Wine lovers agree: Pinot Noir is one of the most desirable wines. Pinot Noir is often referred as “the sensual wine” with a soft, silky, and velvety texture. The finest Champagne’s are made from the Pinot Noir grape.
The Pinot Noir grape is fragile and hard to grow. The grape thrives in cooler climates, welcoming misty mornings, warm sunny days and crisp nights. Particularly for Pinot, terrior has a strong influence on the wine's characteristics.
In the United States, California’s Russian River Valley and Carneros region and Oregon’s Willamette Valley produce outstanding Pinot Noir, both with distinct styles.
In France, Burgundy (Bourgogne) Pinot Noirs are complex, with a supple sweetness and a long-lasting finish. American Pinot Noir tends to be sweeter, with higher levels of alcohol. Some other countries producing Pinot Noir are Canada, Chile, Italy and New Zealand.
Choosing the right wine is important. Pinot Noir wines are easy to drink and an excellent choice that can easily take you through any menu. The wines show a luminous garnet color, with a good balance of acidity and tannins. Aromas and flavors can be found as diverse as cherry, strawberry, plum, cedar, vanilla and chocolate.
The following are my favorite fall Pinots. Pricing ranges from an average of $10 to $50. Cheers!
Artesa 2013 Estate Reserve Pinot Noir
Produced from estate-grown Carneros grapes, this wine offers floral aromas that lead to rich ripe dark cherry, strawberry, and licorice flavors.
BOEN 2015 Russian River Valley Pinot Noir
A perfect example of Pinot made by Joe Wagner (founder of Meiomi). Dense and earthy with aromas of cherry, followed by flavors of cherry, chocolate, and black licorice.
Ca’ Momi 2014 Pinot Noir Napa Valley
Expressive and smooth, with aromas of strawberry, blueberry and plum followed by wild berries, caramel and dark chocolate flavors.
Flowers 2014 Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir
The quality and style of Pinot from Burgundy. Aromas and flavors of wild strawberry, pomegranate, cranberry, savory dried herbs, violet layered with blood orange and hibiscus.
Mark West 2013 California Pinot Noir
Aromas of wild berries, licorice and floral with flavors of black cherry fruit and touches of vanilla and oak, well balanced and extremely well priced.
Valley of the Moon 2014 Pinot Noir Carneros
Soft aromas of strawberry and cherry are followed by flavors of sweet dark cherry and blackberry.
Viansa 2013 Sonoma Pinot Noir Reserve
This wine offers a fruit-filled aroma of strawberry, raspberry and cherry, with balanced tastes of ripe red fruits, edged by hints of flowers, vanilla and spice.
JoAnn Actis-Grande travels to many great wine regions all over the world writing about wine, travel, and curious lifestyles. She lives in Portsmouth and can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Find more of her Let's Talk Wine columns online.