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The Astor Wines & Spirits Glossary

Pinot Noir

The Burgundy region of northeastern France is the historic home of the Pinot Noir grape, and is the source of the world’s greatest examples. Here one finds renditions of Pinot Noir that deliver power with finesse and grace, wines that have unimaginable depth of flavor, yet are perfectly balanced and ephemeral in the mouth - in short, wines that deliver all that Pinot Noir has to offer. Terroir, the concept that wines from a specific region have unique and identifiable traits, is intricately woven into the breakdown of vineyards in Burgundy. In the the famed Côte de Nuits, for example, the soils tend to be sandy and limestone-based, with a bit of chalk and clay mixed in, which provides excellent drainage. Thus, the wines from this region tend to be more elegant and lighter-bodied. Though it's a notoriously temperamental grape, Pinot Noir can thrive all over the world - not just in Burgundy. California and Oregon in particular have been producing stunning examples for decades, and the best of them are as ethereal and ageworthy as the finest red Burgundies.