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_200410Bottle Size: 750MLANTONIO GALLONI'S VINOUS MEDIA 91 POINTS - "Limpid ruby-red. Assertive red berry preserve and incense aromas, along with suggestions of oak spices, cola and smoky minerals. Spicy and focused on entry and then fleshier in the mid-palate, offering black raspberry, bitter cherry and vanilla flavors and a touch of white pepper. Shows very good energy and spicy lift on the persistent finish, which is framed by smooth, even tannins. (36% new French oak) "
- Item #: i_201750Bottle Size: 750MLWine Spectator: 91WINE SPECTATOR 91 POINTS - "Sleek and elegant, with polished raspberry, orange peel and spiced cinnamon flavors that glide on a lingering finish. Drink now through 2023. 1,700 cases made."
- Item #: i_201680Bottle Size: 750mlVinous Media: 93ANTONIO GALLONI'S VINOUS MEDIA 93 POINTS - "(50% whole clusters and 50% new French oak) Brilliant red. Powerful smoke- and spice-accented red berry liqueur, mocha and floral pastille scents show excellent clarity and pick up notes of licorice and cola with air. Sweet and expansive on the palate, offering juicy black raspberry, cherry cola, lavender and spicecake flavors that become livelier on the back half. This weighty yet lithe Pinot finishes smooth and very long, featuring slow-building tannins and resonating florality."
- Item #: i_202960Bottle Size: 750mlVinous Media: 93ANTONIO GALLONI 94 POINTS - "A powerful, heady wine the 2016 Pinot Noir Deja Vu shows all the pedigree of the year. Vertical, deep and compelling the Deja Vu offers soft touches of graphite and licorice framine a core of deep fruit, with plenty of underlying structure and tons of class."
- Item #: i_202660Bottle Size: 750mlWine Spectator: 95In 1986, winemaker Michael Etzlel came across a prime piece of property in Oregon's Willamette Valley. Through a partnership with his brother in law, renowned wine critic Robert M. Parker, Jr., and Robert Roy, the dream was realized, and Beaux Freres was born. This trio strives to produce high quality wines from the Pinot Noir grape, following classical Burgundian grape growing practices.
Even though Robert Parker never reviews these wines, other publications have; and the wines have garnered exciting reviews! The wines sell out each year, so if you're into high quality, low production Pinot Noir from one of Oregon's better producers, then don't hesitate!
Winery Notes - Pure, classic Beaux Freres with everything in beautiful poise. Our first tasting revealed an enthralling wine, opening like floodgates toward the sublime – a freshly cedar-oiled grandfather clock, a favorite Musigny, blood-orange dark chocolate candies, or perhaps something unique and lovely from your own memory bank. The texture is refined, the tannins well integrated, and the entire wine deeply intricate and harmonious.
WINE SPECTATOR 95 POINTS - "Remarkably and seamlessly complex, with a polished and refined core wrapped in silky raspberry and blueberry flavors, accented by savory spice and orange zest hints. The long finish builds toward polished tannins. Drink now through 2025. 2,686 cases made."
- Item #: i_202630Bottle Size: 750mlWine Spectator: 95If you have ever thought about venturing into Oregon Pinot Noirs, now is your time! And if you are an Oregon Pinot Noir zealot, now is your time! 2015 is going down in the record books as one of the best vintages in the history of the state, with warm weather throughout most of the growing season, and the sun shining bright during harvest. The wines are forward, inviting, complex, and nuanced. Located in the Ribbon Ridge sub-region of the Willamette Valley, Beaux Freres is planted on steep, contiguous southward facing hillsides of Willakenzie soils, comprised of old marine sediment. With a focus on biodynamic farming, the vines are planted at high density and some vines on the property are 30 years old, with several being own rooted!
WINE SPECTATOR 95 POINTS - "Combines structure with verve, offering richly expressive raspberry, violet and orange peel flavors that take on polish and complexity toward wellbuffed tannins. Drink now through 2028."
- Item #: i_202650Bottle Size: 750MLWine Spectator: 96WINE SPECTATOR 96 POINTS - "Seduces you immediately, with expressive violet and dark raspberry aromas that open to polished and brilliantly structured blueberry, savory anise and tea flavors that take on richness on a long finish. Drink now through 2026."
ANTONIO GALLONI'S VINOUS MEDIA 94-95 POINTS - "Bright red. High-pitched red berry, cherry cola and incense scents show outstanding clarity and spicy lift. Palate-staining red berry preserve, spicecake and floral pastille flavors slowly deepen on the back half. Manages to come off graceful as well as lithe, with no rough edges. Finishes smooth, spicy and extremely long, featuring sneaky tannins and lingering red fruit and candied rose notes."
