Pinot Noir remains one of the red wine world's most ambitious and delicious darlings. Offering the ultimate in food-friendly personality, bringing plenty of style diversity and consistently exhibiting a versatile, well-received tasting profile to the table, Pinot Noir is one of the world's greatest red wine grapes both in New World vineyards and Old World estates. However, finding the perfect Pinot based on preference and price can be tricky, so we've compiled some of our recent... favorites to get you started. Keep in mind that growing Pinot Noir grapes is a daunting task and price points tend to be higher for this grape. Most of our Pinot Noir picks fall into the $20-50 range, if you are looking for Pinot under $15 take a peek here.
01 of 10
Gary Farrell's 2011 Russian River Valley Pinot Noir carries terrific color appeal, vibrant cherry pie aromas, and velvet-driven textures. The palate is engaging with forward fruit, balanced tangy acidity and seamless integration throughout. A truly delicious Pinot Noir that is eager to convey the nuances of Sonoma's Russian River Valley with elegance and grace.
02 of 10
Domaine Faiveley Mercurey Clos des Myglands Premier Cru 2011 (Burgundy) $42
Violets, smoke, and spice-laced aromas add dimension and interest from the onset, with blackberry, black cherry and raspberry fruit prevailing on the well-defined palate. Expect lovely concentration, balance and ongoing elegance on the finish.
*Full Disclosure: Sample provided for possible review
03 of 10
King Estate happens to be one of Oregon's premier Pinot producers. Known, grown and bottled in Oregon's Willamette Valley, this particular Pinot Noir enjoys an enthusiastic fan club. The nose gives an explosion of dominating red cherry fruit laced with a heady mix of herbal and floral tones, all woven through an allspice-laden matrix. The palate profile produces a dynamic synergy between ripe raspberry and dark cherry fruit with the warm infusion of vanilla. Balance, solid acidity and... engaging tannins end their course in a long, elegant finish.
04 of 10
This elegant Pinot Noir from Sonoma's Russian River Valley comes from dry farmed vineyards, showcasing a well-concentrated nose bursting with ripe red berries and spice-laced notes. Expect ripe raspberry fruit to dance with subtle dried herb nuances, gaining depth and finesse towards the fine-grained finish. Dazzling balance allows complete integration of fruit, acidity, and supple structure on the palate profile. Perfect for pairing with the earthy undertones of mushroom-themed sides,... roasted poultry, and choice cheese options (consider goat, Brie, Gruyere).
* Full Disclosure: Sample provided for possible reviewContinue to 5 of 10 below.
05 of 10
Grown on the rugged ridge tops of Manchester Ridge, overlooking the pelting waves of the Pacific, the coastal La Follette grapes may not make it into the cellar every year. Some years the weather fails to cooperate and the vines wait to give it another go the next season.
That said, 2012 cooperated and produced an outstanding expression of coastal-influenced Pinot Noir. Expect an engaging mix of herb and earth, laced with muted florals and dense, dark cherry fruit on the nose. Complex layers of... warm baking spice, a vibrant minerality and well-defined structure bound by an elegant intensity, all generously supported by rich red cherry fruit allow for a significant palate impression.
Medium-bodied, well-tuned acidity, velvety tannins, and a persistent, opulent finish all combine to make this low production wine (390 cases) one to find.
* Full Disclosure: Sample provided for possible review
06 of 10
This Demeter certified, biodynamic Pinot Noir from Benziger delivers a delicious mix of aromatic fruit and the warm layers of earth and spice. A delicate balance of fruit and structure with well-placed acidity and soft pliable tannins take the palate appeal to the next level. Expect exquisite concentration of the cherry and plum profiles bolstered by the savory expressions of fine cut tobacco leaves and fresh espresso to carry through the persistent finish.
* Full Disclosure: Sample provided for... possible review
07 of 10
The ruby red 2010 Craggy Range Pinot Noir offers gorgeous aromatics - bright cherry and subtle herbal character make their unmistakable mark. The palate profile yields high-end red fruit, with plenty of cherries, strawberry and raspberry notes woven together in a delicious medley of distinctly forward fruit. Velvety tannins bring both structure and definition to the fruit character and the wine's overall balance lends itself to a seamless tasting experience. This pretty Pinot is perfect for... pairing with everything from seasonal wild mushroom dishes to braised beef and herb-crusted salmon.
08 of 10
The 2012 Twomey Russian River Valley Pinot Noir promises an aromatic thrill with ripe cherry and dense blackberry fruit wrapped in heady fresh tobacco leaves and delicate floral tones, the nose exudes warmth, elegance, and creativity. The palate profile features forward dark cherry fruit with strawberry jam and a smidge of mocha. Expect deliberate balance, silky, seamless tannins and a persistent, cardamon spice-laden finish.Continue to 9 of 10 below.
09 of 10
Bonterra Pinot Noir 2012 (CA) $15
Bonterra's 2012 Pinot Noir offers a medium-bodied, easy-going red wine that is downright delicious and enjoys extraordinary food-pairing versatility - a perfect everyday wine. Made with organic grapes grown in Mendocino, the aromas on this pleasing Pinot consist largely of bright red fruit, think raspberry and strawberry, with a touch of sweet vanilla spice and cherry pie in the mix. On the palate, you can expect similar fresh fruit to hustle forward with pure strawberry dominating the dance... and an impressive overall balance steering the wine's melody. Perfect pairing partners include pasta dishes with red sauce, burgers, pizza, mushroom-driven themes, a wide variety of appetizers, grilled chicken, steak or pork chops and an expansive list of choice cheese.
10 of 10
The 2012 Stoller Pinot Noir is crafted from all estate grown fruit. With ripe plums, red currants and black raspberries in the aromatic mix, this Oregon Pinot spotlights a fruit forward, earth-driven nature. Chocolate covered strawberry notes sift through the silky tannins engaging the senses with vibrant acidity and a plush, persistent finish.