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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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  • Flowers Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir 2005 Front Label
    Flowers Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir 2005
    Pinot Noir from Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
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  • Sea Smoke Cellars Southing Pinot Noir 2005  Front Label
    Sea Smoke Cellars Southing Pinot Noir 2005
    Pinot Noir from Sta. Rita Hills, Santa Barbara, Central Coast, California
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  • Domaine des Lambrays Clos Des Lambrays 2005 Front Label
    Domaine des Lambrays Clos Des Lambrays 2005
    Pinot Noir from Morey-St-Denis, Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
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    • BH94
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  • Marcassin Marcassin Vineyard Pinot Noir 2005 Front Label
    Marcassin Marcassin Vineyard Pinot Noir 2005
    Pinot Noir from Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
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  • Sea Smoke Cellars Botella Pinot Noir (wrinkled labels) 2005  Front Label
    Sea Smoke Cellars Botella Pinot Noir (wrinkled labels) 2005
    Pinot Noir from Sta. Rita Hills, Santa Barbara, Central Coast, California
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  • Sea Smoke Cellars Ten Pinot Noir 2005 Front Label
    Sea Smoke Cellars Ten Pinot Noir 2005
    Pinot Noir from Central Coast, California
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    • W&S93
    • WS92
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  • Kosta Browne Kanzler Vineyard Pinot Noir 2005 Front Label
    Kosta Browne Kanzler Vineyard Pinot Noir 2005
    Pinot Noir from Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
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  • Kosta Browne Miron Vineyard Pinot Noir 2005 Front Label
    Kosta Browne Miron Vineyard Pinot Noir 2005
    Pinot Noir from Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
    • WS94
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  • Williams Selyem Vista Verde Vineyard Pinot Noir 2005 Front Label
    Williams Selyem Vista Verde Vineyard Pinot Noir 2005
    Pinot Noir from San Benito, Central Coast, California
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  • Radio-Coteau La Neblina Pinot Noir 2005 Front Label
    Radio-Coteau La Neblina Pinot Noir 2005
    Pinot Noir from Sonoma County, California
    • WS92
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  • Aubert Reuling Vineyard Pinot Noir 2005 Front Label
    Aubert Reuling Vineyard Pinot Noir 2005
    Pinot Noir from Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
    • RP95
    • WS93
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  • Kosta Browne Amber Ridge Vineyard Pinot Noir 2005 Front Label
    Kosta Browne Amber Ridge Vineyard Pinot Noir 2005
    Pinot Noir from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
    • WS93
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  • Jean-Claude Boisset Beaune Premier Cru Les Bressandes 2005 Front Label
    Jean-Claude Boisset Beaune Premier Cru Les Bressandes 2005
    Pinot Noir from Burgundy, France
    • WS90
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  • Alex Gambal Chambolle Musigny Les Charmes 2005 Front Label
    Alex Gambal Chambolle Musigny Les Charmes 2005
    Pinot Noir from Chambolle-Musigny, Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
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  • Amisfield Pinot Noir 2005 Front Label
    Amisfield Pinot Noir 2005
    Pinot Noir from Central Otago, New Zealand
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  • Adelsheim Pinot Noir 2005 Front Label
    Adelsheim Pinot Noir 2005
    Pinot Noir from Willamette Valley, Oregon
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  • Louis Latour Volnay En Chevret Premier Cru 2005 Front Label
    Louis Latour Volnay En Chevret Premier Cru 2005
    Pinot Noir from Burgundy, France
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  • Kosta Browne Garys' Vineyard Pinot Noir 2005 Front Label
    Kosta Browne Garys' Vineyard Pinot Noir 2005
    Pinot Noir from Santa Lucia Highlands, Monterey, Central Coast, California
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  • Villa Maria Private Bin Pinot Noir 2005 Front Label
    Villa Maria Private Bin Pinot Noir 2005
    Pinot Noir from Marlborough, New Zealand
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  • Chanson Pere & Fils Bourgogne Pinot Noir 2005 Front Label
    Chanson Pere & Fils Bourgogne Pinot Noir 2005
    Pinot Noir from Burgundy, France
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  • Sherwood Estate Pinot Noir 2005 Front Label
    Sherwood Estate Pinot Noir 2005
    Pinot Noir from New Zealand
    • WS87
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  • Seven Terraces Pinot Noir 2005 Front Label
    Seven Terraces Pinot Noir 2005
    Pinot Noir from Marlborough, New Zealand
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  • Robert Stemmler Nugent Vineyard Pinot Noir 2005 Front Label
    Robert Stemmler Nugent Vineyard Pinot Noir 2005
    Pinot Noir from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
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  • Testarossa Palazzio Pinot Noir 2005 Front Label
    Testarossa Palazzio Pinot Noir 2005
    Pinot Noir from Central Coast, California
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  • DuMOL Aidan Pinot Noir 2005 Front Label
    DuMOL Aidan Pinot Noir 2005
    Pinot Noir from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
    • WE91
    • WS90
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