- Item #: i_204050Bottle Size: 750MLClark and Telephone Vineyard, located near the corner of Clark Avenue and Telephone Road in the Santa Maria Valley, is cooled by wind and fog that snakes in from the Pacific Ocean along a channel of the Santa Maria River. Established in 1972, the Clark & Telephone Vineyard was planted "own root" to the Martini clone. This heirloom clone of Pinot Noir, one of the first to grace the California coastlands, has become something of a lost treasure.
In the winery, the clusters were de-stemmed and the must underwent a cold soak. Fermentation began with the inoculation of yeast strains matched to each lot of grapes. The maceration process during fermentation consisted of a combination of punch-down and pump-over techniques, each day the techniques would be reassessed to ensure that we were riding the line between over extraction and under extraction. The wine was aged in French oak (60% percent new) for nine months and was racked once upon completion of malolactic fermentation and again upon blending.
Scarlet in color; bursting with aromas of cinnamon, caramel and hints of ginger-spiced tea. On the palate, the plush weight coats the mouth with more brown spice and sweet oak flavors, layered into the deep blueberry and strawberry base. The viscosity paired with the flavors and lively acidity lead into a long finish with supple tannins.
- Item #: i_208700Bottle Size: 750mlThis wine is very expressive of smoky espresso, cacao, raspberry, pomegranate, rose petals, and graham cracker. The fruit on the palate is juicy in a refreshing kind of way with playful dusty tannins. There is an easiness to the way the wine drinks that is soothing and comfortable like the way your favorite old pair of leather boots feel on your feet.
- Item #: i_206250Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 93Wine Spectator: 92Brick House was established in 1990 in the Willamette Valley from what was a dilapidated Hazelnut Orchard that had been "custom farmed" by non-resident farmers in the age of "Better Living Through Chemistry." Long story short, the Orchard was in a sad state, overrun with synthetic compounds and pesticides. It was in 1990 that the Orchard was set for rehabilitation in the form of cold turkey from all pesticides and synthetic chemicals. The land cleansed itself while its new caregivers learned the ropes of organic and biodynamic farming; in time new life sprung from the vines as the chemical residues loosened their grip.
Fast forward to today: Brickhouse is a certified organic vineyard, dry-farmed that puts an emphasis on Biodynamic practices. They are true stewards of the land farming with future generations in mind!
Vintage wise, 2015 was a very warm year for Oregon. Thankfully though, there were plenty of cool nights to provide long hang time and full maturity. While still having the feminine touch with nice acidity Oregon is known for, the wines themselves have a bit more richness appealing to the California Pinot drinkers. What is the final verdict from us at Hi-Time about the 2015 growing season for the Willamette Valley? Awesome vintage!
ANTONIO GALLONI'S VINOUS MEDIA 94 POINTS - "One of the Willamette Valley's iconic winemakers, Doug Tunnel was one of America's earliest adopters of fully organic farming, achieving the certification in 1990 followed by Demeter Biodynamic certification in 2005. Tunnel's wines are made in a distinctively and consciously Old World, low-octane style, favoring structure and detail with a discreet use of new oak. Like a steadily increasing number of his Oregon colleagues, Tunnel's elegant, understated but eminently age-worthy wines, whites as well as reds, smack one inside the head rather than upside it."
"Lurid red. A complex, highly perfumed bouquet evokes fresh red and dark berries, Asian spices and incense, and a hint of candied flowers emerges with aeration. Concentrated raspberry preserve, cherry cola and spicecake flavors show excellent clarity and stretch out and become sweeter and deeper on the back half. Shows outstanding clarity and spicy thrust on the impressively persistent finish, which is shaped by smooth, harmonious tannins that fold quickly into the juicy, lingering fruit. "
ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 93 POINTS - "Pale to medium ruby-purple colored, the 2015 Pinot Noir Evelyn's is a little youthfully mute, conjuring notions of red currants and pomegranate with hints of wild thyme, yeast extract, damp loam and mossy bark. Light to medium-bodied, the palate has a wonderfully fine-grained texture supporting elegant, delicate fruit, finishing with long-lasting savory and spice notes."
WINE SPECTATOR 92 POINTS - "Soft, supple and delicate, with floral cherry and dark tea aromas and elegantly complex raspberry and smoky spice flavors that glide along the finish. Drink now through 2023. 500 cases made."
- Item #: i_207480Bottle Size: 750mlCakebread Cellars 2016 Two Creeks Pinot Noir is blend of several French Dijon clones and the famed Joseph Swan and Pommard clones. The grapes were night-harvested for freshness between September 20th and October 1st with an ideal balance of sugar and acidity. With the Dijon clones supplying bright fruit and acidity, the small-berried Swan clone providing intense varietal flavors, and the Pommard clone contributing mid-palate weight and a warm spice tone, Two Creeks is a fruit-forward, yet complex pinot noir showcasing the best of Anderson Valley.
