June 2015 - US Pinot Noir & Pinot Gris

This month's Wine feature is US Pinot Noir & Pinot Gris Wines
US Pinot Noir & Pinot Gris Reviews
210581
Proof
2013 Pinot Noir
Dark garnet color. Mild, fruity, toasty aromas of berry pastry and toffee with a supple, vibrant, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a graceful, stimulating, medium-long floral honey and marinated beets finish with fine tannins and light oak. A zesty and satisfying pinot for all applications.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
210646
Ledson
2013 Estate Vineyard Pinot Noir
Minutely hazy dusty ruby color. Bright, savory aromas of marinated roast carrots and beets, dried cherries, toffee, and cola and herbs with a velvety, vibrant, dryish medium-to-full body and a warming, captivating, medium-long minerals, nuts, and spice finish with well integrated tannins and moderate oak. A spot on savory RRV pinot with great table appeal.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
209626
Cambridge
2013 Pinot Noir
Ruby black color. Toasty aromas of berry pie crust and butter pecan gelato with a silky, lively, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a tingling, delightful, medium-long sour cherry, craisin, apple skin, and marinated beets finish with well integrated tannins and light oak. A delicious and appetizing pinot with a nice sense of place.
92 points $27.99
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
210558
Hagafen
2013 "Coombsville" Pinot Noir
Brilliant violet color. Delicate, fruity aromas of cherry custard, raspberry pastry, and pepper with a supple, tangy, dryish medium body and a warming, engaging, medium-length sour cherry, nutskin, beets, and earth finish with fruit well-integrated firm tannins and light oak. A nice savory pinot noir for lighter meat dishes.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
210627
Nelson Hill
2011 Deep End Vineyard Pinot Noir
Ruby black color. Bright, fruity, floral aromas of ripe cherries, honeysuckle, and chocolate graham crackers with a supple, bright, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a tingling, interesting, medium-length plum skin, caramelized carrot, and smoked nuts finish with chewy tannins and light oak. A very nice dry and earthy pinot with mouthwatering acidity.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
210744
Schug
2012 "Schug Estate" Pinot Noir
Garnet color. Delicate aromas of dark cherry, pickling spices, and nuts with a silky, crisp, dry-yet-fruity light-to-medium body and an refreshing, medium-length pickled beets and earth finish with fine chewy tannins and light oak. A very tasty, savory pinot noir.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
210647
Ledson
2013 Estate Vineyard Reserve Pinot Noir
Bright medium clear burnt sienna color. Fruity aromas of black cherries, violets, mocha cream, and dried twigs with a supple, lively, dryish medium-to-full body and a warming, complex, medium-long finish with fruit well-integrated firm tannins and light oak. Lovely fruit oak integration.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
210596
Castle Rock
2012 "Cuvee" Pinot Noir
Dusty garnet color. Delicate, meaty, interesting fruity aromas of berry pie and marinated meat with a silky, vibrant, dry-yet-fruity light-to-medium body and a tingling, compelling, sour cherry, praline, and spiced blood orange finish with well integrated tannins and light oak. A very tasty and well balanced pinot with nice fruit and depth.
90 points $11.99 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
210598
Castle Rock
2012 Pinot Noir
Bright clear medium brick red color. Bright, fruity, toasty aromas of ripe black cherries, planked warm cedar, dried herbs - sage, and burnt embers - twigs with a lively, dry medium-to-full body and a warming, medium-long finish with well integrated fruit tannins and moderate oak. Full blown new world Pinot Noir with a sense of place.
90 points $12.99 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
210794
Lewis Station
NV Pinot Noir
Garnet black color. Toasty, fruity aromas of spicy cherry tart, toffee, and hint of jerky with a silky, bright, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a tingling, delightful, medium-length praline and beet relish finish with fine tannins and light oak. A smooth and balanced pinot with nice fruit.
90 points $15.99 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
209781
Portlandia
2013 Pinot Noir
Bright garnet color. Exotic, smoky aromas of grilled pepper and herbs, toasty sandalwood, and pomegranate compote with a silky, tangy, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a smooth, interesting, medium-length sour cherry, blood orange, nuts, and slate finish with fine chewy tannins and light oak. A zesty, nicely smoky and mouthwatering pinot that will shine at the table.
