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Pinot Noir

One of the most finicky yet rewarding grapes to grow ...

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).

In the Glass

Pinot Noir is all about red fruit—strawberry, raspberry and cherry with some heftier styles delving into the red or purple plum and in the other direction, red or orange citrus. It is relatively pale in color with soft tannins and a lively acidity. With age (of which the best examples can handle an astounding amount) it can develop hauntingly alluring characteristics of fresh earth, savory spice, dried fruit and truffles.

Perfect Pairings

Pinot’s healthy acidity cuts through the oiliness of pink-fleshed fish like salmon and 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 Secret

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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    Flowers Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir 2016
    Pinot Noir from Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
    • RP91
    4.2 45 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $49.99
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    Beaux Freres The Upper Terrace Pinot Noir 2016
    Pinot Noir from Ribbon Ridge, Willamette Valley, Oregon
    • RP96
    • WS96
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    Currently Unavailable $109.99
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    Goldeneye Anderson Valley Pinot Noir 2016
    Pinot Noir from Anderson Valley, Mendocino, California
    • WW92
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $44.99
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    58
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    Erath Pinot Noir 2016
    Pinot Noir from Oregon
    • RP90
    • WS90
    3.7 34 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $16.99
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    19
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    Cakebread Two Creeks Vineyards Pinot Noir 2016
    Pinot Noir from Anderson Valley, Mendocino, California
      4.6 10 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $54.99
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      Beaux Freres The Beaux Freres Vineyard Pinot Noir 2016
      Pinot Noir from Ribbon Ridge, Willamette Valley, Oregon
      • WS95
      4.6 7 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $88.99
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      Gary Farrell Russian River Pinot Noir 2016
      Pinot Noir from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
      • WE93
      • TP93
      • WS90
      • RP90
      0.0 0 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $39.99
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      Beaux Freres Zena Crown Pinot Noir 2016
      Pinot Noir from Eola-Amity Hills, Willamette Valley, Oregon
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        Beaux Freres Willamette Valley Pinot Noir 2016
        Pinot Noir from Willamette Valley, Oregon
        • WS94
        • JD93
        4.8 10 Ratings
        Currently Unavailable $59.99
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        La Crema Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir 2016
        Pinot Noir from Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
        • WS90
        4.3 41 Ratings
        Currently Unavailable $19.99
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        Walter Hansel North Slope Pinot Noir 2016
        Pinot Noir from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
        • RP94
        0.0 0 Ratings
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        Denis Mortet Gevrey-Chambertin Mes Cinq Terroirs 2016
        Pinot Noir from Gevrey-Chambertin, Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
        • RP94
        • WS94
        • V92
        • BH91
        0.0 0 Ratings
        Currently Unavailable $84.99
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        Jean-Claude Boisset Pinot Noir Les Ursulines 2016
        Pinot Noir from Burgundy, France
        • JS91
        • WS90
        3.6 9 Ratings
        Currently Unavailable $20.99
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        Brick House Les Dijonnais Pinot Noir 2016
        Pinot Noir from Ribbon Ridge, Willamette Valley, Oregon
        • RP94
        0.0 0 Ratings
        Currently Unavailable $52.99
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        Resonance Willamette Valley Pinot Noir 2016
        Pinot Noir from Willamette Valley, Oregon
        • WS93
        • WE90
        4.1 25 Ratings
        Currently Unavailable $35.99
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        Acrobat Pinot Noir 2016
        Pinot Noir from Oregon
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          Schug Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir 2016
          Pinot Noir from Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
          • TP91
          • D90
          • WW90
          4.1 98 Ratings
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          La Crema Monterey Pinot Noir 2016
          Pinot Noir from Central Coast, California
          • W&S89
          4.4 20 Ratings
          Currently Unavailable $17.99
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          Dog Point Vineyard Pinot Noir 2016
          Pinot Noir from Marlborough, New Zealand
          • JS96
          0.0 0 Ratings
          Currently Unavailable $34.99
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        • Wrath Boekenoogen Vineyard Pinot Noir 2016
          Pinot Noir from Santa Lucia Highlands, Monterey, Central Coast, California
          • JD95
          • V92
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          Currently Unavailable $43.99
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          Banshee Sonoma County Pinot Noir 2016
          Pinot Noir from Sonoma County, California
          • WW91
          3.9 19 Ratings
          Currently Unavailable $23.99
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          Orin Swift Cellars Slander Pinot Noir 2016
          Pinot Noir from California
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            Two Paddocks The First Paddock Pinot Noir 2016
            Pinot Noir from Central Otago, New Zealand
            • WS95
            • D94
            • JS94
            • RP92
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            Currently Unavailable $66.99
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            Walt La Brisa Pinot Noir 2016
            Pinot Noir from Sonoma County, California
            • RP91
            • WW90
            4.6 12 Ratings
            Currently Unavailable $39.99
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            Raeburn Pinot Noir 2016
            Pinot Noir from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
            • TP90
            • WW90
            • JS90
            4.5 12 Ratings
            Currently Unavailable $23.99
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