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Reviews for 2020

March 2020 - US Pinot Noir & Pinot Gris

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

US Pinot Noir & Pinot Gris Reviews

Red Thread 2018  Pinot Noir
95 points
$45
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.
PONO 2018 Aina Pinot Noir
94 points
$68
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.
Latitude 38 Wine 2016 Private Reserve Pinot Noir
93 points
$29.95
Bright garnet color. Aromas and flavors of ripe cherry, wild strawberry preserves, nut brittle, toffee, and caramelized mushrooms with a satiny, crisp, dryish light-to-medium body and a tingling, distinctive, medium-long finish with well-integrated, silky tannins. Fall in love with wildly appetizing aromatics in this sunny Pinot Noir that belongs aside an excellent meal.
93 points $29.95
Schug 2018  Pinot Noir
93 points
$35
Bright ruby garnet color. Aromas and flavors of dried mushrooms, raspberry sorbet, cherry cobbler, smoky carob, violet, fennel, and toast with a satiny, crisp, dry-yet-fruity light-to-medium body and a sleek, delightful, medium-length finish with earthy tannins and moderate oak flavor. A substantial and chewy Pinot Noir with extroverted aromatics and a food-friendly style.
Intercept 2017  Pinot Noir
92 points
Ruby garnet color. Aromas and flavors of cherry glaze on foie gras, thyme, hazelnut creme, and chocolate covered berries with a round, vibrant, dry-yet-fruity light-to-medium body and a nuanced, long finish that exhibits touches of chocolate covered caramel, lilac, rich custard, and bergamot tea with light oak flavor. A superbly integrated Pinot Noir with sophisticated flavors; drink this.
Portlandia 2018  Pinot Noir
91 points
$19.99
Dusty violet color. Aromas of spiced cherries, beet tart, pea sprouts, flaky pie crusts, and orange zest with a satiny, vibrant, dry-yet-fruity light-to-medium body and a graceful, interesting, medium-long blueberry pie, berry pavlova, and lemon supremes finish. A balanced and palate-pleasing Pinot Noir.
91 points $19.99
Formation 2018  Pinot Noir
90 points
$16
Best Buy
Burnt sienna color. Aromas and flavors of sun dried cherries, roasted squash, za’atar, sage, honey, and cheesecake with berries with a satiny, vibrant, dry-yet-fruity light-to-medium body and an effortless, delightful, medium-length finish with light oak flavor. A distinctive Pinot Noir from Arroyo Seco that offers lots of harmonious, pairable flavors.
90 points $16 Best Buy
Eagle Lake 2017  Pinot Noir
88 points
$16.99
Ruby color. Aromas and flavors of orange pith, dried cranberry, grilled mushrooms, and hints of cumin and cracked red pepper with a velvety, crisp, dryish light-to-medium body and a silky, interesting, medium-length finish evoking notes of paprika and strawberry leaf with a suggestion of oak flavor. A balanced and flavorful Pinot Noir for the table.
88 points $16.99
Frey 2018 Organic Pinot Noir
88 points
$18
Dusty ruby color. Aromas of añejo tequila, caramel-drizzled nuts, dark chocolate with cinnamon, and prune with a supple, crisp, dryish medium body and a seamless, delightful, medium-length mushroom pierogi with a side of beets and brown butter finish with moderate oak flavor. An original Pinot Noir with a distinctive take on the varietal; savory and highly pairable.
Austerity 2017  Pinot Noir
87 points
Garnet color. Aromas and flavors of dried figs and dates, tangerine, toffee, sautéed mushrooms, and roasted pecan with a slightly chewy, vibrant, dry medium body and a smooth, carefree finish with moderate oak flavor. An dense and demanding Pinot Noir with lots of toasty oak.
Gravelly Ford 2017  Pinot Noir
87 points
Ruby garnet color. Aromas of black cherry, roasted beets, squash with pomegranate glaze, and dried meats with a round, vibrant, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a smooth, interesting, medium-length dried cranberry, roasted nuts, and hints of chocolate ganache finish with well-integrated tannins and moderate oak flavor. A ripe, approachable, and layered Pinot Noir that will pair nicely.
