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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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  • A.P. Vin Clos Pepe Vineyard Pinot Noir 2012 Front Label
    A.P. Vin Clos Pepe Vineyard Pinot Noir 2012
    Pinot Noir from Sta. Rita Hills, Santa Barbara, Central Coast, California
    • RP94
    • WS92
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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
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  • Jermann Red Angel in the Moonlight Pinot Noir 2012 Front Label
    Jermann Red Angel in the Moonlight Pinot Noir 2012
    Pinot Noir from Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Italy
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    • Giesen Brookby Road Single Vineyard Pinot Noir 2012 Front Label
      Giesen Brookby Road Single Vineyard Pinot Noir 2012
      Pinot Noir from Marlborough, New Zealand
      • WW93
      • WE92
      • TP90
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    • Giant Steps Gladysdale Vineyard Pinot Noir 2012 Front Label
      Giant Steps Gladysdale Vineyard Pinot Noir 2012
      Pinot Noir from Yarra Valley, Victoria, Australia
      • W&S94
      • RP90
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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
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    • WillaKenzie Estate Gisele Pinot Noir 2012 Front Label
      WillaKenzie Estate Gisele Pinot Noir 2012
      Pinot Noir from Yamhill-Carlton District, Willamette Valley, Oregon
      • WW90
      • WS90
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    • Meiomi Pinot Noir (375ML half-bottle) 2012 Front Label
      Meiomi Pinot Noir (375ML half-bottle) 2012
      Pinot Noir from California
        4.2 9 Ratings
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      • Portlandia Winery Pinot Noir 2012 Front Label
        Portlandia Winery Pinot Noir 2012
        Pinot Noir from Willamette Valley, Oregon
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        • Amisfield Pinot Noir 2012 Front Label
          Amisfield Pinot Noir 2012
          Pinot Noir from Central Otago, New Zealand
          • JS93
          • RP91
          • WS90
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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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        • Peregrine Pinot Noir 2012  Front Label
          Peregrine Pinot Noir 2012
          Pinot Noir from Central Otago, New Zealand
          • JS93
          • RP91
          • WE90
          4.4 7 Ratings
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        • Fowles Wine Ladies Who Shoot Their Lunch Pinot Noir 2012 Front Label
          Fowles Wine Ladies Who Shoot Their Lunch Pinot Noir 2012
          Pinot Noir from Victoria, Australia
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          • A.P. Vin Kanzler Vineyard Pinot Noir 2012 Front Label
            A.P. Vin Kanzler Vineyard Pinot Noir 2012
            Pinot Noir from Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
            • WS92
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          • Greywacke Pinot Noir 2012 Front Label
            Greywacke Pinot Noir 2012
            Pinot Noir from Marlborough, New Zealand
            • D96
            • WS92
            • RP92
            • W&S90
            4.1 7 Ratings
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          • Leese-Fitch Pinot Noir 2012 Front Label
            Leese-Fitch Pinot Noir 2012
            Pinot Noir from California
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            • Castle Rock Central Coast Pinot Noir 2012 Front Label
              Castle Rock Central Coast Pinot Noir 2012
              Pinot Noir from Central Coast, California
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              • Kris Pinot Noir 2012 Front Label
                Kris Pinot Noir 2012
                Pinot Noir from Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Italy
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                • Robert Oatley Finisterre Mornington Peninsula Pinot Noir 2012 Front Label
                  Robert Oatley Finisterre Mornington Peninsula Pinot Noir 2012
                  Pinot Noir from Mornington Peninsula, Victoria, Australia
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                  • Cloudy Bay Pinot Noir 2012 Front Label
                    Cloudy Bay Pinot Noir 2012
                    Pinot Noir from Marlborough, New Zealand
                    • D96
                    • JS93
                    • W&S91
                    • WS90
                    • WW90
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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
                    4.1 6 Ratings
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                  • Wither Hills Pinot Noir 2012 Front Label
                    Wither Hills Pinot Noir 2012
                    Pinot Noir from Marlborough, New Zealand
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                    • Bouchard Aine & Fils Pinot Noir Pays d'Oc 2012 Front Label
                      Bouchard Aine & Fils Pinot Noir Pays d'Oc 2012
                      Pinot Noir from Pays d’Oc, South of France, France
                        3.1 7 Ratings
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                      • Spy Valley Pinot Noir 2012 Front Label
                        Spy Valley Pinot Noir 2012
                        Pinot Noir from Marlborough, New Zealand
                        • JS92
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                      • Talbott Kali-Hart Pinot Noir 2012 Front Label
                        Talbott Kali-Hart Pinot Noir 2012
                        Pinot Noir from Monterey, Central Coast, California
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