              49 99
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            • Robert Sinskey Los Carneros Pinot Noir 2012 Front Label
              Robert Sinskey Los Carneros Pinot Noir 2012
              Pinot Noir from Carneros, California
                4.7 6 Ratings
                Price per bottle
                Currently Unavailable $39.99
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                39 99
                39 99
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              • Ghostwriter Aptos Creek Vineyard Pinot Noir 2012 Front Label
                Ghostwriter Aptos Creek Vineyard Pinot Noir 2012
                Pinot Noir from Santa Cruz Mountains, California
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                  Currently Unavailable $42.98
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                  60
                  42 98
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                • Baker Lane Reserve Pinot Noir 2012 Front Label
                  Baker Lane Reserve Pinot Noir 2012
                  Pinot Noir from Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
                  • WE92
                  0.0 0 Ratings
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                  Currently Unavailable $39.98
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                  45
                  39 98
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                • Domaine de la Vougeraie Charmes-Chambertin Les Mazoyeres Grand Cru 2012 Front Label
                  Domaine de la Vougeraie Charmes-Chambertin Les Mazoyeres Grand Cru 2012
                  Pinot Noir from Gevrey-Chambertin, Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
                    0.0 0 Ratings
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                    Currently Unavailable $175.00
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                    248
                    175
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                  • Ampelos Cellars Lambda Pinot Noir 2012 Front Label
                    Ampelos Cellars Lambda Pinot Noir 2012
                    Pinot Noir from Sta. Rita Hills, Santa Barbara, Central Coast, California
                    • WE91
                    0.0 0 Ratings
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                    Currently Unavailable $45.99
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                    45 99
                    45 99
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                  • Balo Anderson Valley Estate Pinot Noir 2012 Front Label
                    Balo Anderson Valley Estate Pinot Noir 2012
                    Pinot Noir from North Coast, California
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                      Currently Unavailable $36.98
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                      45
                      36 98
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                    • Bethel Heights Willamette Valley Pinot Noir 2012 Front Label
                      Bethel Heights Willamette Valley Pinot Noir 2012
                      Pinot Noir from Willamette Valley, Oregon
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                        Currently Unavailable $36.99
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                        36 99
                        36 99
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                      • Henri Bourgeois Chateaumeillant Solissime 2012 Front Label
                        Henri Bourgeois Chateaumeillant Solissime 2012
                        Pinot Noir from Loire, France
                        • WW90
                        0.0 0 Ratings
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                        Currently Unavailable $17.99
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                        17 99
                        17 99
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                      • Twomey Cellars by Silver Oak Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir 2012 Front Label
                        Twomey Cellars by Silver Oak Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir 2012
                        Pinot Noir from Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
                          0.0 0 Ratings
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                          Currently Unavailable $49.99
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                          49 99
                          49 99
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