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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 Anderson Estate Pinot Noir 2015  Front Label
    Domaine Anderson Estate Pinot Noir 2015
    Pinot Noir from Anderson Valley, Mendocino, California
    • TP94
    • WE90
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  • St. Innocent Freedom Hill Pinot Noir (375 half-bottle) 2015  Front Label
    St. Innocent Freedom Hill Pinot Noir (375 half-bottle) 2015
    Pinot Noir from Eola-Amity Hills, Willamette Valley, Oregon
    • WE91
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  • Chapter 24 The Fire Pinot Noir 2015  Front Label
    Chapter 24 The Fire Pinot Noir 2015
    Pinot Noir from Willamette Valley, Oregon
    • RP92
    • WS90
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  • Jean-Marc Vincent Santenay Le Passetemps Premier Cru 2015  Front Label
    Jean-Marc Vincent Santenay Le Passetemps Premier Cru 2015
    Pinot Noir from Santenay, Cote de Beaune, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
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    • Hanzell Pinot Noir 2015  Front Label
      Hanzell Pinot Noir 2015
      Pinot Noir from Sonoma Valley, Sonoma County, California
      • RP94
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    • Flowers Camp Meeting Ridge Pinot Noir 2015  Front Label
      Flowers Camp Meeting Ridge Pinot Noir 2015
      Pinot Noir from Sonoma County, California
      • W&S94
      • RP93
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    • Merryvale Pinot Noir 2015  Front Label
      Merryvale Pinot Noir 2015
      Pinot Noir from Carneros, California
      • JS90
      • JD90
      4.1 10 Ratings
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    • King Estate Domaine Pinot Noir 2015  Front Label
      King Estate Domaine Pinot Noir 2015
      Pinot Noir from Willamette Valley, Oregon
      • WW92
      • WS90
      • WE90
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    • Chanin Duvarita Vineyard Pinot Noir 2015 Front Label
      Chanin Duvarita Vineyard Pinot Noir 2015
      Pinot Noir from Santa Barbara, Central Coast, California
      • WE92
      • RP91
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    • Varner Los Alamos Vineyard Pinot Noir 2015  Front Label
      Varner Los Alamos Vineyard Pinot Noir 2015
      Pinot Noir from Santa Barbara, Central Coast, California
      • RP91
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    • Tatomer Kick On Ranch Pinot Noir 2015  Front Label
      Tatomer Kick On Ranch Pinot Noir 2015
      Pinot Noir from Santa Barbara, Central Coast, California
      • V92
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    • Domaine de l'Arlot Cote de Nuits Villages Clos du Chapeau 2015 Front Label
      Domaine de l'Arlot Cote de Nuits Villages Clos du Chapeau 2015
      Pinot Noir from Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
      • RP90
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    • Domaine Meo-Camuzet Corton Les Perrieres Grand Cru 2015 Front Label
      Domaine Meo-Camuzet Corton Les Perrieres Grand Cru 2015
      Pinot Noir from Burgundy, France
      • BH94
      • V94
      • RP93
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    • Angela Estate Abbott Claim Pinot Noir 2015 Front Label
      Angela Estate Abbott Claim Pinot Noir 2015
      Pinot Noir from Willamette Valley, Oregon
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      • A to Z Pinot Noir 2015 Front Label
        A to Z Pinot Noir 2015
        Pinot Noir from Willamette Valley, Oregon
        • W&S89
        4.0 56 Ratings
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