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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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    Three Sticks Price Family Estates Pinot Noir 2017
    Pinot Noir from Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
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    Goldeneye Anderson Valley Pinot Noir 2016
    Pinot Noir from Anderson Valley, Mendocino, California
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    4.4 38 Ratings
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    Belle Glos Las Alturas Vineyard Pinot Noir 2017
    Pinot Noir from Santa Lucia Highlands, Monterey, Central Coast, California
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    4.8 35 Ratings
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    Kosta Browne Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir (375ML half-bottle) 2017
    Pinot Noir from Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
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    Ken Wright Cellars McCrone Vineyard Pinot Noir 2017
    Pinot Noir from Willamette Valley, Oregon
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    Lincourt Rancho Santa Rosa Pinot Noir 2016
    Pinot Noir from Sta. Rita Hills, Santa Barbara, Central Coast, California
    • WW89
    3.9 14 Ratings
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    Argyle Reserve Pinot Noir (375ML half-bottle) 2015
    Pinot Noir from Willamette Valley, Oregon
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    • WW92
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    3.9 17 Ratings
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    Belle Glos Dairyman Vineyard Pinot Noir 2017
    Pinot Noir from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
    • WW90
    4.6 46 Ratings
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    Bouchard Pere & Fils Beaune du Chateau Premier Cru Rouge 2016
    Pinot Noir from Beaune, Cote de Beaune, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
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    Decoy Sonoma County Pinot Noir 2017
    Pinot Noir from Sonoma County, California
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    4.2 29 Ratings
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    Baileyana Firepeak Pinot Noir 2017
    Pinot Noir from Edna Valley, Central Coast, California
    • TP91
    • WW90
    4.4 12 Ratings
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    Parker Station Pinot Noir 2017
    Pinot Noir from Central Coast, California
    • TP92
    • WW90
    3.6 11 Ratings
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    Louis Latour Santenay 2016
    Pinot Noir from Santenay, Cote de Beaune, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
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    EnRoute Winery Les Pommiers Pinot Noir 2017
    Pinot Noir from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
    • WW93
    4.7 5 Ratings
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    Ken Wright Cellars Shea Vineyard Pinot Noir 2017
    Pinot Noir from Yamhill-Carlton District, Willamette Valley, Oregon
    • WW93
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    Joel Gott Santa Barbara Pinot Noir 2015
    Pinot Noir from Santa Barbara, Central Coast, California
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    Joseph Drouhin Laforet Pinot Noir 2017
    Pinot Noir from Burgundy, France
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    Belle Glos Clark and Telephone Vineyard Pinot Noir (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2017
    Pinot Noir from Santa Maria Valley, Central Coast, California
    • WW92
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    Williams Selyem Russian River Valley Pinot Noir 2017
    Pinot Noir from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
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    4.5 6 Ratings
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    Cedar + Salmon Willamette Valley Pinot Noir 2016
    Pinot Noir from Willamette Valley, Oregon
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    • WW91
    4.3 7 Ratings
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    Calera Central Coast Pinot Noir 2016
    Pinot Noir from Central Coast, California
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    4.2 11 Ratings
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    Byron Nielson Vineyard Pinot Noir 2014
    Pinot Noir from Santa Maria Valley, Central Coast, California
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    Burn Cottage Pinot Noir 2016
    Pinot Noir from Central Otago, New Zealand
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    Bouchard Pere & Fils Cote de Beaune Villages 2014
    Pinot Noir from Cote de Beaune, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
    • WW92
    3.8 37 Ratings
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    WillaKenzie Estate Pierre Leon Pinot Noir 2014
    Pinot Noir from Yamhill-Carlton District, Willamette Valley, Oregon
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    • WW91
    4.0 50 Ratings
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