The 2016 Cakebread Cellars Two Creeks Pinot Noir boasts fragrant red and black cherry, red raspberry, strawberry and rose petal aromas. It has a smooth, mouth-coating texture, velvety tannins and delightfully silky red raspberry, cherry and strawberry flavors that take on a spicy tone in the long, juicy finish. Delicious now, it will age well in bottle for at least five years.
- Item #: i_208810Bottle Size: 750mlTerry Bering is the cellarmaster for Rochioli Vineyards. When he isn't busting his hump helping out the Rochioli family produce fantastic wines, Terry works on his own Pinot Noir Project! Terry makes flavorful, aromatic, and wonderfully nuanced wines that do justice to his Rochioli vineyard source.
The wine has really bright fruit tones of cherry and currants with a background of earth and mushroom. Aside from the flavor and nose the 2016 has an extremely pleasant effect on you that is noticeable in all higher quality wines. As with all my pinots, the 2016 has a long lingering finish that leaves you craving more. The wine tastes good now but it is better the next day and still great the 3rd day so the longer you wait to drink it the better it will be.
- Item #: i_216060Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 94Chamisal was the first vineyard planted in the Edna Valley in 1973 and now contains 80 acres planted to 5 varieties and 25 clonal selections. The nearby Pacific ocean creates a long temperate growing season for exceptional hang time, which combines with the calcareous, clay-rich soil to produce fruit with exceptional intensity and complex flavors.
The Morrito bottling is a barrel selection of the best Pinot Noir at Chamisal. Harvested in the early morning from Morrito Hill, these small lots are fermented separately in small open-top fermenters. A pre-fermentation cold soak of three days was used to increase color and density. Fermentation was achieved using a combination of both native and cultured yeasts with low fermentation temperatures, giving soft phenolics and fresh aromatics. Minimal pump-overs prevent extracting harsh tannins and bitterness from what Chamisal considers some of the most concentrated fruit on their ranch.
ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 94 POINTS - "Pale to medium ruby-purple in color, the 2015 Pinot Noir Morrito conjures notions of ripe red cherries, warm cranberries and red currants with touches of underbrush, lavender, garrigue and fertile loam. Medium-bodied, with a great core of intense red berry and earth layers, it has a firm, chewy tannic backbone and long, lively finish laced with mineral accents."
- Item #: i_215470Bottle Size: 750mlA blend of 65% Merlot, 30% Cabernet Franc, and 5% Petit Verdot.
ANTONIO GALLONI 91-94 POINTS - "The 2016 Merlot Cuvee 37.2 may turn out to be even better than 2015. Dark and sumptuous in the glass, the 2016 exudes richness in all of its dimensions. The tannin needs to soften a bit more, but otherwise, the 2016 is shaping up to be fabulous."
- Item #: i_213760Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 92+ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 92 POINTS - "Pale to medium ruby, the 2016 Pinot Noir Louise Vineyard opens with classic aromas of black and red cherries, cola, dried earth and autumn leaves over a peppery, spicy background. It's medium-bodied and silky in the mouth with lovely red and black fruit layers accented by licorice, earth and black tea. It's framed with firm tannins and mouthwatering acidity, finishing long and lively."
- Item #: i_214400Bottle Size: 750mlWINERY NOTES - I learned to make Pinot Noir at the Hirsch Vineyard on the Sonoma Coast (read the book), Goldeneye Vineyards in Anderson Valley, and Whitethorn Winery in South Humboldt County. For my 2017 Pinot Noir, I produced two barrels from Sta. Rita Hills, a mix of Mt. Eden and Swan clones, aged in 50% new oak and finishing at 13.4% alcohol.
- Item #: i_215560Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 93ANTONIO GALLONI 93 POINTS - "The 2015 Pinot Noir Sanford and Benedict Vineyard is a sensual, voluptuous beauty. Silky tannins, layered fruit and expressive aromatics give the wine its sheer appeal. Dark plum, cherry, rose petal and spice are some of the many notes that flesh out in this creamy, sensual Pinot from Ryan Deovlet."
ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 93 POINTS - "The excellent 2015 Pinot Noir Sanford and Benedict Vineyard is the best of these releases from Deovlet, wafting from the glass with a deep bouquet of plum, raspberry, loamy soil and subtle spice. On the palate, the wine is medium to full-bodied with a layered mid-palate, good depth and concentration and a lovely sense of completeness. There's excellent balance between this Pinot Noir's velvety tannins, juicy acids and succulent core of fruit."
