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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 dominated 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 wine can develop hauntingly alluring characteristics of fresh earth, savory spice and dried fruit.

Pinot Noir Food Pairings

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 the wine 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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  • Flowers Sea View Ridge Pinot Noir 2004  Front Label
    Flowers Sea View Ridge Pinot Noir 2004
    Pinot Noir from Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
    • W&S91
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  • Brancott Pinot Noir 2004 Front Label
    Brancott Pinot Noir 2004
    Pinot Noir from Marlborough, New Zealand
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  • Flowers Camp Meeting Ridge Pinot Noir 2004 Front Label
    Flowers Camp Meeting Ridge Pinot Noir 2004
    Pinot Noir from Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
    • V92
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  • Flowers Frances Thompson Vineyard Pinot Noir 2004  Front Label
    Flowers Frances Thompson Vineyard Pinot Noir 2004
    Pinot Noir from Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
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  • Williams Selyem Central Coast Pinot Noir 2004 Front Label
    Williams Selyem Central Coast Pinot Noir 2004
    Pinot Noir from Central Coast, California
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  • Williams Selyem Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir 2004 Front Label
    Williams Selyem Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir 2004
    Pinot Noir from Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
    • W&S91
    • WE90
    • WS90
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  • MacMurray Ranch Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir 2004 Front Label
    MacMurray Ranch Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir 2004
    Pinot Noir from Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
    • W&S91
    4.2 9 Ratings
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  • Williams Selyem Sonoma County Pinot Noir (torn label) 2004 Front Label
    Williams Selyem Sonoma County Pinot Noir (torn label) 2004
    Pinot Noir from Sonoma County, California
    • W&S91
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  • Clos Roche Blanche Touraine Gamay Noir 2004 Front Label
    Clos Roche Blanche Touraine Gamay Noir 2004
    Pinot Noir from Touraine, Loire, France
    • W&S89
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  • Ata Rangi Pinot Noir 2004 Front Label
    Ata Rangi Pinot Noir 2004
    Pinot Noir from Martinborough, New Zealand
    • W&S91
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  • WillaKenzie Estate Aliette Pinot Noir 2004 Front Label
    WillaKenzie Estate Aliette Pinot Noir 2004
    Pinot Noir from Willamette Valley, Oregon
    • W&S92
    • WS90
    • RP90
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  • Orogeny Vineyards Pinot Noir Green Valley 2004 Front Label
    Orogeny Vineyards Pinot Noir Green Valley 2004
    Pinot Noir from Green Valley, Russian River, Sonoma County, California
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  • Williams Selyem Rochioli Riverblock Vineyard Pinot Noir 2004 Front Label
    Williams Selyem Rochioli Riverblock Vineyard Pinot Noir 2004
    Pinot Noir from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
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  • Neudorf Moutere Pinot Noir 2004 Front Label
    Neudorf Moutere Pinot Noir 2004
    Pinot Noir from New Zealand
    • W&S93
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  • Argyle Nuthouse Pinot Noir 2004 Front Label
    Argyle Nuthouse Pinot Noir 2004
    Pinot Noir from Willamette Valley, Oregon
    • WS92
    • W&S91
    4.4 5 Ratings
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  • Failla Keefer Ranch Pinot Noir 2004 Front Label
    Failla Keefer Ranch Pinot Noir 2004
    Pinot Noir from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
    • W&S92
    • RP90
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