Pinot Noir is a red wine grape variety of the species Vitis vinifera. Pinot Noir grapes are grown around the world, mostly in the cooler regions, but the grape is chiefly associated with the Burgundy region of France. Other regions that have gained a reputation for Pinot Noir include the Willamette Valley of Oregon, the Carneros, Central Coast and Russian River AVAs of California, the Walker Bay wine region of South Africa, Tasmania and Yarra Valley in Australia and the Central Otago, Martinborough and Marlborough wine regions of New Zealand. Pinot Noir is also a primary variety used in sparkling wine production in Champagne and other wine regions. It is widely considered to produce some of the finest wines in the world, but is a difficult variety to cultivate and transform into wine. The grape's tendency to produce tightly packed clusters makes it susceptible to several viticultural hazards involving rot that require diligent canopy management. The thin-skins and low levels of phenolic compounds lends Pinot to producing mostly lightly colored, medium bodied low tannin wines that can often go through dumb phases with uneven and unpredictable aging. When young, wines made from Pinot Noir tend to have red fruit aromas of cherries, raspberries and strawberries. As the wines age, Pinots have the potential to develop vegetal and "barnyard" aromas that can contribute to the complexity of the wine.
- Item #: i_228560Bottle Size: 750mlWinemaker's Notes: "The complex aromas of dried cherry, blackberry bramble, orange peel, cherry tobacco, cedar, sandalwood, cardamom, pink peppercorn and forest floor give a decidedly autumn impression. Amazingly silky across the palate with sweet red fruits on the mid-palate, plenty of fine textured tannins and a long toasty finish. This is one of the most elegant and approachable Hanzell Vineyards Pinot Noirs in recent memory."
- Item #: i_245580Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 94Vinous Media: 94The wines from Luc and Jodie Morlet have gained a feverish following here at Hi-Time. While their Cabernets and Chardonnays have garnered the limelight and were featured on our “Top Wine” lists in the past, this year it is one of their Pinot Noirs that has us salivating! Coming from a small vineyard in the Fort Ross-Seaview AVA on the Sonoma Coast, this property sits at 1,100 feet in elevation, and is on just the second ridge from the Pacific Ocean. The vineyard is above the fog line and enjoys long, sunny days, yet temps remain cool throughout most of the growing season. This gives the vines time to produce perfectly mature and ripe grapes, and Luc Morlet sorts the fruit berry-by-berry when they reach the winery, ensuring that only the best make it into the finished wine.
ANTONIO GALLONI 95 POINTS - "Things seem quite busy at Morlet Family Vineyards. Luc and Jodie Morlet are developing an additional 3.5 acres of land at their estate vineyard in St. Helena. Last year, the Morlets planted a new vineyard in the heart of Oakville, so there will be a greater focus on estate fruit in the future, once those newly planted vineyards come on line. Stylistically, the wines offer plenty of textural richness and opulence, as they always have. At the same time, I see a bit more freshness in these wines than was common just a few years ago."
"The 2014 Pinot Noir En Famillle is powerful and intense, but also linear. All the signatures of this site come through nicely, but also amped up with quite a bit of structural underpinning. Darker tonalities of red stone, saltiness, wild flowers and exotic spices lead into the finish. The bright acids and overall structure here are quite appealing."
ROBERT PARKER 94 POINTS - "The 2014 Pinot Noir En Famille has a more saturated color than the Coteaux Nobles. It offers up notes of black cherries, loamy soil, kirsch liqueur, Asian spice and a floral element. The wine is an outstanding, beautifully fresh Pinot Noir with plenty of black raspberry and kirsch liqueur-like notes. Drink it over the next decade."
- Item #: i_230650Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 93-96ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 93-96 POINTS - "A barrel sample, the 2017 Pinot Noir Cuvee Agustina Katherine Lindsay Estate is medium ruby-purple in color and simply sings of chocolate-covered cherries, mulberries and warm redcurrants with touches of rose hip tea, fragrant soil and dried bay leaves. Medium to full-bodied, the palate has a beautifully soft, velvety texture with plenty of freshness to lift the generous berry layers to a long finish. 250 cases will be produced and released in August 2019."
- Item #: i_255052Bottle Size: 750mlANTONIO GALLONI 96 POINTS - "These are some of the very finest wines I have ever tasted from Tom Rochioli. Over the last few years, Rochioli has moved up harvest dates, a choice that gives his wine an added element of freshness and energy that works beautifully to complement the natural richness that comes so easily at this Russian River estate. The 2017s are simply brilliant."
"The 2017 Pinot Noir Big Hill is another fabulous wine in this range. Rich, sumptuous and explosive, it possesses stunning intensity in all of its dimensions, along with striking textural depth and resonance. Dark cherry, lavender, rose petal and exotic spice notes build in a Pinot that screams with personality and character."
- Item #: i_255063Bottle Size: 750mlJeb Dunnuck: 96 PointsJEB DUNNUCK 96 POINTS - "The 2017 Pinot Noir Little Hill comes from the Russian River and was 90% destemmed and aged 15 months in French oak (the percentage new wasn't specified). It's similar ruby translucent colored and has rocking notes of black cherries, mulberries, crushed violets, rose petals, and damp earth. Incredibly pure, finesse-driven yet still powerful and intense, this is a remarkable Pinot Noir that will benefit from short term cellaring and keep for 10-15 years."
ANTONIO GALLONI 95 POINTS - "These are some of the very finest wines I have ever tasted from Tom Rochioli. Over the last few years, Rochioli has moved up harvest dates, a choice that gives his wine an added element of freshness and energy that works beautifully to complement the natural richness that comes so easily at this Russian River estate. The 2017s are simply brilliant."
"The 2017 Pinot Noir Little Hill presents an exotic profile of spice, star anise, blood orange and red berry fruit, all rich on the palate and also wonderfully translucent. Time in the glass brings out the wine's texture and overall resonance. This is another impeccably balanced Pinot from Tom Rochioli."