90 points $29.99
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
210742
Schug
2013 Pinot Noir
Bright clear medium brick red color. Bright, fruity, toasty aromas of black cherries - maybe a compound cherry butter, cranberries, light green herbal notes, and dried leaves with a tangy, dryish medium-to-full body and a warming, elegant, medium-length finish with fruit fine leafy tannins and light oak. Best if served at cellar temp with earthier foods.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
210745
Schug
2011 "Heritage Reserve" Pinot Noir
Garnet color. Delicate, toasty, nutty aromas of cedar, nuts, and dried mulberries with a supple, vibrant, dryish medium body and a tingling, interesting, medium-length roasted root vegetables, peppery spices, pencil shavings, and dried meat finish with chewy tannins. A nice savory, oak-influenced pinot noir.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
210628
Nelson Hill
2012 Deep End Vineyard Pinot Noir
Ruby black color. Bright, interesting, fruity floral aromas of cherry-black raspberry tart, white chocolate toffee, and orange blossoms with a silky, crisp, dry-yet-fruity medium body and an effortless, refreshing, medium-length spiced apple and melon finish with fine chewy tannins. A crisp and nicely styled pinot noir that will shine with lighter fare.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
210655
Zina Hyde Cunningham
2011 "Shalee Reserve" Pinot Noir
Bright clear medium brick red color. Bright, fruity, floral buttery aromas of cherries, red lik-a-maid, toasted yeast and clarified butter, and violets and cedar with a crisp, dry medium-full body and a warming, medium-long finish with fruit firm tannins and light oak. Opens up nicely.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
210631
Wollersheim
2013 Pinot Noir
Dark garnet color. Delicate, toasty, fruity aromas of cherry-cranberry tart, roasted nuts, and delicate herbs with a silky, bright, dryish medium body and a tingling, compelling, medium-length marinated beets and earth finish with fine tannins and light oak. A nice savory pinot for the table.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
210573
Esser Vineyards
2013 Pinot Noir
Brilliant dusty ruby color. Bright aromas of sour cherries and praline with a silky, crisp, dry-yet-fruity light-to-medium body and a smooth, buoyant marinated beets and chocolate finish with fine tannins. A lively and well rounded pinot with a nice savory table appeal.
89 points $17.99
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
210810
Handley
2014 Pinot Gris
White gold color. Bright, fruity, nutty aromas of peach custard and nougat with a silky, crisp, fruity light body and a smooth, interesting, citrus and melon finish with no oak. A very nice and snappy pinot grigio that will be great with fish and salads.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
210699
Pedroncelli
2013 Signature Selection Pinot Noir
Bright medium dark garnet color. Fruity, toasty aromas of ripe black cherries, red licorice, dried twigs, and gravel with a lively, medium-full body and a warming, medium-long finish with fruit well-integrated tannins and light oak. Subtle delightful flavors are in balance, impression of sweetness ties it all together.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
210519
South Coast
2014 Pinot Grigio
Silvery emerald straw color. Lively, attractive, creamy toasty aromas of peach cobbler, meringue, and lemon cake with a silky, crisp, dryish body and a sleek, intriguing, medium-length finish with no oak. A clean, round and attractive pinot grigio that will be quite versatile.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
210509
ONEHOPE
2012 Pinot Noir
Garnet black color. Delicate, creamy aromas of berry creme brulee and almond toffee with a supple, crisp, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a tingling, interesting, medium-length spiced cherry and apple, cocoa roasted nuts, and citrus marmalade finish with crunchy tannins and light oak. A tasty substantial pinot that will improve with a little aging.
89 points $23.99
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
210877
Morris Ranch
2013 Pinot Noir
Dark ruby color. Creamy fruity aromas of dark cherries, buttercream, and toffee with a supple, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and a gently warming finish with dusty tannins and light oak. A nicely restrained and balanced pinot noir with fine table appeal.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
210506
Artesa
2013 Estate Reserve Pinot Noir
Bright dusty garnet color. Bright, attractive, savory aromas of roasted berries and nuts, caramelized bacon, and peppercorns with a supple, vibrant, dryish medium body and a warming, refreshing, medium-long marinated beet and reduced lemon finish with dusty tannins and light oak. A nice, dry, savory pinot for the table.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
210666
Paradise Ridge
2013 "Walter's Vineyard" Pinot Noir
Bright medium brown brick red color. Aromas of tree bark, red gummy bears - red licorice, dried leaves, and linen with a tangy, medium-to-full body and a warming, nuanced, medium-length finish with fruit grippy tannins and light oak. Some nice,precise flavors.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
210600
Castle Rock
2012 Pinot Noir
Bright clear medium burnt sienna color. Bright, fruity, toasty smoky aromas of pressed linen, toasted yeast, oak embers, and clay with a lively, dry medium-full body and a peppery, complex, medium-length finish with fruit chewy firm tannins and light oak.
