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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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  • Domaine de Montille Volnay Les Taillepieds Premier Cru 2012  Front Label
    Domaine de Montille Volnay Les Taillepieds Premier Cru 2012
    Pinot Noir from Volnay, Cote de Beaune, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
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    • RP92
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  • Ocean Eight Aylward Pinot Noir 2012 Front Label
    Ocean Eight Aylward Pinot Noir 2012
    Pinot Noir from Mornington Peninsula, Victoria, Australia
    • V92
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  • Marchand-Tawse Chambertin Grand Cru 2012 Front Label
    Marchand-Tawse Chambertin Grand Cru 2012
    Pinot Noir from Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
    • V96
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  • Domaine Comte Georges de Vogue Chambolle Musigny Premier Cru 2012 Front Label
    Domaine Comte Georges de Vogue Chambolle Musigny Premier Cru 2012
    Pinot Noir from Chambolle-Musigny, Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
    • V93
    • RP92
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  • Domaine des Lambrays Clos des Lambrays Grand Cru 2012  Front Label
    Domaine des Lambrays Clos des Lambrays Grand Cru 2012
    Pinot Noir from Morey-St-Denis, Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
    • RP94
    • V93
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  • Lucien Le Moine Pommard Clos de Verger Premier Cru 2012 Front Label
    Lucien Le Moine Pommard Clos de Verger Premier Cru 2012
    Pinot Noir from Pommard, Cote de Beaune, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
    • V94
    • BH91
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  • Domaine de Courcel Pommard Fremiers Premier Cru 2012  Front Label
    Domaine de Courcel Pommard Fremiers Premier Cru 2012
    Pinot Noir from Pommard, Cote de Beaune, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
    • BH93
    • V91
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  • Domaine Meo-Camuzet Corton Les Perrieres Grand Cru 2012  Front Label
    Domaine Meo-Camuzet Corton Les Perrieres Grand Cru 2012
    Pinot Noir from Cote de Beaune, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
    • V94
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  • Dominique Laurent Vosne-Romanee Les Reignots Vieilles Vignes Premier Cru 2012
    Pinot Noir from Vosne-Romanee, Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
    • V93
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  • Domaine de Courcel Pommard Rugiens Premier Cru 2012 Front Label
    Domaine de Courcel Pommard Rugiens Premier Cru 2012
    Pinot Noir from Pommard, Cote de Beaune, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
    • V94
    • WS93
    • BH93
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  • Amalie Robert iPinot Pinot Noir 2012  Front Bottle Shot
    Amalie Robert iPinot Pinot Noir 2012
    Pinot Noir from Willamette Valley, Oregon
    • V90
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  • Domaine de l'Arlot Nuits Saint Georges Clos de l'Arlot Premier Cru Monopole 2012 Front Label
    Domaine de l'Arlot Nuits Saint Georges Clos de l'Arlot Premier Cru Monopole 2012
    Pinot Noir from Nuits-St-Georges, Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
    • V95
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  • Domaine de Montille Volnay Les Mitans Premier Cru 2012 Front Label
    Domaine de Montille Volnay Les Mitans Premier Cru 2012
    Pinot Noir from Volnay, Cote de Beaune, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
    • V91
    • RP91
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  • Lucien Le Moine Pommard La Chaniere Premier Cru 2012  Front Label
    Lucien Le Moine Pommard La Chaniere Premier Cru 2012
    Pinot Noir from Pommard, Cote de Beaune, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
    • V93
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  • Domaine Perrot-Minot Chambolle-Musigny Les Charmes Premier Cru Vieilles Vignes 2012  Front Label
    Domaine Perrot-Minot Chambolle-Musigny Les Charmes Premier Cru Vieilles Vignes 2012
    Pinot Noir from Chambolle-Musigny, Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
    • V94
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  • Domaine Nicolas Rossignol Pommard les Epenots Premier Cru 2012  Front Label
    Domaine Nicolas Rossignol Pommard les Epenots Premier Cru 2012
    Pinot Noir from Pommard, Cote de Beaune, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
    • RP94
    • V93
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  • Domaine Perrot-Minot Chambertin Grand Cru Vieilles Vignes 2012  Front Label
    Domaine Perrot-Minot Chambertin Grand Cru Vieilles Vignes 2012
    Pinot Noir from Gevrey-Chambertin, Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
    • BH95
    • V95
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  • Chandon de Briailles Corton Bressandes Grand Cru 2012 Front Label
    Chandon de Briailles Corton Bressandes Grand Cru 2012
    Pinot Noir from Aloxe-Corton, Cote de Beaune, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
    • BH94
    • V93
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  • Domaine Denis Bachelet Gevrey-Chambertin Les Corbeaux Premier Cru Vieilles Vignes 2012 Front Label
    Domaine Denis Bachelet Gevrey-Chambertin Les Corbeaux Premier Cru Vieilles Vignes 2012
    Pinot Noir from Gevrey-Chambertin, Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
    • V91
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