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Reviews for 2020

October 2020 - US Pinot Noir & Pinot Gris

October 2020 - US Pinot Noir & Pinot Gris
This month's Wine feature is US Pinot Noir & Pinot Gris Wines

US Pinot Noir & Pinot Gris Reviews

Lawer Estates 2018 Betsys Vineyard Pinot Noir
92 points
$32
Rich dark dusty garnet color. Aromas of cherry preserves, roasted beets in raspberry vinaigrette, blackberry chutney, and cumin with a slightly chewy, vibrant, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a captivating, medium-long dark chocolate with berry jam finish with moderate oak flavor. A firm and oaky Pinot Noir with unabashedly fruity aromatics; drink now or cellar.
Portola Vineyards 2018  Pinot Noir
92 points
$38
Dark dusty ruby color. Aromas of pomegranate sauce, roasted beets in raspberry vinaigrette, Dr. Pepper, caramelized mushrooms, thyme, lilac, and orange oil with a round, lively, fruity light-to-medium body and a smooth, subtle, long honey-roasted pine nuts and black toast with marmalade and butter finish with light oak flavor. A concentrated, highly appealing Pinot Noir that’s excellent now and will continue to evolve with cellar time.
Kirkland Signature 2018  Pinot Noir
91 points
$12
Best Buy
Dusty ruby color. Fruity aromas of ripe cherries, pomegranate, and compressed watermelon with a satiny, vibrant, fruity light-to-medium body and a polished, compelling, medium-long cranberry crisp bread, fennel, and peppercorns finish with a suggestion of oak flavor. A fruit-forward, palate-pleasing Pinot Noir with nice depth of flavor
91 points $12 Best Buy
Bargetto 2019 Reserve Pinot Noir
91 points
$45
Violet color. Aromas and flavors of ripe Marasca cherries, blueberries, roasted parsnip, forest floor, and hints of mint and honey with a satiny, crisp, dry-yet-fruity light-to-medium body and a smooth, interesting, medium-long finish with impressions of carob and savory herbs with moderate oak flavor. A nicely balanced Santa Cruz Pinot Noir with bright vivid fruit and complementing savory notes.
Kirkland Signature 2018  Pinot Noir
90 points
$9
Best Buy
Dusty dark ruby color. Aromas of red plum, dried cherry, compressed watermelon, seasoned pecans, vanilla gelato, and coconut pastry with a velvety, crisp, dry-yet-fruity light-to-medium body and a seamless, distinctive, long caramelized mushrooms and hints of licorice finish with light oak flavor. A rock solid Pinot Noir that delivers big pops of elegant flavor and silky texture.
90 points $9 Best Buy
Bargetto 2018  Pinot Noir
90 points
$30
Dark ruby color. Aromas and flavors of wild cherry, hints of violet, orange peel, and caramelized mushrooms with a satiny, vibrant, dry-yet-fruity light-to-medium body and a smooth, interesting, medium-length finish manifesting shades of hints of sassafras, licorice, and honey roasted pine nuts with a suggestion of oak flavor. A vibrant Pinot Noir with some aging potential; bright delicious fruit may lend way to more complex and nuanced flavors in the near future.
Paradise Ridge 2017  Pinot Noir
90 points
$40
Bright ruby color. Aromas and flavors of dried cherry, baked strawberry, spiced cranberry, fresh orange zest, mushrooms, dark chocolate, and fennel with a satiny, vibrant, fruity light-to-medium body and a graceful, refreshing, medium-long finish with a suggestion of oak flavor. A fruit-forward, juicy Pinot Noir that will complement roasted turkey and pork.
Cursive 2019  Pinot Grigio
88 points
$7
Best Buy
Straw color. Fruity aromas and flavors of ripe pear, hint of almonds, and banana fritter with a supple, bright, dryish light body and a smooth, medium-length finish conveying notes of green apples with honey with no oak flavor. A crisp and clean Pinot Grigio that refreshes.
