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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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  • Calera Ryan Vineyard Pinot Noir 2008 Front Label
    Calera Ryan Vineyard Pinot Noir 2008
    Pinot Noir from Central Coast, California
    • RP91
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  • Craggy Range Winery Te Muna Road Vineyard Pinot Noir 2008 Front Label
    Craggy Range Winery Te Muna Road Vineyard Pinot Noir 2008
    Pinot Noir from Martinborough, New Zealand
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  • Rex Hill Willamette Valley Pinot Noir 2008 Front Label
    Rex Hill Willamette Valley Pinot Noir 2008
    Pinot Noir from Willamette Valley, Oregon
    • WE90
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  • Marimar Estate Don Miguel Vineyard La Masia Pinot Noir 2008 Front Label
    Marimar Estate Don Miguel Vineyard La Masia Pinot Noir 2008
    Pinot Noir from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
    • WE96
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  • Ken Wright Cellars Savoya Vineyard Pinot Noir (1.5L Magnum) 2008 Front Label
    Ken Wright Cellars Savoya Vineyard Pinot Noir (1.5L Magnum) 2008
    Pinot Noir from Yamhill-Carlton District, Willamette Valley, Oregon
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    • RP92
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  • Littorai Platt Vineyard Pinot Noir 2008 Front Label
    Littorai Platt Vineyard Pinot Noir 2008
    Pinot Noir from Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
    • WE93
    • WS90
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  • Ken Wright Cellars McCrone Vineyard Pinot Noir (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2008 Front Label
    Ken Wright Cellars McCrone Vineyard Pinot Noir (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2008
    Pinot Noir from Yamhill-Carlton District, Willamette Valley, Oregon
    • WS93
    • RP93
    • WE92
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  • Ken Wright Cellars Abbott Claim Vineyard Pinot Noir (1.5L Magnum) 2008 Front Label
    Ken Wright Cellars Abbott Claim Vineyard Pinot Noir (1.5L Magnum) 2008
    Pinot Noir from Yamhill-Carlton District, Willamette Valley, Oregon
    • WS94
    • WE92
    • RP91
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  • Williams Selyem Hirsch Pinot Noir 2008 Front Label
    Williams Selyem Hirsch Pinot Noir 2008
    Pinot Noir from Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
    • WE97
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  • Gloria Ferrer Carneros Pinot Noir (375ML half-bottle) 2008 Front Label
    Gloria Ferrer Carneros Pinot Noir (375ML half-bottle) 2008
    Pinot Noir from Carneros, California
    • WE91
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  • Davis Family Vineyards Soul Patch Estate Pinot Noir 2008 Front Label
    Davis Family Vineyards Soul Patch Estate Pinot Noir 2008
    Pinot Noir from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
    • WE91
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  • Solena Estate Domaine Danielle Laurent Pinot Noir 2008 Front Label
    Solena Estate Domaine Danielle Laurent Pinot Noir 2008
    Pinot Noir from Willamette Valley, Oregon
    • RP92
    • WE91
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  • Martin Ray Santa Barbara Pinot Noir 2008 Front Label
    Martin Ray Santa Barbara Pinot Noir 2008
    Pinot Noir from Central Coast, California
    • WE89
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  • Erath Pinot Noir 2008 Front Label
    Erath Pinot Noir 2008
    Pinot Noir from Willamette Valley, Oregon
    • WS88
    • WE88
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  • Hook and Ladder Pinot Noir 2008 Front Label
    Hook and Ladder Pinot Noir 2008
    Pinot Noir from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
    • WE90
    3.8 9 Ratings
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  • Calera Jensen Vineyard Pinot Noir 2008 Front Label
    Calera Jensen Vineyard Pinot Noir 2008
    Pinot Noir from Mt. Harlan, Central Coast, California
    • WW96
    • RP94
    • W&S94
    • WE91
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  • Calera Jensen Vineyard Pinot Noir (375ML half-bottle) 2008 Front Label
    Calera Jensen Vineyard Pinot Noir (375ML half-bottle) 2008
    Pinot Noir from Mt. Harlan, Central Coast, California
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  • Gloria Ferrer Carneros Pinot Noir 2008 Front Label
    Gloria Ferrer Carneros Pinot Noir 2008
    Pinot Noir from Carneros, California
    • WE91
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  • Kendall-Jackson Vintner's Reserve Pinot Noir 2008 Front Label
    Kendall-Jackson Vintner's Reserve Pinot Noir 2008
    Pinot Noir from California
    • RP88
    • WE87
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  • Adelsheim Elizabeth's Reserve Pinot Noir 2008 Front Label
    Adelsheim Elizabeth's Reserve Pinot Noir 2008
    Pinot Noir from Willamette Valley, Oregon
    • RP93
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    • BH91
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  • Sean Minor Pinot Noir 2008 Front Label
    Sean Minor Pinot Noir 2008
    Pinot Noir from Carneros, California
    • WE91
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  • Sequana Sarmento Vineyard Pinot Noir 2008 Front Label
    Sequana Sarmento Vineyard Pinot Noir 2008
    Pinot Noir from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
    • WE91
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  • Anne Amie Cuvee A Pinot Noir 2008 Front Label
    Anne Amie Cuvee A Pinot Noir 2008
    Pinot Noir from Willamette Valley, Oregon
    • RP87
    • WS87
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  • MacMurray Ranch Willamette Valley Pinot Noir 2008 Front Label
    MacMurray Ranch Willamette Valley Pinot Noir 2008
    Pinot Noir from Willamette Valley, Oregon
    • WS92
    • WE91
    4.4 5 Ratings
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  • Ken Wright Cellars Nysa Vineyard Pinot Noir (375ML half-bottle) 2008 Front Label
    Ken Wright Cellars Nysa Vineyard Pinot Noir (375ML half-bottle) 2008
    Pinot Noir from Willamette Valley, Oregon
    • WS94
    • RP91
    • WE90
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