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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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  • Te Kairanga Pinot Noir 2002 Front Label
    Te Kairanga Pinot Noir 2002
    Pinot Noir from Martinborough, New Zealand
    • WS88
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  • Rex Hill Kings Ridge Pinot Noir 2002 Front Label
    Rex Hill Kings Ridge Pinot Noir 2002
    Pinot Noir from Willamette Valley, Oregon
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  • Jean-Claude Boisset Echezeaux Grand Cru 2002 Front Label
    Jean-Claude Boisset Echezeaux Grand Cru 2002
    Pinot Noir from Burgundy, France
    • WS92
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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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  • Argyle Nuthouse Pinot Noir 2002 Front Label
    Argyle Nuthouse Pinot Noir 2002
    Pinot Noir from Willamette Valley, Oregon
    • WS93
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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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  • Patz & Hall Hyde Vineyard Pinot Noir 2002 Front Label
    Patz & Hall Hyde Vineyard Pinot Noir 2002
    Pinot Noir from Napa Valley, California
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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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  • Sea Smoke Cellars Botella Pinot Noir 2002 Front Label
    Sea Smoke Cellars Botella Pinot Noir 2002
    Pinot Noir from Central Coast, California
    • WS91
    • RP91
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  • Witness Tree Vintage Select Pinot Noir 2002 Front Label
    Witness Tree Vintage Select Pinot Noir 2002
    Pinot Noir from Willamette Valley, Oregon
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  • Ken Wright Cellars Guadalupe Vineyard Pinot Noir 2002 Front Label
    Ken Wright Cellars Guadalupe Vineyard Pinot Noir 2002
    Pinot Noir from Dundee Hills, Willamette Valley, Oregon
    • WS90
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  • Argyle Pinot Noir 2002 Front Label
    Argyle Pinot Noir 2002
    Pinot Noir from Willamette Valley, Oregon
    • 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
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  • Ken Wright Cellars Shea Vineyard Pinot Noir 2002 Front Label
    Ken Wright Cellars Shea Vineyard Pinot Noir 2002
    Pinot Noir from Yamhill-Carlton District, Willamette Valley, Oregon
    • WS93
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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
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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
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  • Sea Smoke Cellars Southing Pinot Noir 2002 Front Label
    Sea Smoke Cellars Southing Pinot Noir 2002
    Pinot Noir from Central Coast, California
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    • RP92
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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
    • W&S95
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  • Hamilton Russell Pinot Noir 2002 Front Label
    Hamilton Russell Pinot Noir 2002
    Pinot Noir from South Africa
    • WS89
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  • Acacia Pinot Noir 2002 Front Label
    Acacia Pinot Noir 2002
    Pinot Noir from Carneros, California
    • WS90
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  • Beaux Freres The Beaux Freres Vineyard Pinot Noir 2002 Front Label
    Beaux Freres The Beaux Freres Vineyard Pinot Noir 2002
    Pinot Noir from Ribbon Ridge, Willamette Valley, Oregon
    • WS95
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  • Acacia Carneros Pinot Noir 2002 Front Label
    Acacia Carneros Pinot Noir 2002
    Pinot Noir from Napa Valley, California
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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
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  • Williams Selyem Precious Mountain Pinot Noir 2002 Front Label
    Williams Selyem Precious Mountain Pinot Noir 2002
    Pinot Noir from Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
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  • Vincent Girardin Chambertin-Clos de Beze Grand Cru 2002 Front Label
    Vincent Girardin Chambertin-Clos de Beze Grand Cru 2002
    Pinot Noir from Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
    • WS98
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