88 points $7 Best Buy
Benziger 2018  Pinot Noir
88 points
$19
Ruby garnet color. Aromas and flavors of spiced cherries, cola, caramel on gingerbread, and coconut with a satiny, crisp, dryish light-to-medium body and a smooth, engaging, medium-length finish with touches of minerals with moderate oak flavor. A spicy, toasty Pinot Noir for the cooler months.
Portola Vineyards 2018 Los Trancos Creek Vineyard Pinot Noir
88 points
$38
Dusty ruby violiet color. Fruity aromas and flavors of blueberry preserves, toasted pound cake, beets in raspberry vinaigrette, incense, and thumbprint cookies with a satiny, vibrant, dry-yet-fruity light-to-medium body and a smooth, engaging, medium-length finish that shows impressions of nut brittle and cedar with light oak flavor. A bright and food-friendly Pinot Noir with big notes of blue fruit.
Reynolds Family Winery 2018  Pinot Noir
88 points
$45
Ruby garnet color. Complex aromas and flavors of cranberry chutney, dark berry jam, hints of raspberry, chai tea, jasmine, and incense with a velvety, crisp, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a warming, interesting, medium-length finish conveying nuances of peppered nuts and ginger with light oak flavor. An oak-kissed Pinot Noir with a spicy side.
Firefly Ridge 2018  Pinot Grigio
87 points
$9
Best Buy
Straw color. Aromas and flavors of green apple, marzipan, croissant with pear butter, and tinned lychee with a satiny, crisp, dry light body and a smooth, medium-length finish with accents of peach yogurt with no oak flavor. A balanced Pinot Grigio for summer Italian fare.
87 points $9 Best Buy
It’s a Headsnapper 2018  Pinot Noir
87 points
$9
Best Buy
Rich dusty ruby color. Aromas and flavors of foraged mushrooms, dried cranberry, dill, and balsa with a slightly chewy, crisp, dryish light-to-medium body and a silky, amusing, medium-length finish that exhibits accents of orange marmalade with chewy tannins and moderate oak flavor. A food-friendly Monterey Pinot.
87 points $9 Best Buy
Golden Winery 2018  Pinot Noir
87 points
$12
Dusty ruby color. Earthy aromas and flavors of cranberry sauce, compressed watermelon, toast, basil, mushrooms, and earth with a slightly chewy, vibrant, dry-yet-fruity light-to-medium body and a polished, engaging, medium-length finish with light oak flavor. An earthy-but-bright Pinot Noir with great food affinity.
Firefly Ridge 2018  Pinot Noir
86 points
$9
Best Buy
Dusty garnet color. Aromas of dried cherries and cranberry sauce with a slightly chewy, crisp, dry-yet-fruity light-to-medium body and a polished, easy hints of mushrooms, herbs, and black tea finish with light oak flavor. A robust, food-friendly Pinot Noir for cool-weather pairing.
86 points $9 Best Buy
Cursive 2018  Pinot Noir
86 points
$14
Best Buy
Burnt sienna color. Smoky aromas and flavors of mocha latte, candied bacon, Twix bar, and smoked nuts with a supple, crisp, dry-yet-fruity light-to-medium body and a sleek, crisp finish with moderate oak flavor. An oaky, smoky Pinot Noir for autumnal pairings.
86 points $14 Best Buy
South Coast 2019  Pinot Grigio
86 points
$14
Best Buy
Golden straw color. Toasty aromas and flavors of banana cream pie, baked apple and peach, and yuzu with a supple, soft, dryish light-to-medium body and a quick finish with notes of starfruit, meyer lemon, and white peach. An even and attractive Pinot Grigio sipper.
