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

San Simeon 2016 Estate Reserve Pinot Noir
95 points
$22
Dark minutely hazy ruby black color. Inviting aromas and flavors of fresh cracked black pepper and char-grilled green pepper, boysenberry-huckleberry compote, cedar pencil shavings, and cherry pipe tobacco with a satiny, vibrant, dryish medium-to-full body and a tingling, complex, long smoked nuts and cherries, chocolate toffee, and delicate spices finish. A richly flavorful and attractive pinot with powerful fruit and exotic oak notes.
Windrun 2013  Pinot Noir
95 points
$33
Dark dusty garnet color. Inviting aromas of Dr. Pepper, porcini mushroom, and oolong tea with a lightly tannic, bright, dryish light-to-medium body and an intricate, medium-long wet earth, eucalyptus, rose and black pepper, and sponge cake with dried cassis finish with medium, earthy tannins and a suggestion of oak. A concentrated Pinot Noir with complex hedonistic flavors.
Awards: 2017 Best Pinot Noir, 2017 Best US Pinot Noir
Portola Vineyards 2013  Pinot Noir
94 points
$38
Dark ruby black color. Complex aromas and flavors of dark roasted berries, cornichons, pencil shavings, and flowers and clay with a silky, bright, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and an appealing, medium-long spiced cherries in custard, nuts, and fine minerals finish with light oak. An elegant polished pinot with a fine balance of fruit and oak.
Willamette Valley Vineyards 2015 Tualatin Estate Pinot Noir
94 points
$55
Dusty dark garnet color. Attractive aromas and flavors of cherry creme brulee, mocha mousse, and spiced nut brittle with a satiny, vibrant, dry-yet-fruity medium-full body and a silky, intriguing, long chocolate mint and vanilla nuts finish. A lush, sweeping pinot noir with rich flavors and precise balance.
Cordon 2015 Les Jumeaux Pinot Noir
94 points
$52
Bright ruby garnet color. Complex aromas of porcini mushroom, fennel seeds, lingonberry, and cardamom with a satiny, crisp, fruity light-to-medium body and a distinctive, long dark red fruit leather, fresh tobacco leaf, and dark chocolate finish with well-integrated tannins and a suggestion of oak. A nuanced and satisfying Pinot Noir for special dinners.
City Winery 2016 Alder Springs Vineyard Reserve Pinot Noir
93 points
$36
Rich dark garnet color. Attractive aromas and flavors of orange blossoms and honeysuckle, spiced cherries and nuts, dried peaches, and leather and tobacco with a supple, bright, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and a smooth, stimulating, medium-long creme brulee, spiced nuts, and violet candy finish with light oak. A robust, flavor packed pinot pleaser.
Volatus 2015 Adelaida District Pinot Noir
93 points
$34
Dusty brown brick red color. Aromas and flavors of marinated cherries, grilled beets, buttery caramelized nuts, and vanilla pod with a satiny, bright, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and a smooth, distinctive, long spiced nuts and creme brulee finish with well-integrated, chewy tannins and moderate oak. A wonderfully savory and satisfying pinot noir with a great balance of fruit and oak.
The Lost Chapters 2014  Pinot Noir
93 points
$30
Burnt sienna color. Aromas of dried potted rose plant, cherry chutney, spicy cologne, and cinnamon dusted nuts with a round, vibrant, fruity light-to-medium body and an even, complex, medium-long bay leaf, dried cranberries, and constant comment tea finish with well-integrated tannins and moderate oak. A ready-to-drink Carneros Pinot Noir that will delight your guests with spicy, mature flavors.
Willamette Valley Vineyards 2015 Estate Pinot Noir
93 points
$32
Dusty ruby garnet color. Aromas and flavors of cherry fruit leather, cocoa powder, forest floor, and tea leaves with a satiny, crisp, fruity medium-to-full body and a stimulating, medium-length finish with moderate oak. A great fall pinot choice
2Hawk 2016 Darow Series Pinot Noir
93 points
$42
Dark ruby color. Fruity, spicy aromas and flavors of maraschino cherry liqueur, cinnamon, cider, and whiskey barrel with a velvety, fruity medium body and a refreshing, medium-length chocolate mole, dill, and ginger finish with medium tannins and moderate oak. An interesting super-fruity pinot noir that will work great at the table.