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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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  • Patrick Lesec Morey Saint Denis Premier Cru Vieilles Vignes 1999 Front Label
    Patrick Lesec Morey Saint Denis Premier Cru Vieilles Vignes 1999
    Pinot Noir from Morey-St-Denis, Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
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  • Kendall-Jackson Great Estates Monterey Pinot Noir 1999 Front Label
    Kendall-Jackson Great Estates Monterey Pinot Noir 1999
    Pinot Noir from North Coast, California
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  • Argyle Reserve Pinot Noir 1999 Front Label
    Argyle Reserve Pinot Noir 1999
    Pinot Noir from Willamette Valley, Oregon
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  • King Estate Croft Vineyard Pinot Noir 1999
    Pinot Noir from Willamette Valley, Oregon
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  • Argyle Spirithouse Pinot Noir 1999 Front Label
    Argyle Spirithouse Pinot Noir 1999
    Pinot Noir from Willamette Valley, Oregon
    • WS93
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  • Westrey Reserve Pinot Noir 1999
    Pinot Noir from Willamette Valley, Oregon
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  • Beaulieu Vineyard Carneros Pinot Noir 1999 Front Label
    Beaulieu Vineyard Carneros Pinot Noir 1999
    Pinot Noir from Carneros, California
    • WS88
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  • Rex Hill Pinot Noir 1999
    Pinot Noir from Willamette Valley, Oregon
    • W&S91
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  • Archery Summit Arcus Pinot Noir 1999
    Pinot Noir from Willamette Valley, Oregon
    • WS95
    • RP90
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  • David Bruce Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir 1999
    Pinot Noir from Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
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    • W&S88
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  • Sterling Winery Lake Pinot Noir 1999
    Pinot Noir from Carneros, California
    • WE88
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  • Robert Mondavi Reserve Pinot Noir 1999 Front Label
    Robert Mondavi Reserve Pinot Noir 1999
    Pinot Noir from Napa Valley, California
    • WS85
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  • Archery Summit Premier Cuvee Pinot Noir 1999
    Pinot Noir from Willamette Valley, Oregon
    • WS89
    • RP87
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  • Saintsbury Carneros Pinot Noir 1999
    Pinot Noir from Carneros, California
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  • Rex Hill Maresh Pinot Noir 1999
    Pinot Noir from Willamette Valley, Oregon
    • WS92
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  • Archery Summit Archers Edge Pinot Noir 1999 Front Label
    Archery Summit Archers Edge Pinot Noir 1999
    Pinot Noir from Willamette Valley, Oregon
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  • BearBoat Pinot Noir 1999
    Pinot Noir from Sonoma County, California
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  • Gallo of Sonoma Pinot Noir 1999
    Pinot Noir from Sonoma County, California
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  • Archery Summit Red Hills Estate Pinot Noir 1999
    Pinot Noir from Willamette Valley, Oregon
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    • WS92
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  • Steele Carneros Pinot Noir 1999
    Pinot Noir from California
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  • Argyle Pinot Noir 1999
    Pinot Noir from Willamette Valley, Oregon
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  • Flora Springs Lavender Hill Pinot Noir 1999
    Pinot Noir from Napa Valley, California
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  • David Bruce Santa Cruz Mountain Pinot Noir 1999
    Pinot Noir from Central Coast, California
    • WS87
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  • Bethel Heights Estate Pinot Noir 1999
    Pinot Noir from Willamette Valley, Oregon
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  • Willamette Valley Vineyards Hoodview Vineyard Pinot Noir 1999 Front Label
    Willamette Valley Vineyards Hoodview Vineyard Pinot Noir 1999
    Pinot Noir from Willamette Valley, Oregon
    • WS90
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