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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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  • Cambria Reserve Pinot Noir 1996 Front Label
    Cambria Reserve Pinot Noir 1996
    Pinot Noir from California
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    • Joseph Drouhin Pommard 1996 Front Label
      Joseph Drouhin Pommard 1996
      Pinot Noir from Burgundy, France
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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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        • Flowers Camp Meeting Ridge Pinot Noir 1996 Front Label
          Flowers Camp Meeting Ridge Pinot Noir 1996
          Pinot Noir from Sonoma County, California
          • WS92
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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
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          • RP96
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        • Camelot Pinot Noir 1996 Front Label
          Camelot Pinot Noir 1996
          Pinot Noir from Central Coast, California
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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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                • 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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                  • Joseph Drouhin Maranges Premier Cru 1996 Front Label
                    Joseph Drouhin Maranges Premier Cru 1996
                    Pinot Noir from Burgundy, France
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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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                      • 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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                      • Charles Krug Pinot Noir 1996 Front Label
                        Charles Krug Pinot Noir 1996
                        Pinot Noir from Napa Valley, California
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                        • Joseph Drouhin Pernand Vergelesses 1996 Front Label
                          Joseph Drouhin Pernand Vergelesses 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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                            • 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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                                • Antonin Rodet Chambolle Musigny 1996
                                  Pinot Noir from Burgundy, France
                                  • RP89
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                                • Louis Jadot Volnay 1996 Front Label
                                  Louis Jadot Volnay 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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                                  • Joseph Drouhin Savigny les Beaune 1996 Front Label
                                    Joseph Drouhin Savigny les Beaune 1996
                                    Pinot Noir from Burgundy, France
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                                    • Eyrie Reserve Pinot Noir 1996
                                      Pinot Noir from Willamette Valley, Oregon
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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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                                        • Josmeyer Pinot Noir Cuvee Reserve 1996
                                          Pinot Noir from Alsace, France
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