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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 Perrot-Minot Charmes-Chambertin Grand Cru (scuffed labels) 2011 Front Label
    Domaine Perrot-Minot Charmes-Chambertin Grand Cru (scuffed labels) 2011
    Pinot Noir from Gevrey-Chambertin, Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
    • BH95
    • V95
    • WS94
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    375
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  • Louis Jadot Le Musigny 2011 Front Label
    Louis Jadot Le Musigny 2011
    Pinot Noir from Chambolle-Musigny, Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
    • V97
    • WS95
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  • Lignier-Michelot Clos de la Roche Grand Cru (torn labels) 2011  Front Label
    Lignier-Michelot Clos de la Roche Grand Cru (torn labels) 2011
    Pinot Noir from Morey-St-Denis, Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
    • RP92
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    229 97
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  • Domaine Poisot Romanee-Saint-Vivant Grand Cru 2011
    Pinot Noir from Vosne-Romanee, Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
    • RP93
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    349 97
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  • MacPhail Pratt Vineyard Pinot Noir 2011 Front Label
    MacPhail Pratt Vineyard Pinot Noir 2011
    Pinot Noir from Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
    • WE92
    • TP91
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    49 99
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  • Louis Jadot Bonnes-Mares Grand Cru 2011 Front Label
    Louis Jadot Bonnes-Mares Grand Cru 2011
    Pinot Noir from Chambolle-Musigny, Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
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    • Domaine de Montille Pommard Les Rugiens-Bas Premier Cru 2011 Front Label
      Domaine de Montille Pommard Les Rugiens-Bas Premier Cru 2011
      Pinot Noir from Pommard, Cote de Beaune, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
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      • Rhys Vineyards Skyline Vineyard Pinot Noir 2011 Front Label
        Rhys Vineyards Skyline Vineyard Pinot Noir 2011
        Pinot Noir from Santa Cruz Mountains, California
        • BH93
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        Currently Unavailable $129.97
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        129 97
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      • Domaine Dujac Fils & Pere Bonnes Mares Grand Cru 2011 Front Label
        Domaine Dujac Bonnes Mares Grand Cru 2011
        Pinot Noir from Chambolle-Musigny, Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
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          849 97
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        • Marcassin Marcassin Vineyard Pinot Noir 2011 Front Label
          Marcassin Marcassin Vineyard Pinot Noir 2011
          Pinot Noir from Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
          • RP92
          • WS91
          4.7 6 Ratings
          Currently Unavailable $197.97
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          197 97
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        • Domaine Georges & Christophe Roumier  Bonnes Mares Grand Cru 2011 Front Label
          Domaine Georges & Christophe Roumier Bonnes Mares Grand Cru 2011
          Pinot Noir from Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
          • TA97
          • WS95
          • RP93
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          Currently Unavailable $899.97
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          899 97
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        • Domaine de Montille Volnay Les Taillepieds Premier Cru 2011 Front Label
          Domaine de Montille Volnay Les Taillepieds Premier Cru 2011
          Pinot Noir from Volnay, Cote de Beaune, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
          • V90
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          Currently Unavailable $149.97
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          149 97
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        • Domaine d'Eugenie Vosne-Romanee Aux Brulees Premier Cru 2011 Front Label
          Domaine d'Eugenie Vosne-Romanee Aux Brulees Premier Cru 2011
          Pinot Noir from Vosne-Romanee, Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
          • RP92
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          Currently Unavailable $219.97
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          219 97
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        • Domaine de Montille Volnay Les Champans Premier Cru 2011 Front Label
          Domaine de Montille Volnay Les Champans Premier Cru 2011
          Pinot Noir from Volnay, Cote de Beaune, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
          • V91
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          139 97
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        • Domaine Georges & Christophe Roumier  Ruchottes-Chambertin Grand Cru 2011 Front Label
          Domaine Georges & Christophe Roumier Ruchottes-Chambertin Grand Cru 2011
          Pinot Noir from Gevrey-Chambertin, Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
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          • Maldonado Los Olivos Pinot Noir 2011 Front Label
            Maldonado Los Olivos Pinot Noir 2011
            Pinot Noir from Napa Valley, California
            • WE90
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            44 99
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          • Domaine Georges & Christophe Roumier  Charmes-Chambertin Aux Mazoyeres Grand Cru 2011 Front Label
            Domaine Georges & Christophe Roumier Charmes-Chambertin Aux Mazoyeres Grand Cru 2011
            Pinot Noir from Gevrey-Chambertin, Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
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              629 97
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            • Domaine Dujac Fils & Pere Clos de la Roche Grand Cru 2011 Front Label
              Domaine Dujac Clos de la Roche Grand Cru 2011
              Pinot Noir from Morey-St-Denis, Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
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              • Domaine Comte Georges de Vogue Musigny Vieilles Vignes 2011  Front Label
                Domaine Comte Georges de Vogue Musigny Vieilles Vignes 2011
                Pinot Noir from Burgundy, France
                • RP92
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                Currently Unavailable $599.97
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