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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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  • Joseph Phelps Freestone Vineyards Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir 2006 Front Label
    Joseph Phelps Freestone Vineyards Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir 2006
    Pinot Noir from Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
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  • Domaine Michel Gros Clos Vougeot 2006 Front Label
    Domaine Michel Gros Clos Vougeot 2006
    Pinot Noir from Burgundy, France
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  • Hanzell Pinot Noir 2006 Front Label
    Hanzell Pinot Noir 2006
    Pinot Noir from Sonoma County, California
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  • Brokenwood Beechworth Pinot Noir 2006 Front Label
    Brokenwood Beechworth Pinot Noir 2006
    Pinot Noir from Australia
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  • Lucien Le Moine Bonnes Mares 2006 Front Label
    Lucien Le Moine Bonnes Mares 2006
    Pinot Noir from Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
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  • Domaine Drouhin Oregon Laurene Pinot Noir 2006 Front Label
    Domaine Drouhin Oregon Laurene Pinot Noir 2006
    Pinot Noir from Willamette Valley, Oregon
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  • Louis Jadot Pommard Les Rugiens Premier Cru 2006 Front Label
    Louis Jadot Pommard Les Rugiens Premier Cru 2006
    Pinot Noir from Burgundy, France
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  • Argyle Reserve Pinot Noir 2006 Front Label
    Argyle Reserve Pinot Noir 2006
    Pinot Noir from Willamette Valley, Oregon
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    • RP92
    • WE92
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  • Domaine de la Vougeraie Clos de Vougeot Grand Cru 2006 Front Label
    Domaine de la Vougeraie Clos de Vougeot Grand Cru 2006
    Pinot Noir from Burgundy, France
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    • BH91
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  • Coldstream Hills Pinot Noir 2006 Front Label
    Coldstream Hills Pinot Noir 2006
    Pinot Noir from Yarra Valley, Victoria, Australia
    • WS88
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  • Paul Hobbs Russian River Pinot Noir 2006 Front Label
    Paul Hobbs Russian River Pinot Noir 2006
    Pinot Noir from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
    • CG91
    • WS91
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  • The Donum Estate Carneros Estate Grown Pinot Noir 2006 Front Label
    The Donum Estate Carneros Estate Grown Pinot Noir 2006
    Pinot Noir from Carneros, California
    • WS93
    • WE92
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  • Domaine Serene Evenstad Reserve Pinot Noir 2006 Front Label
    Domaine Serene Evenstad Reserve Pinot Noir 2006
    Pinot Noir from Willamette Valley, Oregon
    • WS92
    • RP91
    • W&S91
    • WE90
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  • Louis Jadot Volnay Clos des Chenes Premier Cru 2006 Front Label
    Louis Jadot Volnay Clos des Chenes Premier Cru 2006
    Pinot Noir from Burgundy, France
    • WS93
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  • DuMOL Finn Pinot Noir 2006 Front Label
    DuMOL Finn Pinot Noir 2006
    Pinot Noir from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
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    • RP92
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  • Soter Vineyards Mineral Springs Ranch Pinot Noir 2006 Front Label
    Soter Vineyards Mineral Springs Ranch Pinot Noir 2006
    Pinot Noir from Willamette Valley, Oregon
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  • Ponzi Reserve Pinot Noir 2006 Front Label
    Ponzi Reserve Pinot Noir 2006
    Pinot Noir from Willamette Valley, Oregon
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  • Nautilus Pinot Noir 2006 Front Label
    Nautilus Pinot Noir 2006
    Pinot Noir from Marlborough, New Zealand
    • WS91
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  • Louis Jadot Domaine des Heritiers Corton Pougets Grand Cru 2006 Front Label
    Louis Jadot Domaine des Heritiers Corton Pougets Grand Cru 2006
    Pinot Noir from Burgundy, France
    • WS90
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  • The Donum Estate Russian River Valley Pinot Noir 2006 Front Label
    The Donum Estate Russian River Valley Pinot Noir 2006
    Pinot Noir from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
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  • Dom. Bruno Clair Chambertin Clos de Beze 2006 Front Label
    Dom. Bruno Clair Chambertin Clos de Beze 2006
    Pinot Noir from Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
    • RP95
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  • Louis Jadot Chapelle-Chambertin Grand Cru 2006 Front Label
    Louis Jadot Chapelle-Chambertin Grand Cru 2006
    Pinot Noir from Burgundy, France
    • RP92
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  • Benton Lane First Class Pinot Noir 2006 Front Label
    Benton Lane First Class Pinot Noir 2006
    Pinot Noir from Willamette Valley, Oregon
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  • Louis Jadot Savigny-Les-Beaune La Dominodes 2006 Front Label
    Louis Jadot Savigny-Les-Beaune La Dominodes 2006
    Pinot Noir from Burgundy, France
    • WS90
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  • Paul Hobbs Katherine Lindsay Estate Vineyard Pinot Noir 2006 Front Label
    Paul Hobbs Katherine Lindsay Estate Vineyard Pinot Noir 2006
    Pinot Noir from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
    • WE93
    • WS91
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