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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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  • Au Contraire Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2013 Front Label
    Au Contraire Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2013
    Pinot Noir from Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
    • WE90
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  • Schrader Boars' View The Coast Pinot Noir 2013 Front Label
    Schrader Boars' View The Coast Pinot Noir 2013
    Pinot Noir from Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
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    • WS95
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  • Domaine Henri Gouges Nuits St. Georges 2013 Front Label
    Domaine Henri Gouges Nuits St. Georges 2013
    Pinot Noir from Nuits-St-Georges, Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
    • BH91
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  • Chapter 24 Fire and Flood The Fire Pinot Noir 2013 Front Label
    Chapter 24 Fire and Flood The Fire Pinot Noir 2013
    Pinot Noir from Willamette Valley, Oregon
    • W&S93
    4.4 12 Ratings
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  • Ministry of Vinterior Russian River Pinot Noir 2013 Front Label
    Ministry of Vinterior Russian River Pinot Noir 2013
    Pinot Noir from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
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    • Starmont Pinot Noir 2013 Front Label
      Starmont Pinot Noir 2013
      Pinot Noir from Carneros, California
      • WE90
      4.4 8 Ratings
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      27
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    • Carmel Road First Row Pinot Noir 2013 Front Label
      Carmel Road First Row Pinot Noir 2013
      Pinot Noir from Arroyo Seco, Monterey, Central Coast, California
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      • Pegasus Bay Pinot Noir 2013 Front Label
        Pegasus Bay Pinot Noir 2013
        Pinot Noir from Canterbury, New Zealand
        • D95
        • RP91
        • BH90
        4.2 7 Ratings
        Currently Unavailable $44.99
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      • Carmel Road South Crest Pinot Noir 2013 Front Label
        Carmel Road South Crest Pinot Noir 2013
        Pinot Noir from Arroyo Seco, Monterey, Central Coast, California
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        • J. Lohr Highlands Bench Pinot Noir 2013 Front Label
          J. Lohr Highlands Bench Pinot Noir 2013
          Pinot Noir from Santa Lucia Highlands, Monterey, Central Coast, California
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          • Monticello Estate Pinot Noir 2013 Front Label
            Monticello Estate Pinot Noir 2013
            Pinot Noir from Oak Knoll District, Napa Valley, California
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            • Valley of the Moon Pinot Noir 2013  Front Label
              Valley of the Moon Pinot Noir 2013
              Pinot Noir from Carneros, California
              • WW89
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            • Freeman Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir 2013 Front Label
              Freeman Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir 2013
              Pinot Noir from Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
              • WE90
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            • Martinelli Blue Slide Ridge Pinot Noir 2013 Front Label
              Martinelli Blue Slide Ridge Pinot Noir 2013
              Pinot Noir from Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
              • RP94
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            • Bouchard Aine & Fils Pommard 2013 Front Label
              Bouchard Aine & Fils Pommard 2013
              Pinot Noir from Pommard, Cote de Beaune, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
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