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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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  • Williams Selyem Flax Vineyard Pinot Noir 2003 Front Label
    Williams Selyem Flax Vineyard Pinot Noir 2003
    Pinot Noir from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
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  • Williams Selyem Allen Vineyard Pinot Noir 2003 Front Label
    Williams Selyem Allen Vineyard Pinot Noir 2003
    Pinot Noir from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
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  • Etude Carneros Pinot Noir 2003 Front Label
    Etude Carneros Pinot Noir 2003
    Pinot Noir from Carneros, California
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  • Williams Selyem Russian River Valley Pinot Noir 2003 Front Label
    Williams Selyem Russian River Valley Pinot Noir 2003
    Pinot Noir from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
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  • Williams Selyem Bucher Vineyard Pinot Noir 2003 Front Label
    Williams Selyem Bucher Vineyard Pinot Noir 2003
    Pinot Noir from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
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  • Williams Selyem Peay Vineyard Pinot Noir 2003 Front Label
    Williams Selyem Peay Vineyard Pinot Noir 2003
    Pinot Noir from Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
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  • Marimar Estate Don Miguel Vineyard Pinot Noir 2003 Front Label
    Marimar Estate Don Miguel Vineyard Pinot Noir 2003
    Pinot Noir from Sonoma County, California
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  • Gallo of Sonoma Pinot Noir 2003
    Pinot Noir from Sonoma County, California
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  • Etude Carneros Estate Pinot Noir 2003 Front Label
    Etude Carneros Estate Pinot Noir 2003
    Pinot Noir from Carneros, California
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  • Fess Parker Ashley's Vineyard Pinot Noir 2003 Front Label
    Fess Parker Ashley's Vineyard Pinot Noir 2003
    Pinot Noir from Central Coast, California
    • WE93
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  • Cloudy Bay Pinot Noir 2003
    Pinot Noir from Marlborough, New Zealand
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  • WillaKenzie Estate Willamette Valley Pinot Noir (half-bottle) 2003
    Pinot Noir from Willamette Valley, Oregon
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  • Calera Jensen Vineyard Pinot Noir 2003 Front Label
    Calera Jensen Vineyard Pinot Noir 2003
    Pinot Noir from Napa Valley, California
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  • Belle Glos Taylor Lane Vineyard Pinot Noir 2003 Front Label
    Belle Glos Taylor Lane Vineyard Pinot Noir 2003
    Pinot Noir from Sonoma County, California
    • WE91
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  • Williams Selyem Precious Mountain Pinot Noir 2003 Front Label
    Williams Selyem Precious Mountain Pinot Noir 2003
    Pinot Noir from Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
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  • Domaine Carneros Carneros Pinot Noir 2003
    Pinot Noir from California
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  • Testarossa Garys' Vineyard Pinot Noir 2003 Front Label
    Testarossa Garys' Vineyard Pinot Noir 2003
    Pinot Noir from Central Coast, California
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  • Castalia Rochiolli Pinot Noir (1.5L Magnum) 2003 Front Label
    Castalia Rochiolli Pinot Noir (1.5L Magnum) 2003
    Pinot Noir from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
    • WE90
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  • Williams Selyem Westside Road Neighbors Pinot Noir 2003 Front Label
    Williams Selyem Westside Road Neighbors Pinot Noir 2003
    Pinot Noir from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
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  • Williams Selyem Sonoma County Pinot Noir 2003 Front Label
    Williams Selyem Sonoma County Pinot Noir 2003
    Pinot Noir from Sonoma County, California
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  • Belle Glos Clark and Telephone Vineyard Pinot Noir 2003 Front Label
    Belle Glos Clark and Telephone Vineyard Pinot Noir 2003
    Pinot Noir from Santa Maria Valley, Central Coast, California
    • WE94
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