DH Lescombes 2018 Heritage Series Pinot Gris
87 points
$15
Best Buy
Brushed amber color. Aromas of white peach, honeysuckle, melon, and lime with a supple, vibrant, fruity light body and an effortless, medium-length orange blossom candies and apple compote finish with no oak flavor. An unusually fruit-forward Pinot Gris with nice concentration; accessible and gulpable.
87 points $15 Best Buy
St. Clair Winery 2018  Pinot Grigio
87 points
$15
Best Buy
Gold color. Aromas of apple bread pudding, broiled citrus, and honeysuckle with a velvety, bright, dryish light-to-medium body and a smooth, medium-length baked peach finish with no oak flavor. A rich Pinot Grigio with notes of roasted fruit; could be an interesting stand-in for Viognier at the table.
87 points $15 Best Buy
St Hilaire Cellars NV Private Label Pinot Noir
87 points
$19.79
Burnt sienna color. Savory aromas and flavors of beets in vinaigrette, three-bean salad, peppermint, clove, licorice, and raspberry vinaigrette with a velvety, crisp, dry-yet-fruity light-to-medium body and an effortless, delightful, medium-length finish displaying overtones of celery leaf with a suggestion of oak flavor. A lean, savory Pinot Noir that will shine with food.
87 points $19.79
Owl Block 2016 Reserve Pinot Noir
87 points
$24.99
Ruby garnet color. Aromas and flavors of dried cherry and cranberry, pepper jelly, and cola with a satiny, vibrant, dry-yet-fruity light-to-medium body and a seamless, medium-length finish with notes of apricot chutney, roasted mushrooms, charred bread crusts, and pine nuts with light oak flavor. A rock solid, stylish Pinot Noir.
87 points $24.99
Fireband 2017 Barrel Reserve Pinot Noir
86 points
Dark garnet color. Aromas and flavors of graphite, dried cherry, chocolate, pomegranate, and charcoal with a slightly chewy, crisp, fruity medium body and a warming, medium finish with nuances of cracked black pepper with chewy tannins and moderate oak flavor. A table-ready Pinot Noir for casual pairings.
Root Cause 2017  Pinot Noir
86 points
Light garnet color. Aromas and flavors of dried cranberry, raspberry compote, magic marker, toasted nuts, and hints of mocha with a satiny, crisp, dry-yet-fruity light body and a graceful, quick finish that exhibits notes of graphite and toast with light oak flavor. A light and easy-drinking quaffer to share.
Freelings Creek 2017 Estate Grown Pinot Noir
86 points
$16.99
Tomato bisque color. Aromas and flavors of cranberry, wild raspberry, tomato leaf, rillettes, and caramel latte with a satiny, crisp, dryish light body and an even, medium-length finish with notes of fresh cream and nutmeg. A rustic Pinot Noir to pair with fowl.
86 points $16.99
Château Élan 2018 American Reserve Pinot Noir
86 points
$27.95
Violet color. Fruity aromas of raspberry candies and cherry lambic with a satiny, vibrant, fruity medium body and a graceful, interesting, medium-length mushrooms, roasted beets in vinaigrette, and mixed berry compote finish with well-integrated tannins. A rustic Pinot Noir that brings highly pairable flavors to the table.
86 points $27.95
Schug 2018  Pinot Noir
86 points
$30
Ruby garnet color. Smoky aromas of tar, rose hips, black toast, and cherry-studded scones with a slightly chewy, crisp, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a graceful, appealing, medium-length blackberry, fresh herbs, and chocolate-caramel finish with earthy tannins and moderate oak flavor. A dark and toasty Pinot Noir with a sultry, smoky earthiness.
Cloud Break 2018  Pinot Noir
84 points
Light garnet color. Aromas and flavors of dried cherry, pomegranate, charred oak, cling peach, and earth with a satiny, crisp, dry-yet-fruity light-to-medium body and a silky, cheery finish displaying accents of rhubarb and clove with moderate oak flavor. A new world Pinot Noir that checks all the boxes.
