Woman on Wine
Pinot Noir is France’s grape. A great Burgundy is considered the crown prince of French wines. True, Burgundy has a growing climate ideal for producing complex, delicate wines from this fickle grape, but I think America’s got it going on, too. Even the greatest wine snob cannot deny that American vintners have perfected Pinot Noir in cool pockets of wine country throughout Oregon and California.
The six big names in terms of regions to know include Oregon’s Willamette Valley, considered by many experts to be America’s best region for growing Pinot, especially if you’re looking for American wines in a Burgundian style. But also worth investigating are California’s Anderson Valley, Sonoma Coast, Santa Rita Hills, Santa Lucia Highlands and, my personal favorite, Russian River Valley. Great names in Pinot you might know from these regions include: Archery Summit, Domaine Drouhin Oregon, Williams Selyem, Copain, Flowers, La Follette, Pisoni, Bonaccorsi, Sea Smoke and Rochioli. Although I would happily recommend the wines from any of these wineries, if you like Pinot, you’re probably already enamored with their charms. Of course, there are countless other Pinot Noirs worth trying from each of these regions. Here are five I’ve recently discovered that are helping to make American Pinot a pleasure.
2013 Angel Camp Vineyard Pinot Noir, Anderson Valley
This is a plush, soft, faintly sweet and very approachable Pinot from California’s north. It offers bright cherry and berry acidity with a surprise of something dark, masculine and spicy near the finish.
Merry Edwards Winery
2012 Meredith Estate Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley
As I mentioned, I love Russian River Pinots and this is a great one. Its direct fruit flavors include a luscious medley of wild strawberry, blackberry and stone fruits. It’s a big wine, distinctly Californian, with juicy fruit and great structure.
Stoller Family Estate
2013 Dundee Hills Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley
A lovely, easy-to-drink wine, this Stoller Pinot makes an affordable introduction to the wines of the Willamette Valley. It offers classic cherry and cola flavors with a biting cranberry acidity.
2013 Doctor’s Vineyard Pinot, Santa Lucia Highlands
Testarossa makes some big, intense Pinots and the 2013 Doctor’s is no exception. Think pomegranate and black currant fruit mingled with sage and exotic spice.
Trombetta Family Wines
2013 Gap’s Crown Vineyard Pinot Noir, Sonoma Coast
This wine’s many charms begin with its aromas of vanilla, berries and baking spices. Silky and sexy on the tongue, it has soft tannins and a little heat of black pepper.
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