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
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 finish that presents suggestions of smoked nuts and cherries, chocolate toffee, and delicate spices. A richly flavorful and attractive pinot with powerful fruit and exotic oak notes.
Lake Sonoma 2016  Pinot Noir
94 points
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
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
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
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
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.
Kirkland Signature 2016  Pinot Noir
94 points
Best Buy
Pale light ruby color. Savory aromas and flavors of marinated beets, crispy bacon, dried cherries, and baking chocolate and hint of wax with a silky, bright, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and a smooth, interesting, medium-long finish manifesting impressions of craisin, alpine herbs, roasted nuts, and hint of menthol mint with well-integrated, chewy tannins and moderate oak flavor. A toothsome savory pinot noir with lots of nuances and great pairing potential.
94 points $9.99 Best Buy
Portola Vineyards 2013  Pinot Noir
94 points
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 finish that presents nuances of spiced cherries in custard, nuts, and fine minerals with light oak flavor. An elegant polished pinot with a fine balance of fruit and oak.
Willamette Valley Vineyards 2015 Tualatin Estate Pinot Noir
94 points
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 finish manifesting notes of chocolate mint and vanilla nuts. A lush, sweeping pinot noir with rich flavors and precise balance.
San Simeon 2018  Pinot Noir
93 points
Dusty ruby color. Aromas of blueberry jam, cherry cobbler, maple, and smoky leather with a satiny, vibrant, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a sleek, complex, medium-long mixed nuts, foraged mushrooms, dried herbs, and cranberry finish with light oak flavor. A complex, well-structured Pinot Noir with aging potential; serious.