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Pinot Noir

One of the most finicky yet rewarding grapes to grow ...

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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).

In the Glass

Pinot Noir is all about red fruit—strawberry, raspberry and cherry with some heftier styles delving into the red or purple plum and in the other direction, red or orange citrus. It is relatively pale in color with soft tannins and a lively acidity. With age (of which the best examples can handle an astounding amount) it can develop hauntingly alluring characteristics of fresh earth, savory spice, dried fruit and truffles.

Perfect Pairings

Pinot’s healthy acidity cuts through the oiliness of pink-fleshed fish like salmon and 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 Secret

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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    Pepperwood Grove Pinot Noir
    Pinot Noir from Chile
      3.4 127 Ratings
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      Meiomi Pinot Noir 2017
      Pinot Noir from California
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      4.1 259 Ratings
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      Elouan Pinot Noir 2017
      Pinot Noir from Oregon
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        Carmel Road Monterey Pinot Noir 2016
        Pinot Noir from Monterey, Central Coast, California
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        4.1 19 Ratings
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        Raptor Ridge Barrel Select Pinot Noir 2016
        Pinot Noir from Willamette Valley, Oregon
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        Sean Minor Four Bears Pinot Noir 2017
        Pinot Noir from Central Coast, California
          4.5 10 Ratings
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          Ponzi Classico Pinot Noir 2015
          Pinot Noir from Willamette Valley, Oregon
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          Baileyana Firepeak Pinot Noir 2017
          Pinot Noir from Edna Valley, Central Coast, California
          • TP91
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          4.3 11 Ratings
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          Parker Station Pinot Noir 2017
          Pinot Noir from Central Coast, California
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          Meiomi Pinot Noir (375ML half-bottle) 2017
          Pinot Noir from California
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          4.4 12 Ratings
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          Pali Wine Co Summit Pinot Noir 2016
          Pinot Noir from Sta. Rita Hills, Santa Barbara, Central Coast, California
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          Pike Road Pinot Noir 2016
          Pinot Noir from Willamette Valley, Oregon
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          Martin Ray Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir 2017
          Pinot Noir from Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
          • JS93
          4.1 28 Ratings
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          Mt. Beautiful Pinot Noir 2017
          Pinot Noir from Canterbury, New Zealand
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            Joseph Drouhin Laforet Pinot Noir 2017
            Pinot Noir from Burgundy, France
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            Roco The Stalker Pinot Noir 2015
            Pinot Noir from Willamette Valley, Oregon
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            4.1 5 Ratings
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            Argyle Pinot Noir 2017
            Pinot Noir from Willamette Valley, Oregon
              4.3 13 Ratings
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              Innocent Bystander Yarra Valley Pinot Noir 2017
              Pinot Noir from Yarra Valley, Victoria, Australia
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              3.8 16 Ratings
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              MacRostie Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir 2016
              Pinot Noir from Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
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              Clos Pegase Mitsuko's Vineyard Pinot Noir 2014
              Pinot Noir from Carneros, California
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              Dog Point Vineyard Pinot Noir 2016
              Pinot Noir from Marlborough, New Zealand
              • JS96
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              Innocent Bystander Central Otago Pinot Noir 2017
              Pinot Noir from Central Otago, New Zealand
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              Siduri Parsons' Vineyard Pinot Noir 2014
              Pinot Noir from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
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              Talbott Logan Pinot Noir 2016
              Pinot Noir from Santa Lucia Highlands, Monterey, Central Coast, California
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                Siduri Willamette Valley Pinot Noir 2017
                Pinot Noir from Willamette Valley, Oregon
                • WS91
                4.4 7 Ratings
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