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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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  • Williams Selyem Olivet Lane Pinot Noir 1993 Front Label
    Williams Selyem Olivet Lane Pinot Noir 1993
    Pinot Noir from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
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    • Robert Mondavi Reserve Pinot Noir 1993 Front Label
      Robert Mondavi Reserve Pinot Noir 1993
      Pinot Noir from Napa Valley, California
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      • Beaux Freres Willamette Valley Pinot Noir 1993 Front Label
        Beaux Freres Willamette Valley Pinot Noir 1993
        Pinot Noir from Willamette Valley, Oregon
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        Currently Unavailable $129.00
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        129
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      • Williams Selyem Russian River Valley Pinot Noir 1993 Front Label
        Williams Selyem Russian River Valley Pinot Noir 1993
        Pinot Noir from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
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        • Joseph Drouhin Romanee-Saint-Vivant Grand Cru 1993  Front Label
          Joseph Drouhin Romanee-Saint-Vivant Grand Cru 1993
          Pinot Noir from Vosne-Romanee, Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
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          • Joseph Drouhin Corton Bressandes Grand Cru 1993  Front Label
            Joseph Drouhin Corton Bressandes Grand Cru 1993
            Pinot Noir from Cote de Beaune, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
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              204 99
              204 99
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            • Joseph Drouhin Beaune Greves Premier Cru 1993  Front Label
              Joseph Drouhin Beaune Greves Premier Cru 1993
              Pinot Noir from Beaune, Cote de Beaune, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
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              • Joseph Drouhin Morey-Saint-Denis Clos Sorbe Premier Cru 1993  Front Label
                Joseph Drouhin Morey-Saint-Denis Clos Sorbe Premier Cru 1993
                Pinot Noir from Morey-St-Denis, Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
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                  Currently Unavailable $76.99
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                  76 99
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