88 points $12.99 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
210597
Castle Rock
2013 Pinot Noir
Garnet black color. Delicate, nutty aromas of toffee and berry pastry with a supple, tangy, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a tingling, easy spiced cherry, melon, and nuts finish with crunchy tannins and moderate oak. A solid pinot that will be versatile.
88 points $13.99 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
210630
Liberty Vineyards
2013 Pinot Grigio
Silvery emerald straw color. Bright, smoky, creamy aromas of grilled pineapples and peaches with a silky, tangy, dry-yet-fruity light-to-medium body and a smooth, intriguing, breezy Meyer lemon and nuts finish with fruit tannins and no oak. A nice mouthwatering, lightly smoky pinot grigio.
88 points $13.99 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
210569
Wine Spots
2013 Pinot Noir
Bright medium burnt sienna color. Fruity, minerally aromas of red cherries, cranberry, tree bark, and hint of saffron with a crisp, dry medium-to-full body and a warming, complex, medium-length finish with fruit well-integrated firm tannins and moderate oak. Haunting saffron like note unique and enticing.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
210426
Castoro Cellars
2012 Whale Rock Vineyard Pinot Noir
Bright brilliant medium garnet color. Lively, fruity, creamy minerally aromas of black cherries, red licorice, mineral, and potter clay with a bright, dry medium-full body and a warming, involved, medium-length finish with well integrated firm tannins and moderate oak.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
210650
Mi Sueño
2012 Pinot Noir
Bright clear medium color. Mild, fruity, earthy aromas of dusty cherries, cranberries, beech mushrooms, and turned earth with a lively, dry medium-full body and a warming, subtle, cheery finish with well integrated firm tannins and moderate oak. A shy, yet inviting wine.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
210407
Mira Winery
2012 Stanley Ranch Vineyard Pinot Noir
Bright medium brilliant burnt sienna color. Fruity, attractive aromas of black cherries, star anise, violets, and dried leaves with a crisp, dry medium-to-full body and a warming, medium-long finish with fruit well-integrated firm tannins and light oak. Nicely structured and made for the table.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
210408
Jeff Gordon Collection
2011 Pinot Noir
Ruby black color. Bright, interesting aromas of gherkins, sour cherry compote, and spiced chocolate with a silky, crisp, dry-yet-fruity light-to-medium body and a smooth, delightful, medium-length black cherry and roasted pecans finish with light oak. A rock solid, easy drinking pinot.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
210788
Redtree
2013 Pinot Noir
Dark garnet color. Mild aromas of spiced cherries and watermelon with a supple, bright, petillant, fruity light-to-medium body and a tingling, easy nuts finish with soft chewy tannins and light oak. A nice, easy drinking sipper.
87 points $9 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
210477
RoxyAnn
2014 Pinot Gris
Brilliant straw color. Faint aromas of starfruit, cashew, and nutshell with a soft, bright, dryish light body and an even, relaxed kiwi, lemon rind, and earth finish. A delicate, nuanced pinot grigio.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
210333
Portlandia
2014 Willamette Valley Pinot Gris
Bright medium golden straw color. Lively, citrusy aromas of exotic tropical fruits and blossoms with a lean, crisp, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a warming, captivating, breezy apple, pear, and delicate spice finish with fruit tannins and no oak. A nicely layered, juicy pinot gris that is refreshing and sure to please.
