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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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  • Kistler Vineyards Cuvee Catherine Pinot Noir 2003 Front Bottle Shot
    Kistler Vineyards Cuvee Catherine Pinot Noir 2003
    Pinot Noir from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
    • RP96
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  • Williams Selyem Ferrington Vineyard Pinot Noir 2003 Front Label
    Williams Selyem Ferrington Vineyard Pinot Noir 2003
    Pinot Noir from Anderson Valley, Mendocino, California
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    • Domaine de la Romanee-Conti La Tache Grand Cru 2003 Front Label
      Domaine de la Romanee-Conti La Tache Grand Cru 2003
      Pinot Noir from Burgundy, France
      • RP99
      • BH95
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    • Louis Jadot Clos Vougeot 2003 Front Label
      Louis Jadot Clos Vougeot 2003
      Pinot Noir from Burgundy, France
      • RP95
      • WS92
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    • Williams Selyem Flax Vineyard Pinot Noir 2003 Front Label
      Williams Selyem Flax Vineyard Pinot Noir 2003
      Pinot Noir from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
      • RP91
      • WE90
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    • Williams Selyem Peay Vineyard Pinot Noir 2003 Front Label
      Williams Selyem Peay Vineyard Pinot Noir 2003
      Pinot Noir from Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
      • WS92
      • WE92
      • RP91
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    • Twomey Cellars by Silver Oak Russian River Pinot Noir 2003  Front Label
      Twomey Cellars by Silver Oak Russian River Pinot Noir 2003
      Pinot Noir from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
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      • Vincent Girardin Pommard Chalins V.V. 2003 Front Label
        Vincent Girardin Pommard Chalins V.V. 2003
        Pinot Noir from Pommard, Cote de Beaune, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
        • WS92
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      • Williams Selyem Coastlands Pinot Noir 2003 Front Label
        Williams Selyem Coastlands Pinot Noir 2003
        Pinot Noir from Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
        • RP93
        • W&S90
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      • Louis Jadot Echezeaux 2003  Front Label
        Louis Jadot Echezeaux 2003
        Pinot Noir from Flagey-Echezeaux, Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
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        • Littorai Les Enfants Pinot Noir 2003 Front Label
          Littorai Les Enfants Pinot Noir 2003
          Pinot Noir from Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
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          • Kistler Vineyards Kistler Vineyard Pinot Noir 2003  Front Label
            Kistler Vineyards Kistler Vineyard Pinot Noir 2003
            Pinot Noir from Sonoma Valley, Sonoma County, California
            • RP92
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          • Martinelli Martinelli Vineyard Reserve Pinot Noir 2003 Front Label
            Martinelli Martinelli Vineyard Reserve Pinot Noir 2003
            Pinot Noir from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
            • RP93
            • WS92
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          • Rivers-Marie Summa Vineyard Pinot Noir (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2003 Front Label
            Rivers-Marie Summa Vineyard Pinot Noir (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2003
            Pinot Noir from Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
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            • Ambullneo Vineyards Bulldog Reserve Pinot Noir 2003  Front Label
              Ambullneo Vineyards Bulldog Reserve Pinot Noir 2003
              Pinot Noir from Santa Barbara, Central Coast, California
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              • Kistler Vineyards Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir 2003 Front Bottle Shot
                Kistler Vineyards Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir 2003
                Pinot Noir from Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
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                • Martinelli Bella Vigna Pinot Noir 2003 Front Label
                  Martinelli Bella Vigna Pinot Noir 2003
                  Pinot Noir from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
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                  • Martinelli Seven Mules Vineyard Pinot Noir 2003 Front Label
                    Martinelli Seven Mules Vineyard Pinot Noir 2003
                    Pinot Noir from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
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                    • Williams Selyem Russian River Valley Pinot Noir 2003 Front Label
                      Williams Selyem Russian River Valley Pinot Noir 2003
                      Pinot Noir from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
                      • W&S92
                      • WE92
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                    • Patz & Hall Hyde Vineyard Pinot Noir 2003 Front Label
                      Patz & Hall Hyde Vineyard Pinot Noir 2003
                      Pinot Noir from Carneros, California
                      • WS93
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                    • Williams Selyem Bucher Vineyard Pinot Noir 2003 Front Label
                      Williams Selyem Bucher Vineyard Pinot Noir 2003
                      Pinot Noir from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
                      • WE91
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                    • Williams Selyem Vista Verde Vineyard Pinot Noir 2003 Front Label
                      Williams Selyem Vista Verde Vineyard Pinot Noir 2003
                      Pinot Noir from San Benito, Central Coast, California
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                      • Rivers-Marie Summa Old Vines Vineyard Pinot Noir (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2003 Front Label
                        Rivers-Marie Summa Old Vines Vineyard Pinot Noir (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2003
                        Pinot Noir from Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
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                        • Hirsch Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir 2003 Front Label
                          Hirsch Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir 2003
                          Pinot Noir from Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
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                          • Maison Champy Mazis Chambertin Grand Cru 2003  Front Label
                            Maison Champy Mazis Chambertin Grand Cru 2003
                            Pinot Noir from Gevrey-Chambertin, Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
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                              144 97
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