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

Red Thread 2018  Pinot Noir
95 points
Brick red color. Aromas and flavors of candied berries, plums and violets, chai spiced chocolate, roasted sandalwood, and eucalyptus honey with a supple, bright, dry-yet-fruity fat body and a nuanced, medium-long finish with notes of creme brulee, pomegranate compote, and poached apple with silky, soft tannins. A superbly flavorful and enticing Pinot with great exotic herbal nuances.
McIlroy 2019 Vines & Roses Vineyard Pinot Noir
94 points
Light garnet color. Attractive, spicy, savory aromas and flavors of spiced cherries and beets, marinated carrots, mole, and pomegranate molasses with a satiny, vibrant, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and a warming, distinctive, long finish that exhibits elements of pomegranate and Craisin, chocolate toffee, peppercorn muffin, and cedar with fine, chewy tannins and light oak flavor. A broad and balanced Pinot Noir with ample fruit and deep savory, spicy notes in support.
Comartin Cellars 2018 R-Bar-R Ranch Single Vineyard Pinot Noir
94 points
Garnet black color. Aromas and flavors of pomegranate caramel tart, pencil shavings and matcha, lava rocks, and boysenberry vinaigrette with a supple, bright, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a smooth, intriguing, medium-length finish revealing notes of choke cherry and huckleberry puree and nuts with well-integrated, chewy tannins and light oak flavor. A bright and inviting Pinot Noir that bring loads of tangy fruit and mouthwatering acidity to the table.
PONO 2018 Aina Pinot Noir
94 points
Burnt sienna color. Attractive aromas and flavors of chestnut honeycomb, walnut nougat, cherries in mocha mousse, and carob and strawberry jam with a silky, crisp, fruity medium body and a seamless, elegant, long finish that exhibits suggestions of honey roasted cherries, damson plum, spiced blood orange, and herbal tea with soft, chewy tannins and light oak flavor. A bright and appetizing Pinot Noir that will elevate a meal.
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.
Gersing Cellars 2018 Eola Springs Vineyard Pinot Noir
93 points
Dark dusty ruby color. Inviting aromas and flavors of dill, orange zest, coconut, caramel, pickled cherries, and vanilla latte with a satiny, lively, dryish light-to-medium body and a smooth, subtle, medium-long finish with accents of coriander, pickled plums, and toasted almonds with moderate oak flavor. An herbaceous, savory, oaky treat; this complex Pinot Noir could be the talking point of your next fine meal.
Cape May 2017  Pinot Noir
93 points
Dusty garnet color. Inviting aromas and flavors of dried cranberries, cherry preserves, hints of cola, caramelized mushrooms, black licorice, and rooibos tea with a slightly chewy, vibrant, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a smooth, complex, medium-long finish with moderate oak flavor. A fuller-bodied Pinot Noir with great complexity and style; Cape May over-delivers with this highly pairable and attractive offering that will certainly delight at holiday meals.
Christeni Vineyards 2016  Pinot Noir
93 points
Light garnet color. Aromas and flavors of cherry glazed pound cake, cranberry mostarda, smoked nuts, foraged mushrooms, cocoa powder, and dried herbs with a velvety, vibrant, dry-yet-fruity medium body and an effortless, subtle, medium-long finish with well-integrated, silky tannins and light oak flavor. A juicy but sophisticated Pinot Noir with great texture and pairability.