About Pinot Noir Red Wine

About Pinot Noir Red Wine
Pinot Noir is one of the world’s most fascinating red varieties. While many red grapes produces wines of power and youthful intensity, a wine made from Pinot Noir is often more refined with higher acidity and lower levels of tannins. The spiritual home for Pinot Noir is Burgundy, where it is produced in many styles, from very light to examples that can age for two to three decades.

Pinot Noirs tend to have aromas and flavors red cherry fruit, while some offer notes of wild strawberry, plum or even floral notes such as carnation and red roses. As tannins in Pinot Noir are not as pronounced as in a grape such as Cabernet Sauvignon or Nebbiolo, most Pinot Noirs can be enjoyed upon release, which is usually two to three years after the vintage.

Burgundy works extremely well for Pinot Noir, as it is a cool climate; a warm or hot climate would not bring out the perfumes of the variety. Thus growers in several countries have planted Pinot Noir in their coolest regions, looking to emulate Burgundy. These include the Willamette Valley in Oregon; Russian River Valley, Santa Lucia Highlands and Sta. Rita Hills in California (among others); Central Otago in New Zealand; Casablanca and San Antonio Valleys in Chile and the Rheinhessen, Pfalz and Baden in Germany (where the grape is known as Spatburgunder). The concept of terroir – a wine is the producet of its specific environment – is most often associated with Pinot Noir.

Pinot Noirs tend to pair well with poultry (duck a l’orange is a classic match), game birds and even certain types of seafoods (as tannins are low), such as salmon, tuna and halibut.

Top Picks for Pinot Noir

Lake Sonoma 2016  Pinot Noir
94 points
$35
Dusty violet color. Aromas of ripe strawberry, grenadine, sweet pea blossom, and rose hip jam with a round, vibrant, fruity medium-to-full body and a smooth, interesting, long strawberry-rose tart, prosciutto, cafe latte, marinated mushrooms, and candied kumquat finish with light oak flavor. A divine fruit-forward, juicy Pinot Noir that hits the Sonoma Coast nail on the head.
J. Cage Cellars 2017 Vander Kamp Vineyard Pinot Noir
94 points
$49
Bright ruby color. Aromas of ripe cranberry, pomegranate, creme Anglaise, oregano, and aniseed with a velvety, vibrant, light-to-medium body and a warming, layered, long baklava, cinnamon confection, spray roses, raspberry sorbet, and dark chocolate finish with light oak flavor. A spectacularly nuanced Pinot Noir that explodes on the palate; deeply enjoyable.
Willamette Valley Vineyards 2015 Elton Pinot Noir
94 points
$55
Burnt sienna color. Aromas of pickled beets, dill, and cranberry with a velvety, lively, dry-yet-fruity light-to-medium body and a sleek, complex, long dark chocolate, candied kumquat, and cedar finish with crunchy tannins and light oak flavor. A super-juicy, slightly herbal Pinot Noir with a silky texture and highly drinkable style.
Catman Cellars 2016 Tressler Pinot Noir
94 points
$32
Ruby black color. Fruity, complex aromas of carnation, cola, marinated beets with dill, suede, and caramelized mushrooms with a satiny, vibrant, dry-yet-fruity light-to-medium body and a smooth, distinctive, medium-long cranberry chutney, black licorice, cherry coulis, and autumn leaves finish with moderate oak flavor. A rustic and earthy Pinot Noir with endless complexities to discover.
Porterhouse Winery 2015  Pinot Noir
94 points
$44
Burnt sienna color. Sweet aromas and flavors of raspberry jelly, milk chocolate dessert shells, vanilla-caramel rum sauce, sautéed mushroom, and orange peel with a velvety, vibrant, fruity medium body and a smooth, medium-length finish imparting overtones of cranberry sauce and cinnamon potpourri with moderate oak flavor. A robust Carneros Pinot Noir with bright acidity and fruity-sweet charm.
Taylor Made 2018 Wild Ferment Pinot Noir
93 points
$25
Dusty light ruby color. Aromas and flavors of compressed watermelon, marinated plum, eucalyptus-mint, gingerbread, and green tea with a silky, vibrant, fruity light body and a smooth, intriguing, medium-long finish with nuances of ripe strawberry and chocolate chew. A delicious Pinot Noir with subtle herbal notes and craveable fruit.
Cielo 2017  Pinot Noir
93 points
$9.99
Dark ruby color. Attractive aromas of cranberry sauce, cherry tart, tomato leaf, foraged mushrooms, and candied orange peel with a satiny, crisp, fruity light-to-medium body and a smooth, compelling, medium-long chocolate tart, dried leaves, and clove finish with light oak flavor. A widely appealing Pinot Noir with a great balance of flavors.
93 points $9.99
Forchini 2015 Proprietors Reserve Estate Grown Pinot Noir
93 points
$32
Dusty garnet color. Aromas of cranberry sauce, foraged mushrooms, freshly peeled orange, and cedar with a round, vibrant, dry-yet-fruity light-to-medium body and a graceful, complex, medium-length roasted beets and squash, allspice, clove, and toasted pine nuts finish with light oak flavor. A wildly appealing Pinot Noir with a savory side; a great choice for Thanksgiving.
Forchini 2016 Proprietors Reserve Estate Grown Pinot Noir
93 points
$32
Garnet color. Aromas of tiramisu, chocolate-cherry crumble, and lilac with a full body and a complex, long coconut cake, caramel creme, roasted beets, and salt and pepper finish with moderate oak flavor. A decadent Pinot Noir with ample creamy oak and delicious floral nuances.
Ledson 2017 Grove Estate Vineyard Pinot Noir
93 points
$42
Ruby garnet color. Aromas and flavors of cranberry scone, foraged mushrooms, pomegranate, rose, and saffron with a round, vibrant, dry-yet-fruity light-to-medium body and a smooth, nuanced, very long finish with elements of cherry-rhubarb compote, allspice, aniseed, and coffee with well-integrated, silky tannins. A vibrant and pure Pinot Noir with piles of fruit, elegant texture, and an inspiringly spicy finish.