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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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    Wine Spots Carneros Pinot Noir 2009
    Pinot Noir from Carneros, California
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    Villa Maria Reserve Pinot Noir 2009
    Pinot Noir from Marlborough, New Zealand
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    Sequana Sundawg Ridge Vineyard Pinot Noir 2009
    Pinot Noir from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
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    Vine Hill Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir 2009
    Pinot Noir from Santa Cruz Mountains, California
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    Louis Latour Pommard Premier Cru Epenots 2009
    Pinot Noir from Pommard, Cote de Beaune, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
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    Freeman Russian River Pinot Noir 2009
    Pinot Noir from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
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    Kenwood Russian River Pinot Noir 2009
    Pinot Noir from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
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    Cambria Julia's Vineyard Pinot Noir 2009
    Pinot Noir from Santa Maria Valley, Central Coast, California
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    Artesa Estate Reserve Pinot Noir 2009
    Pinot Noir from Carneros, California
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    Bouchard Aine & Fils Clos de la Roche 2009
    Pinot Noir from Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
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    Montes Limited Selection Pinot Noir 2009
    Pinot Noir from Chile
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    Saintsbury Brown Ranch Pinot Noir 2009
    Pinot Noir from Carneros, California
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    La Crema Monterey Pinot Noir 2009
    Pinot Noir from Central Coast, California
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    Calera Mills Vineyard Pinot Noir 2009
    Pinot Noir from Mt. Harlan, Central Coast, California
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    Roco Willamette Valley Pinot Noir 2009
    Pinot Noir from Willamette Valley, Oregon
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    Calera Ryan Vineyard Pinot Noir 2009
    Pinot Noir from Central Coast, California
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    Top Chef Quickfire Pinot Noir 2009
    Pinot Noir from Central Coast, California
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    Pennywise Pinot Noir 2009
    Pinot Noir from California
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    J. Lohr Vineyards & Wines Falcon's Perch Pinot Noir 2009
    Pinot Noir from Central Coast, California
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    Rodney Strong Estate Pinot Noir 2009
    Pinot Noir from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
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    Willamette Valley Vineyards Whole Cluster Pinot Noir 2009
    Pinot Noir from Willamette Valley, Oregon
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    La Crema Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir 2009
    Pinot Noir from Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
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    Migration Anderson Valley Pinot Noir (375ML half-bottle) 2009
    Pinot Noir from North Coast, California
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    Dobbes Family Estate Grand Assemblage Pinot Noir 2009
    Pinot Noir from Willamette Valley, Oregon
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    Wine By Joe Pinot Noir 2009
    Pinot Noir from Oregon
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