Wine Reviews: 69 Pinot Noirs Graded by our Retailer Wine Panel

(92) Tiefenbrunner Turmhof Pinot Nero 2013 (Alto Adige, Italy). Famous for their Sauvignon Blanc, Tiefenbrunner demonstrates their ability of produce world class red wines, with this Pinot Noir. Bright and spicy red fruit, good acidity, and structure showcase the wine’s quality and class. ($28)

(92) On Point, 2013 Pinot Noir Christina’s Cuvee (Anderson Valley, CA). This lushly textured pinot noir displays restrained nuances of mocha in the nose and palette, followed by rich flavors of dark chocolate-covered cherries, cassis, earth and spice. Wispy hints of wood smoke appear in the lengthy finish. ($32)

(92) Benovia (Russian River, CA). Low yield and small production help create this textbook Russian River pinot. Deep ruby color with a juicy berry nose and palate. Add some mineral notes and a bit of plum and enjoy this complex wine with roasted squab and wild rice. ($36.95)

(92) Cambria Julia’s Vineyard Pinot Noir 2013  (California). This single-vineyard pinot noir is well-structured with bright cherry, raspberry and strawberry flavors that are followed with a touch of spice. The finish has supple tannins and excellent length. This estate grown Pinot is certified sustainable. $23

(92) Kudos Pinot Noir Rsv Yamhill Carlton 2014 (Willamette Valley). A complex pinot noir that manages to combine both elegance and power in its savory flavors of raspberry, dark fruit, cola and earth; finely grained
tannins and a balancing core of acidity provide a very well-structured finish. ($25)

(92) Sonoma Cuvee Pinot Noir 2013 (Russian River Valley). Distinctively fragrant, with a smooth profile and a pleasant texture. Aromas and flavors of raspberry, cola, tea and delicate notes of vanilla. The cleansing, pure finish is focused and deliciously velvety. ($28)

(92) Testarossa Pinot Noir Cuvee 107 2014 (Santa Lucia Highlands). A lively pinot noir that delivers expressive aromas and flavors of cranberry, raspberry, vanilla and light notes of cedar. This wine shines with its richly textured mouthfeel that is skillfully balanced by the structured finish. ($25)

(92) Ritual Pinot Noir 2014 (Casablanca Valley, Chile). Based on a collaboration  between Agustin Huneeus and Paul Hobbs, this pinot noir reveals the potential for producing world-class wines in the Casablanca Valley. Red and black fruits, with hints of spice, contribute to the wine’s appeal and complexity. An excellent value, as well as example of Chilean winemaking. ($20)

(92) Wente Riva Ranch Pinot Noir, Arroyo Seco 2012 (Monterey, CA). From one of California’s pioneering winemaking families, this elegant, cool-climate pinot noir exhibits refinement, with the appropriate nose and palate. Spicy red and black fruit, good tannins and acidity. The wine has a long and well-
balanced finish. ($30)

(92) Astrolabe Pinot Noir 2013 (Marlborough, New Zealand). A wonderful example of a New Zealand pinot noir. It possesses lots of great pinot character, with red fruit, and texture on the palate. Plenty of flavor, with an underlying acidity and tannic backbone contribute to its complexity. ($28)

(92) Artesa Pinot Noir 2013 (Carneros, Napa Valley, CA). Long known for their elegant wines, the Artesa pinot noir does not  disappoint. With red and black fruit on the nose and palate, the wine has plenty of character and the flavor profile of a winning wine. A long and balanced finish contributes to its obvious level of quality. $25

(92) Domaine Gachot Monot, Cote de Nuit-Villages 2013 (Burgundy, France). This wine is a fabulous value in Burgundy. Ripe cherry, forest floor and black tea jump from this pinot, flaunting an uncommon balance between depth of flavor and elegant nuance. ($30.99)

(92) Pali Wine Co. 2013 “Bluffs” (Russian River Valley). The balance of this wine is wonderful from nose to finish. The aromas and flavors of dark fruits, baking spices, earth notes and pleasant floral character that hints toward rose pedals builds in intensity all of the way through to the clean, lingering finish of cherry, cinnamon and hint of cola. ($25)

(92) Pali Wine Co. 2013 “Huntington” (Santa Barbara). This great pinot is Santa Barbara through and through. There is a distinct forest-floor earthiness present from front to back. The nose is complex with notes of cherry, raspberry, black licorice and truffle. The palate is tightly knit with under-ripe cherry and raspberry but the black licorice, truffle and clove are kept in check with a great acidity that balances the entire experience through to the silky finish. ($22)

