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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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  • Domaine Armand Rousseau Chambertin Clos de Beze Grand Cru 1996  Front Label
    Domaine Armand Rousseau Chambertin Clos de Beze Grand Cru 1996
    Pinot Noir from Gevrey-Chambertin, Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
    • RP93
    • BH93
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  • Joseph Drouhin Pommard 1996 Front Label
    Joseph Drouhin Pommard 1996
    Pinot Noir from Burgundy, France
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    • Byron Estate Pinot Noir 1996 Front Label
      Byron Estate Pinot Noir 1996
      Pinot Noir from California
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      • Cambria Reserve Pinot Noir 1996 Front Label
        Cambria Reserve Pinot Noir 1996
        Pinot Noir from California
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        • Ken Wright Cellars Carter Vineyard Pinot Noir 1996 Front Bottle Shot
          Ken Wright Cellars Carter Vineyard Pinot Noir 1996
          Pinot Noir from Willamette Valley, Oregon
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          • Robert Mondavi Pinot Noir 1996 Front Label
            Robert Mondavi Pinot Noir 1996
            Pinot Noir from Napa Valley, California
            • WE88
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          • Chehalem Rion Reserve Pinot Noir 1996 Front Label
            Chehalem Rion Reserve Pinot Noir 1996
            Pinot Noir from Willamette Valley, Oregon
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            • Domaine de la Romanee-Conti La Tache Grand Cru 1996 Front Label
              Domaine de la Romanee-Conti La Tache Grand Cru 1996
              Pinot Noir from Burgundy, France
              • WS96
              • RP96
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            • Cambiaso Pinot Noir 1996 Front Label
              Cambiaso Pinot Noir 1996
              Pinot Noir from California
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              • Kenwood Russian River Pinot Noir (half-bottle) 1996 Front Label
                Kenwood Russian River Pinot Noir (half-bottle) 1996
                Pinot Noir from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
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                • Charles Krug Napa Valley Pinot Noir 1996 Front Label
                  Charles Krug Napa Valley Pinot Noir 1996
                  Pinot Noir from Napa Valley, California
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                  • Camelot Pinot Noir 1996 Front Label
                    Camelot Pinot Noir 1996
                    Pinot Noir from Central Coast, California
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                    • Joseph Drouhin Cote de Beaune Villages 1996 Front Label
                      Joseph Drouhin Cote de Beaune Villages 1996
                      Pinot Noir from Burgundy, France
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                      • Erath Vintage Select Pinot Noir 1996 Front Label
                        Erath Vintage Select Pinot Noir 1996
                        Pinot Noir from Willamette Valley, Oregon
                        • WS86
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                      • Joseph Drouhin Chorey Les Beaune 1996 Front Label
                        Joseph Drouhin Chorey Les Beaune 1996
                        Pinot Noir from Burgundy, France
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                        • Joseph Drouhin Maranges Premier Cru 1996 Front Label
                          Joseph Drouhin Maranges Premier Cru 1996
                          Pinot Noir from Burgundy, France
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                          • Charles Krug Pinot Noir 1996 Front Label
                            Charles Krug Pinot Noir 1996
                            Pinot Noir from Napa Valley, California
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                            • Chehalem Ridgecrest Vineyard Pinot Noir 1996 Front Label
                              Chehalem Ridgecrest Vineyard Pinot Noir 1996
                              Pinot Noir from Willamette Valley, Oregon
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                              • Eyrie Reserve Pinot Noir 1996
                                Pinot Noir from Willamette Valley, Oregon
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                                • Bridgeview Red Cedar Pinot Noir 1996 Front Label
                                  Bridgeview Red Cedar Pinot Noir 1996
                                  Pinot Noir from Rogue Valley, Oregon
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                                  • Louis Jadot Savigny Les Beaune 1996 Front Label
                                    Louis Jadot Savigny Les Beaune 1996
                                    Pinot Noir from Burgundy, France
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                                    • Laboure Roi Cotes de Nuits Villages 1996 Front Label
                                      Laboure Roi Cotes de Nuits Villages 1996
                                      Pinot Noir from Burgundy, France
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                                      • Antonin Rodet Gevrey Chambertin 1996
                                        Pinot Noir from Burgundy, France
                                        • RP87
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                                      • Witness Tree Pinot Noir 1996 Front Label
                                        Witness Tree Pinot Noir 1996
                                        Pinot Noir from Willamette Valley, Oregon
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                                        • Erath Prince Hill Vineyard Pinot Noir 1996
                                          Pinot Noir from Willamette Valley, Oregon
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