86 points $14 Best Buy
Chloe 2018  Pinot Noir
86 points
$17
Dark dusty ruby color. Aromas of watermelon, fruit punch, and marzipan with a slightly chewy, crisp, dryish light-to-medium body and a smooth, interesting, medium-length beets with pistachios, black toast, and graphite finish with moderate oak flavor. A fruity, chewy Pinot Noir to try with Latin cuisines.
Bargetto 2019  Pinot Grigio
86 points
$28
Pale golden yellow color. Aromas of caramel-apple oats, crystallized lemon peel, honey, and white tea with a satiny, bright, dry-yet-fruity light body and a graceful, breezy tart pear, hints of pineapple, and almond finish with no oak flavor. Silky texture invites the imbiber for a second sip in this easy-drinking Pinot Grigio.
Love Noir 2018  Pinot Noir
85 points
$15
Dusty ruby color. Aromas and flavors of candied cherries, cranberry tart, maple, and french toast with a coarse, crisp, dryish light body and a tingling, medium finish that presents notes of charred oak with clunky tannins and moderate oak flavor. An easy Pinot Noir for the table.
Barefoot NV  Pinot Grigio
84 points
$6.99
Emerald straw color. Aromas of fruit cup, honeysuckle, and elderflower with a satiny, crisp, fruity light body and a seamless, short-to-medium wedding cake and apricot jam finish with no oak flavor. The moscato lover’s Pinot Grigio.
84 points $6.99
Bucket List NV  Pinot Grigio
84 points
$8
Pale straw color. Aromas of sweet apple and peach preserves with a supple, bright, fruity light body and a smooth, brisk lemon meringue finish with no oak flavor. A light and fruity white that will be versatile.
Frey 2019  Pinot Grigio
84 points
$15
Yellow straw color. Interesting aromas and flavors of apple jelly, muesli, baked apricot, and chamomile with a satiny, crisp, petillant, dryish light body and a silky, breezy finish with no oak flavor. A funky, baked Pinot Grigio with a laid back appeal.
Imagery Estate 2019  Pinot Noir
84 points
$19
Ruby garnet color. Aromas and flavors of roasted beets, walnut vinaigrette, sour cherries, and fresh herbs with a satiny, crisp, fruity light-to-medium body and a seamless, easy finish revealing notes of shortcake with a suggestion of oak flavor. A juicy, easy-drinking Pinot Noir for weeknight sipping.
South Coast 2019 Reserve Pinot Grigio
84 points
$20
Straw color. Aromas and flavors of baked apple, raisins, and baking spices with a supple, soft, dry light body and a seamless, brisk finish manifesting notes of cucumber spa water with no oak flavor. A crushable Pinot Grigio to serve ice cold.
Barefoot NV  Pinot Noir
83 points
$6.99
Dark ruby color. Fruity aromas of fruit punch, raspberry cobbler, and cola with a supple, crisp, fruity light-to-medium body and a smooth, breezy finish with moderate oak flavor. A fruity, easy-drinking red that will be a hit.
83 points $6.99
Keynote 2018  Pinot Noir
83 points
$11
Bright dusty ruby color. Aromas and flavors of cherry cola, charred oak, and vanilla soft serve with a slightly chewy, bright, dryish light-to-medium body and a tingling, brisk finish with leafy tannins and moderate oak flavor. An oaky red quaffer for simple sipping.
CK Mondavi 2019  Pinot Grigio
82 points
$7
Straw color. Aromas and flavors of green apple, rubber, and iced tea with a soft, crisp, dryish thin body and a seamless, short finish with no oak flavor. A breezy white quaffer to serve ice cold on hot days.
Monte De Oro 2019 Estate Grown Pinot Gris
81 points
$19
Pale orange salmon color. Odd aromas of dried pineapple, grapefruit pith, sautéed mushrooms, and strawberry leaf with a supple, bright, dry-yet-fruity light-to-medium body and a seamless, delightful, medium-length herbed cottage cheese finish with no oak flavor. A funky, slightly savory Pinot Gris for creative pairings.
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