Curran Creek 2018  Pinot Grigio
84 points
Pale straw color. Aromas and flavors of apple compote and béchamel with a supple, vibrant, dryish thin body and a silky, terse finish with overtones of baby aspirin with no oak flavor. A simple, crushable white.
Line 39 2018  Pinot Grigio
84 points
White gold color. Aromas and flavors of hint of apples with a soft, dryish thin body and a smooth, scant finish with notes of hint of pineapple and white pepper with no oak flavor. A mild and gulpable Pinot Grigio for the whole crew.
Magna Terra 2018  Pinot Noir
84 points
Dark dusty ruby color. Aromas and flavors of raspberry jam, button mushrooms, grilled blackberry, and eucalyptus with a slightly chewy, light-to-medium body and a smooth, swift finish with notes of chocolate wafer cookie with crunchy tannins and moderate oak flavor. A toasty, fruity Pinot Noir to pass around 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 smooth, short-to-medium wedding cake and apricot jam finish with no oak flavor. The Moscato lover’s Pinot Grigio.
84 points $6.99
No Curfew 2018  Pinot Noir
84 points
$12
Garnet black color. Aromas of dried figs and dates, blackberry and muesli with a satiny, bright, fruity medium body and a tingling, easy tobacco, cherry cola and fruit cake finish with moderate oak flavor. A solid California Pinot Noir with a nice toasty vibe.
St Hilaire Cellars NV Private Label Rosé of Pinot Noir Willamette Valley
84 points
$13.99
Pale orange salmon color. Aromas and flavors of roasted nuts, dried apricot, panettone, and roasted agave with a satiny, crisp, fruity light-to-medium body and a smooth, captivating, medium-length finish with notes of caramelized berries and sunflower seeds. A distinctive Willamette Rosé with mature nutty character.
84 points $13.99
Frey 2018 Organic Pinot Grigio
84 points
$18
Straw color. Aromas and flavors of tea cakes, roasted agave, and apple tart with a satiny, crisp, dry-yet-fruity light-to-medium body and an effortless, appealing, medium-length finish with accents of ripe banana with no oak flavor. A juicy yet atypical Pinot Grigio with notes of roasted fruit.
Pacific Redwood 2018 Organic Pinot Noir
84 points
$18
Ruby black color. Aromas and flavors of char-roasted agave, prunes, and fruit cake with a slightly chewy, vibrant, dryish medium body and an effortless, medium-length finish that presents notes of cocoa powder with drying, woody tannins and moderate oak flavor. A medium-bodied wine with distinctive texture and flavors.
DH Lescombes 2018 Heritage Series Pinot Noir
84 points
$20
Light burnt sienna color. Waxy aromas and flavors of vanilla candle, old fashioned donut, brown sugar, dill, and berry-hibiscus tisane with a satiny, crisp, fruity light-to-medium body and a polished, medium-length finish with notes of strawberry jam and wet leaves with moderate oak flavor. An interesting, oaky Pinot Noir with big vanilla character.
Barefoot NV  Pinot Noir
83 points
$6.99
Dark ruby color. Fruity aromas and flavors of fruit punch, raspberry cobbler, and cola with a supple, crisp, fruity light-to-medium body and a graceful, relaxed finish with moderate oak flavor. A fruity, easy-drinking red that will be a hit.
83 points $6.99
Line 39 2018  Pinot Noir
82 points
Dark ruby color. Aromas and flavors of mixed berry tart, cranberry, orange zest, cedar chips, and spiced bergamot tea with a slightly chewy, crisp, dry-yet-fruity light-to-medium body and a smooth, stimulating, breezy finish imparting notes of hints of espresso with moderate oak flavor. A zesty Pinot Noir that’s highly pairable.
Bordeleau NV Lot Number 6 Pinot Grigio
82 points
$17
Straw color. Interesting aromas and flavors of white grape jelly, hay, kombucha, lime gum drops, and papaya with a supple, crisp, fruity light body and a graceful, brisk finish with no oak flavor. A fruity Pinot Grigio with regional flare.
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