87 points $21.99
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
210507
Artesa
2013 Pinot Noir
Bright clear medium light garnet color. Fruity, inviting aromas of red rhubarb, cranberries, pressed linen, and tart cherries with a crisp, dry medium-to-full body and a warming, complex, medium-long finish with fruit well-integrated firm tannins and light oak.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
210425
Castoro Cellars
2012 Blind Faith Vineyard Pinot Noir
Ruby color. Lively, earthy, fruity aromas of cherry taffy, tree bark, dried mint/ herbs, and turned earth with a lively, dryish medium body and a warming, intriguing, brisk finish with well integrated tannins and light oak. Pleasant refreshing red.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
210617
Lobo
2012 Wulff Vineyards Pinot Noir
Clear dusty ruby color. Lively, fruity aromas of cherry custard, spiced watermelon, and toffee with a even, racy, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a tingling, interesting, medium-length marinated beets, citrus, salty nuts, and pepper finish with medium dusty firm tannins and light oak. A nice dry pinot noir for the table.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
210665
Paradise Ridge
2013 Pinot Noir
Bright medium brick red color. Bright, fruity aromas of ripe red cherries, raspberries, red licorice, and pressed linen and turned earth with a lively, dry medium-to-full body and a warming, complex, breezy finish with medium firm tannins and light oak. Some lovely components.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
210457
Kalaris
2012 Pinot Noir
Brilliant garnet black color. Delicate, herbal, buttery aromas of berry buttercream and toasted herb bread with a silky, crisp, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a polished, breezy sour cherry, salty roasted nuts, beets, and cedar finish with soft chewy tannins. A solid, savory pinot noir that will cover a lot of bases.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
210787
Line 39
2013 Pinot Noir
Dusty ruby color. Delicate, interesting aromas of toffee, berry jam, and coconut macaroon with a silky, crisp, fruity light-to-medium body and a breezy praline and cedar finish with soft crunchy tannins and light oak. A solid everyday red.
86 points $10 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
210599
Castle Rock
2012 Pinot Noir
Bright medium clear garnet color. Fruity, sweet earthy aromas of cherry compote, cherry taffy, dried leaves, and roasted nuts with a lively, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and a warming, layered, medium-long finish with fruit, earthy, firm tannins and light oak. Fun in your face fruit driven pinot that would contrast nicely with earthy fare.
86 points $12.99 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
210807
Eagle Canyon
2013 Pinot Noir
Ruby black color. Delicate, toasty aromas of berry pastry and spiced praline with a supple, bright, dry-yet-fruity light-to-medium body and a tingling, medium-length sour cherry, nuts, and earth finish with dusty tannins and light oak. A pleasant sipper or table companion.
86 points $12.99 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
210595
Castle Rock
2012 Pinot Noir
Bright brilliant medium brown brick color. Lively, fruity, creamy aromas of gauze, red raspberry, and butter cream with a creamy, bright, dryish medium-full body and a smooth, involved, long finish with fruit well-integrated tannins and light oak. Amazingly smooth flavors.
86 points $13.99 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
210475
Sand Dollar
2013 Pinot Grigio
Bright medium straw green color. Bright, fruity, peppery aromas of green nectarines and saline with a bright, dryish medium body and a warming, interesting finish with fruit tannins and no oak.
86 points $15.99
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
210479
Arrowhead
2012 Pinot Noir
Ruby garnet color. Bright, earthy aromas of warm chestnut honey, baked berries, and forest floor with a crisp, dry-yet-fruity light-to-medium body and an effortless, refreshing, breezy craisin, nutskin, and earth finish with chewy soft tannins and light oak. A nice light and earthy pinot for the table.
86 points $17.95
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
210822
Lucky Dogg
2013 "Verna's Vineyard" Pinot Noir
Bright light garnet color. Bright, fruity, toasty aromas of tart cherry, rhubarb, molten plastic, and cedar with a crisp, dry medium-to-full body and a warming, complex, medium-length finish with fruit, firm tannins and light oak. Really liked the tangy upbeat flavors, they fade away too quickly.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
210476
Archivist
2013 Pinot Noir
Dark ruby color. Mild, toasty aromas of pickling spices and dried cherries with a supple, crisp, dry-yet-fruity light-to-medium body and a crisp whole nuts, craisin, cedar, and slate finish with dusty tannins and light oak. A sturdy pinot with firm tannins and oak accents.