(91) Robert Mondavi Winery Napa Valley Pinot Noir 2013 (Napa Valley, CA). From one of the grandmasters of Napa Valley winemaking, this is a textbook example of Napa Valley pinot noir. Good tannins, with a spicy dark fruit profile, the wine enjoys the type of flavors, texture and style many other wineries hope to attain. ($26)

(91) Bethel Heights Estate Pinot Noir 2012 (Eola-Amity Hills). Bethel Heights blends this cuvee from all over their 100-acre estate. Soft and appealing, this medium-bodied pinot features aromas of black cherries leading to gentle flavors of blackberries and plums. Aged 10 months in French oak, you can expect lovely polished tannins. ($31.99)

(91) Robert Mondavi Winery Napa Valley Pinot Noir 2013 (Napa Valley, CA). From one of the grandmasters of Napa Valley winemaking, this is a textbook example of Napa Valley pinot noir. Good tannins, with a spicy dark fruit profile, the wine enjoys the type of flavors, texture and style many other wineries hope to attain. ($26)

(91) Simi Pinot Noir 2013 (Sonoma County, CA). Demonstrating the quality you would expect from this producer and region, this is a pinot noir with class and elegance, and with just enough power and structure to make it interesting. Spicy black and red fruit contribute to its complexity, with structure, and an attractive brightness. ($23.99)

(91) Starmont Pinot Noir, Carneros 2013 (Napa Valley, CA). Carneros is well known for the quality of cool weather grapes from the region. This well-done example from one of the leading producers in the region is a great example of Carneros pinot noir. Red and black fruit, with a hint of baking spices, contribute to its profile. The long and balanced finish confirms the impression. ($27)

(91) Borgo Magredo Friuli Grave Pinot Noir 2014 (Friuli, Italy). From the northeast of Italy, this pinot noir has all of the right pieces in the right places. Good acidity, with plenty of substance. Balance, a long finish and overall good taste make this a winner in anybody’s book. ($15)

(91) Hacienda Araucano Pinot Noir 2013 (Lolol Valley, Chile). Another great example of the quality and value coming out of Chile. Owned by a leading Bordeaux producer, they have found an excellent location for the production of great pinot noir. The profile you would expect from a great pinot noir, at a bargain price. Delicate red fruit, with good acidity, and length. A definite contender for top Pinot Noir value. ($14)

(91) Paul Hobbs “Cross Barn” Anderson Valley 2013. An iconic California Winegrower meets cool climate pinot noir from Anderson Valley. Bright ruby. Aromas of cherry, cranberry, cola, with a bit of graham cracker. Crunchy berry flavors of cranberry and blackberry with a bit of fig, adding richness. Silky texture and lengthy finish. Very polished. ($45)

(91) Owl Ridge Pinot Noir 2013 (Carneros). An edge of dark fruit adding complexity to the flavors of raspberry, tea, cola and spicy oak. A savory mouthfeel and approachable tannins are expertly woven together in the lengthy finish. ($24)

(91) Racine Pinot Noir Pays d’Oc 2014 (France). Very detailed and elegant. Love the floral aromas upfront. Loads of tasty ripe, jammy red fruit with underlying minerality that carries nicely through the spicy, lingering finish. The silky, soft texture remains fresh and vibrant. ($14)

(91) Long Barn Pinot Noir 2013 (California). This pinot promises plenty of raspberry and bright cherry on the nose, mixed with slightly earthy undertones and a hint of vanilla spice. The palate shows a berry blend of raspberry, strawberry and cherry, with delicate textures and a medium-bodied style. Perfect for pairing, this particular pinot will bring out the best in grilled pork, poultry or even portabella mushrooms. ($13)

(91) Sextant Pinot Noir 2013 (Santa Lucia Highlands). Broad and expansive, the Sextant Pinot Noir has flavors of strawberry, dark fruit, and light baking spice; medium-bodied with a plush finish that provides opulent, plush red fruit. ($27)

(91) Rock View Pinot Noir Rsv 2014 (Monterey). A concentrated pinot noir that has expressive aromas and flavors of dark fruit, cherry and toasty oak; the richly textured mouthfeel and light tannins provide a finish that is smooth and expansive. ($21)



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