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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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  • Simon Bize et Fils Savigny-les-Beaune Aux Vergelesses 2005  Front Label
    Simon Bize et Fils Savigny-les-Beaune Aux Vergelesses 2005
    Pinot Noir from Burgundy, France
    • RP93
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  • Camille Giroud Chambertin Grand Cru 2005  Front Label
    Camille Giroud Chambertin Grand Cru 2005
    Pinot Noir from Gevrey-Chambertin, Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
    • RP94
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  • Germain Domaine du Chateau de Chorey Beaune Vignes Franches  Vieilles Vignes Premier Cru 2005 Front Label
    Germain Domaine du Chateau de Chorey Beaune Vignes Franches Vieilles Vignes Premier Cru 2005
    Pinot Noir from Beaune, Cote de Beaune, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
    • RP93
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  • Domaine Ghislaine Barthod Chambolle-Musigny 2005  Front Label
    Domaine Ghislaine Barthod Chambolle-Musigny 2005
    Pinot Noir from Chambolle-Musigny, Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
    • RP91
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  • Domaine de Courcel Pommard Grand Clos des Epenots Premier Cru 2005  Front Label
    Domaine de Courcel Pommard Grand Clos des Epenots Premier Cru 2005
    Pinot Noir from Pommard, Cote de Beaune, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
    • WS93
    • RP92
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  • Domaine Nicolas Rossignol Volnay Premier Cru Caillerets 2005  Front Label
    Domaine Nicolas Rossignol Volnay Premier Cru Caillerets 2005
    Pinot Noir from Volnay, Cote de Beaune, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
    • RP91
    • W&S90
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  • Domaine de la Romanee-Conti La Tache Grand Cru 2005 Front Label
    Domaine de la Romanee-Conti La Tache Grand Cru 2005
    Pinot Noir from Burgundy, France
    • V100
    • D100
    • RP99
    • WS99
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  • Marcassin Marcassin Vineyard Pinot Noir 2005 Front Label
    Marcassin Marcassin Vineyard Pinot Noir 2005
    Pinot Noir from Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
    • RP98
    • WS94
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  • Domaine de la Romanee-Conti Echezeaux Grand Cru 2005 Front Label
    Domaine de la Romanee-Conti Echezeaux Grand Cru 2005
    Pinot Noir from Flagey-Echezeaux, Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
    • RP95
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  • Brewer-Clifton Rio Vista Pinot Noir 2005  Front Label
    Brewer-Clifton Rio Vista Pinot Noir 2005
    Pinot Noir from Sta. Rita Hills, Santa Barbara, Central Coast, California
    • RP93
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  • Calera Ryan Vineyard Pinot Noir 2005 Front Label
    Calera Ryan Vineyard Pinot Noir 2005
    Pinot Noir from Central Coast, California
    • W&S94
    • RP90
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  • Aubert Reuling Vineyard Pinot Noir 2005 Front Label
    Aubert Reuling Vineyard Pinot Noir 2005
    Pinot Noir from Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
    • RP95
    • WS93
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  • Nicolas Potel Clos de la Roche 2005 Front Label
    Nicolas Potel Clos de la Roche 2005
    Pinot Noir from Burgundy, France
    • RP96
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  • Domaine de la Romanee-Conti Romanee-Conti 2005 Front Label
    Domaine de la Romanee-Conti Romanee-Conti 2005
    Pinot Noir from Burgundy, France
    • RP100
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  • Domaine Robert Groffier Chambolle-Musigny Les Hauts Doix Premier Cru 2005  Front Label
    Domaine Robert Groffier Chambolle-Musigny Les Hauts Doix Premier Cru 2005
    Pinot Noir from Chambolle-Musigny, Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
    • RP92
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  • Bouchard Pere & Fils Clos Vougeot Grand Cru 2005 Front Label
    Bouchard Pere & Fils Clos Vougeot Grand Cru 2005
    Pinot Noir from Vougeot, Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
    • BH96
    • RP91
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  • Beringer Stanly Ranch Pinot Noir 2005 Front Label
    Beringer Stanly Ranch Pinot Noir 2005
    Pinot Noir from Carneros, California
    • RP89
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  • Domaine Jacques-Frederic Mugnier Nuits St Georges Clos de la Marechale Premier Cru 2005 Front Label
    Domaine Jacques-Frederic Mugnier Nuits St Georges Clos de la Marechale Premier Cru 2005
    Pinot Noir from Burgundy, France
    • RP93
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  • Domaine de la Romanee-Conti Romanee St. Vivant Grand Cru 2005 Front Label
    Domaine de la Romanee-Conti Romanee St. Vivant Grand Cru 2005
    Pinot Noir from Burgundy, France
    • RP97
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  • Marcassin Three Sisters Vineyard Pinot Noir 2005  Front Label
    Marcassin Three Sisters Vineyard Pinot Noir 2005
    Pinot Noir from Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
    • WS95
    • RP94
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  • Alex Gambal Clos Vougeot Grand Cru 2005  Front Label
    Alex Gambal Clos Vougeot Grand Cru 2005
    Pinot Noir from Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
    • BH94
    • RP92
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  • Etude Heirloom Pinot Noir 2005 Front Label
    Etude Heirloom Pinot Noir 2005
    Pinot Noir from Sonoma County, California
    • WE96
    • RP90
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  • Williams Selyem Ferrington Vineyard Pinot Noir 2005 Front Label
    Williams Selyem Ferrington Vineyard Pinot Noir 2005
    Pinot Noir from Anderson Valley, Mendocino, California
    • WE95
    • RP90
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  • Domaine Robert Groffier Chambolle Musigny Les Sentiers Premier Cru 2005  Front Label
    Domaine Robert Groffier Chambolle Musigny Les Sentiers Premier Cru 2005
    Pinot Noir from Chambolle-Musigny, Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
    • RP91
    • BH90
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  • Kistler Vineyards Kistler Vineyard Pinot Noir 2005  Front Bottle Shot
    Kistler Vineyards Kistler Vineyard Pinot Noir 2005
    Pinot Noir from Sonoma Valley, Sonoma County, California
    • RP95
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