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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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  • Domaine Faiveley Mazis-Chambertin Grand Cru 2006 Front Label
    Domaine Faiveley Mazis-Chambertin Grand Cru 2006
    Pinot Noir from Burgundy, France
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    • Etude Heirloom Pinot Noir 2006 Front Label
      Etude Heirloom Pinot Noir 2006
      Pinot Noir from Sonoma County, California
      • WE95
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    • Frederic Magnien Chambolle-Musigny Borniques Premier Cru 2006 Front Label
      Frederic Magnien Chambolle-Musigny Borniques Premier Cru 2006
      Pinot Noir from Chambolle-Musigny, Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
      • BH91
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      120
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    • DuMOL Finn Pinot Noir 2006 Front Label
      DuMOL Finn Pinot Noir 2006
      Pinot Noir from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
      • WS97
      • RP92
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      80
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    • Williams Selyem Allen Vineyard Pinot Noir 2006 Front Label
      Williams Selyem Allen Vineyard Pinot Noir 2006
      Pinot Noir from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
      • WE93
      • RP90
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      78
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    • Kosta Browne Rosella's Vineyard Pinot Noir 2006 Front Label
      Kosta Browne Rosella's Vineyard Pinot Noir 2006
      Pinot Noir from Santa Lucia Highlands, Monterey, Central Coast, California
      • WS91
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    • Williams Selyem Russian River Valley Pinot Noir 2006 Front Label
      Williams Selyem Russian River Valley Pinot Noir 2006
      Pinot Noir from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
      • W&S94
      • CG93
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      99
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    • Domaine de la Pousse d'Or Volnay Clos de la Bousse d'Or Premier Cru (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2006  Front Label
      Domaine de la Pousse d'Or Volnay Clos de la Bousse d'Or Premier Cru (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2006
      Pinot Noir from Volnay, Cote de Beaune, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
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      • Martinelli Lolita Ranch Pinot Noir 2006 Front Label
        Martinelli Lolita Ranch Pinot Noir 2006
        Pinot Noir from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
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        • DuMOL Russian River Valley Pinot Noir 2006 Front Label
          DuMOL Russian River Valley Pinot Noir 2006
          Pinot Noir from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
          • WS93
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          68 97
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        • Rhys Vineyards Rhys Swan Terrace Pinot Noir 2006 Front Label
          Rhys Vineyards Rhys Swan Terrace Pinot Noir 2006
          Pinot Noir from Santa Cruz Mountains, California
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          • Freeman Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2006 Front Label
            Freeman Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2006
            Pinot Noir from Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
            • WE93
            • WS92
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          • Schrader Aston Estate Pinot Noir 2006
            Pinot Noir from Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
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            • Rhys Vineyards Alpine Hillside Pinot Noir 2006  Front Label
              Rhys Vineyards Alpine Hillside Pinot Noir 2006
              Pinot Noir from Santa Cruz Mountains, California
              • RP94
              • BH92
              • WS91
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              74 97
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            • Domaine de la Romanee-Conti Richebourg Grand Cru (scuffed label) 2006 Front Label
              Domaine de la Romanee-Conti Richebourg Grand Cru (scuffed label) 2006
              Pinot Noir from Burgundy, France
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              • Williams Selyem Precious Mountain Pinot Noir 2006 Front Label
                Williams Selyem Precious Mountain Pinot Noir 2006
                Pinot Noir from Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
                • WE96
                • W&S93
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              • Williams Selyem Flax Vineyard Pinot Noir 2006 Front Label
                Williams Selyem Flax Vineyard Pinot Noir 2006
                Pinot Noir from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
                • WE92
                • WS91
                • RP90
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              • Williams Selyem Sonoma County Pinot Noir 2006 Front Label
                Williams Selyem Sonoma County Pinot Noir 2006
                Pinot Noir from Sonoma County, California
                • W&S91
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                74 97
                74 97
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              • Marcassin Marcassin Vineyard Pinot Noir 2006 Front Label
                Marcassin Marcassin Vineyard Pinot Noir 2006
                Pinot Noir from Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
                • RP96
                • WS96
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              • Williams Selyem Westside Road Neighbors Pinot Noir 2006 Front Label
                Williams Selyem Westside Road Neighbors Pinot Noir 2006
                Pinot Noir from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
                • RP90
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              • Williams Selyem Vista Verde Vineyard Pinot Noir 2006 Front Label
                Williams Selyem Vista Verde Vineyard Pinot Noir 2006
                Pinot Noir from San Benito, Central Coast, California
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                • Martinelli Three Sisters Vineyard Pinot Noir 2006 Front Label
                  Martinelli Three Sisters Vineyard Pinot Noir 2006
                  Pinot Noir from Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
                  • RP93
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                • Hartford Court Fog Dance Pinot Noir 2006 Front Label
                  Hartford Court Fog Dance Pinot Noir 2006
                  Pinot Noir from Sonoma County, California
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                  • Kosta Browne Keefer Ranch Vineyard Pinot Noir 2006 Front Label
                    Kosta Browne Keefer Ranch Vineyard Pinot Noir 2006
                    Pinot Noir from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
                    • WS94
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                  • Beaux Freres The Upper Terrace Pinot Noir 2006 Front Label
                    Beaux Freres The Upper Terrace Pinot Noir 2006
                    Pinot Noir from Ribbon Ridge, Willamette Valley, Oregon
                    • WS94
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