Learn about Pinot Noir — taste profile, popular regions and more ...
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.
- Pinot Noir3830
- Other Red Blends2721
- Cabernet Sauvignon2465
- Bordeaux Red Blends2008
- Rhône Blends1317
- Other Red Wine605
- Cabernet Franc314
- Petite Sirah207
- Tuscan Blends157
- Nero d'Avola61
- Petit Verdot31
- Touriga Nacional17
- St. Laurent13
- Nerello Mascalese5
- Pinot Meunier4
- Alicante Bouschet2
The Table Pinot Noir 2010Pinot Noir from California
Wilson Daniels Pinot Noir 2010Pinot Noir from Central Coast, California
Vine Hill Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir 2010Pinot Noir from Santa Cruz Mountains, California
Rusack Santa Barbara Pinot Noir 2010Pinot Noir from Central Coast, California
Terlato Family Vineyards Pinot Noir 2010Pinot Noir from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
Domaine Faiveley Gevrey-Chambertin 2010Pinot Noir from Gevrey-Chambertin, Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
Domaine de la Vougeraie Beaune Le Clos Du Roi Premier Cru 2010Pinot Noir from Beaune, Cote de Beaune, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
Les Cretes Pinot Noir 2010Pinot Noir from Italy
Brophy Clark Santa Barbara Pinot Noir 2010Pinot Noir from Santa Maria Valley, Central Coast, California
Donkey & Goat Broken Leg Vineyard Pinot Noir 2010Pinot Noir from North Coast, California
Staete Landt Paladin Pinot Noir 2010Pinot Noir from Marlborough, New Zealand
Wild Horse Unbridled Pinot Noir 2010Pinot Noir from Central Coast, California
Lincourt Lindsay's Pinot Noir 2010Pinot Noir from Central Coast, California
Tyler Florence Gallery Vineyard Pinot Noir 2010Pinot Noir from Carneros, California
Paul Dolan Vineyards Pinot Noir 2010Pinot Noir from Potter Valley, Mendocino, California
Sequana Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir 2010Pinot Noir from Santa Lucia Highlands, Monterey, Central Coast, California
Saint Clair Vicar's Choice Pinot Noir 2010Pinot Noir from Marlborough, New Zealand