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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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  • Roar Rosella's Vineyard Pinot Noir 2002 Front Label
    Roar Rosella's Vineyard Pinot Noir 2002
    Pinot Noir from Santa Lucia Highlands, Monterey, Central Coast, California
    • WS91
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  • Williams Selyem Russian River Valley Pinot Noir 2002 Front Label
    Williams Selyem Russian River Valley Pinot Noir 2002
    Pinot Noir from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
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  • Williams Selyem Vista Verde Vineyard Pinot Noir 2002 Front Label
    Williams Selyem Vista Verde Vineyard Pinot Noir 2002
    Pinot Noir from San Benito, Central Coast, California
    • WS91
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  • WillaKenzie Estate Willamette Valley Pinot Noir 2002 Front Label
    WillaKenzie Estate Willamette Valley Pinot Noir 2002
    Pinot Noir from Willamette Valley, Oregon
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  • Louis Latour Volnay En Chevret Premier Cru 2002 Front Label
    Louis Latour Volnay En Chevret Premier Cru 2002
    Pinot Noir from Burgundy, France
    • WS90
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  • Roar Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir 2002 Front Label
    Roar Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir 2002
    Pinot Noir from Santa Lucia Highlands, Monterey, Central Coast, California
    • WS90
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  • Devillard Domaine des Perdrix Echezeaux 2002 Front Label
    Devillard Domaine des Perdrix Echezeaux 2002
    Pinot Noir from Flagey-Echezeaux, Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
    • RP96
    • WE91
    • WS91
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  • Vincent Girardin Gevrey Chambertin Vieilles Vignes 2002 Front Label
    Vincent Girardin Gevrey Chambertin Vieilles Vignes 2002
    Pinot Noir from Burgundy, France
    • WS92
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  • Kistler Vineyards Hirsch Vineyard Pinot Noir 2002 Front Bottle Shot
    Kistler Vineyards Hirsch Vineyard Pinot Noir 2002
    Pinot Noir from Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
    • WS90
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  • Sylvain Cathiard Vosne-Romanee (torn labels) 2002 Front Label
    Sylvain Cathiard Vosne-Romanee (torn labels) 2002
    Pinot Noir from Vosne-Romanee, Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
    • WS92
    • BH90
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  • Sea Smoke Cellars Ten Pinot Noir 2002 Front Label
    Sea Smoke Cellars Ten Pinot Noir 2002
    Pinot Noir from Central Coast, California
    • WS93
    • RP93
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  • A to Z Pinot Noir 2002
    Pinot Noir from Willamette Valley, Oregon
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  • Melville Terraces Estate Pinot Noir 2002 Front Label
    Melville Terraces Estate Pinot Noir 2002
    Pinot Noir from Sta. Rita Hills, Santa Barbara, Central Coast, California
    • RP95
    • WS92
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  • Spy Valley Pinot Noir 2002
    Pinot Noir from New Zealand
    • WS91
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  • Brancott Reserve Pinot Noir 2002 Front Label
    Brancott Reserve Pinot Noir 2002
    Pinot Noir from Marlborough, New Zealand
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  • Ninth Island Pinot Noir 2002
    Pinot Noir from Australia
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  • Argyle Pinot Noir 2002 Front Label
    Argyle Pinot Noir 2002
    Pinot Noir from Willamette Valley, Oregon
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  • WillaKenzie Estate Pierre Leon Pinot Noir Cork-Free 2002 Front Label
    WillaKenzie Estate Pierre Leon Pinot Noir Cork-Free 2002
    Pinot Noir from Willamette Valley, Oregon
    • WS91
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  • Iron Horse Estate Pinot Noir 2002 Front Label
    Iron Horse Estate Pinot Noir 2002
    Pinot Noir from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
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  • Te Kairanga Pinot Noir 2002 Front Label
    Te Kairanga Pinot Noir 2002
    Pinot Noir from Martinborough, New Zealand
    • WS88
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  • Joseph Drouhin Beaune Clos des Mouches Premier Cru Rouge 2002 Front Label
    Joseph Drouhin Beaune Clos des Mouches Premier Cru Rouge 2002
    Pinot Noir from Burgundy, France
    • WS91
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  • Hamacher Wines Pinot Noir 2002
    Pinot Noir from Willamette Valley, Oregon
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  • Chalone Estate Pinot Noir 2002 Front Label
    Chalone Estate Pinot Noir 2002
    Pinot Noir from Central Coast, California
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  • WillaKenzie Estate Pierre Leon Pinot Noir 2002 Front Label
    WillaKenzie Estate Pierre Leon Pinot Noir 2002
    Pinot Noir from Willamette Valley, Oregon
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  • Van Duzer Willamette Valley Pinot Noir 2002 Front Label
    Van Duzer Willamette Valley Pinot Noir 2002
    Pinot Noir from Willamette Valley, Oregon
    • WS91
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