85 points $15.99
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
210786
Austerity
2013 Pinot Noir
Bright medium clear garnet color. Lively, fruity, toasty aromas of black cherries, red sweet tarts, dried hay and turned earth, and pressed linen with a tangy, dry medium-to-full body and a warming, intricate, medium-length finish with fruit firm tannins and light oak. Rich impression of ripe fruit sweetness, tart short flavors are a let down.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
210392
Brassfield Estate
2013 Pinot Noir
Black ruby color. Delicate, fruity aromas of berry custard, flower patch, and melon with a supple, bright, dryish light-to-medium body and a breezy blackberry and oak finish with barky tannins and moderate oak. A sturdy oak accented pinot for the table with meats.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
210468
Château Élan
2014 "Reserve" Pinot Grigio
Clear medium straw green color. Fruity, toasty creamy aromas of peaches and cream, toasted yeast, and parchment with a crisp, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and a warming, appealing, breezy finish with fruit tannins and no oak. For a simple white it has pretty good length.
85 points $24.95
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
210743
Schug
2011 Rouge de Noirs Pinot Noir
Bright reddish orange color. Mild, fruity, minerally aromas of cranberry, pomegranate, and tomato with a supple, racy, effervescent, dryish medium body and a tingling, interesting, medium-length blood orange, leafy earth, and chalk finish with fruit tannins and no oak. A pure, tangy, dry sparkler that will shine at the table.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
210453
Barefoot
NV Pinot Noir
Violet color. Bright, toasty, fruity aromas of black raspberry danish and toffee with a supple, bright, fruity light-to-medium body and a smooth, breezy nuts finish with fine tannins and light oak. A nice everyday sipper.
84 points $6.99 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
210478
Auburn Road
2014 Pinot Grigio
White gold color. Delicate, fruity, earthy aromas of raw honeycomb, nectarine, lemon curd, and minty grass with a supple, tart, dry-yet-fruity light-to-medium body and a smooth, refreshing, rapid lime and earth finish with fruit tannins and no oak. A racy, earthy pinot grigio that drinks like a gruner.
84 points $16.99
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
210552
Pend d’Oreille
2014 Pinot Gris
Emerald straw color. Delicate, nutty, interesting aromas of peanut butter, lemon scone, and dried peach with a soft, bright, dry light-to-medium body and a sleek, swift melon rind, nutskin, and minerals finish with no oak. An easy drinking sipper.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
210480
Arrowhead
2012 "Reserve" Pinot Noir
Bright light clear light garnet color. Lively, earthy, fruity funky aromas of tart cherries, tree bark, cherry saltwater taffy, and toasted yeast with a chewy, tangy, dry medium body and a warming, stimulating, sparse finish with fruit firm earthy tannins and light oak. Interesting, but truncated flavors are a bit too funky.
84 points $24.95
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
210459
Zina Hyde Cunningham
2014 Rose Pinot Noir
Bright pale light pink coral color. Delicate, fruity, earthy aromas of sour cherry, melon, and twigs with a silky, tangy, fruity medium body and a tingling, buoyant blood orange and mossy earth finish. A tangy, earthy adult rose for the table.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
210508
ONEHOPE
2013 Pinot Noir
Ruby black color. Sweet, buttery aromas of vanilla frosted berry danish with a soft, bright, fruity light body and a swift whole nuts finish with crunchy tannins and light oak. A fruity carefree sipper.
83 points $18.99
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
210393
Brassfield Estate
2013 Pinot Gris
Yellow straw color. Mild, earthy aromas of dried lemon and grass with a soft, crisp, dry light body and a tingling, brisk nectarine skin, earth, and parchment finish. A light and easy quaffer.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
210454
Barefoot
NV Pinot Grigio
Dusty light silvery emerald straw color. Bright, fruity aromas of peaches, bubble gum dust, and gravel with a lean, crisp, fruity medium body and a warming, brisk finish with fruit tannins and no oak. Simple easy quaffer.
82 points $6.99
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
210629
Liberty Vineyards
2013 Pinot Noir
Siam color. Bright, toasty, fruity earthy grainy aromas of tree bark, cherry toffee (Brach’s), toasted yeast, and hint of lemon cream with a lean, tart, dryish medium body and a warming, appealing, short finish with earthy barky tannins and light oak. Short flavors a bit too rustic.
82 points $28.99
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
210458
Merritt Estate Winery
2014 Pinot Grigio
Pale medium yellow straw color. Bright, fruity, earthy minerally funky aromas of bruised peaches, nectarines, parchment, and gravel with a lean, crisp, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a warming, quick finish with fruit tannins and no oak. Flavors are too truncated.
81 points $11.99
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
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