- Item #: i_216350Bottle Size: 750MLJames Suckling: 93JAMES SUCKLING 93 POINTS - "This is an earthy and attractive wine that has a deeply spicy red-cherry thread that offers a bright and more centrally focused palate than many other pinots from Serene, making for immediate appeal. Drink now."
Extremely expressive, the 2016 Yamhill Cuvee Pinot Noir offers an alluring nose rich with aromas of cocoa and clove. The palate is bursting with an intense patchwork of marionberry, black currant, and blueberry flavors. Polished and plush, its seamlessly integrated and silky tannins lead to a long, lingering finish. An exceptionally appealing wine, its complexity leaves you thirsty for more.
- Item #: i_215930Bottle Size: 750mlOn the nose, the wine is beautifully aromatic, combining notes of ripe, fresh cherry, rasberry, and strawberry jam, along with intense floral notes of hibiscus and orange blossom, baking spices of cardamom, cacao and vanilla, and a touch of fresh herbs (bay leaf, celery leaf). On the palate the wine is medium bodied and silky, with waves of complex ripe red fruits (cherry, raspberry, cranberry) complicated by notes of rhurbarb, fresh herbs and hints of wood smoke. The wine has ample, bright acidity, and sturdy tannins which provide structure, energy and cut on the long smooth finish.
- Item #: i_220280Bottle Size: 750MLJeb Dunnuck: 92 PointsFor us, DuMol sets the benchmark for Russian River Valley Pinot Noir. Year after year, winemaker Andy Smith makes seamless, wonderfully textured, and downright delicious Pinot Noirs from this iconic region, and they always seem to be one of the best Pinots we taste all year! Yields are small, which means production is small, but that also means better wine!
JEB DUNNUCK 92 POINTS - "Incredibly aromatic and complex, the 2017 Pinot Noir Wester Reach offers loads of spiced red fruits, incense, wood smoke, and forest floor notes as well as a medium-bodied, fresh, focused, yet still pleasure bent style. It's a classic DuMol Pinot Noir to drink over the coming 5-7 years. This cuvee comes all from the Russian River Valley, from multiple clones, and spent a year in 40% new French oak."
- Item #: i_218760Bottle Size: 750MLDid you catch that?...Pinot Noir from Rutherford? In a part of the valley that is world-renowned for Cabernet Sauvignon, Reg Oliver found a spot that was a bit cooler that it's surroundings, and thought Pinot Noir would be the ticket… and right he was! Planted using old-school cuttings from DRC, Swan and Calera, as well as a few new Dijon clones, this is has become one of our favorite Pinot Noirs from California!
Red cherry and raspberry dominate the aromatics of this 2015 Pinot Noir, showcasing classic baking spices, truggle, and orange rind with mineral notes in the background. The palate is fresh but powerful from ripe tannins and lovely acid balance. The combination of the excellent structure and rich, plush mouthfeel promises a wine of great longevity, if you can bring yourself to tuck a few bottles away.
- Item #: i_218970Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 92ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 92 POINTS - "The 2016 Pinot Noir la Boheme is pale to medium ruby-purple in color with a great open nose of warm black cherries and blackcurrant with touches of cardamom, cinnamon stick, dried leaves and forest floor. Light to medium-bodied, it fills the mouth with warm, spice-laced black fruits, framed with firm, fine-grained tannins and mouthwatering acidity, finishing long with earth and spicy accents. 700 cases produced."
- Item #: i_218790Bottle Size: 750mlThe Pinot Noir for this wine comes from the Stubbs Vineyard. Located only 13 miles from Tomales Bay, Stubbs Vineyard is one of Marin County's stalwart coastal vineyard sites. The farming practices are highly organic and always sustainable. The entire property is "off the grid" and operates entirely on its own resources. The resulting fruit from Stubbs Vineyard is elegant, fresh, very concentrated for such a cool site, and incredibly varietal.
The wine is bright and lively with natural acidity. Lush, concentrated, with a deep core of red fruit. Graham cracker, bramble and raspberry pie, red licorice, and all-spice. Graceful but generous; this is a pure example of Marin County Pinot Noir.
- Item #: i_219330Bottle Size: 750MLIf this label looks familiar, it's because it comes from the same owners as Far Nientte, Nickel & Nickel and Dolce! Their first release was the 2007, and while we're always a bit skeptical of Cabernet producers dabbling in Pinot noir, one taste left us wanting seconds, thirds and fourths! Now that the 2012 has dropped, it is every bit as good as its predecessors. En Route owns two fantastic Pinot Noir properties: Graton Vineyard and the highly-esteemed Amber Ridge Vineyard! Both vineyards are planted to several different clones for added complexity and nuances.
The nose instantly fills with luscious aromas of juicy ripe red cherry, raspberry, star jasmine, with a light spice and mineral earthiness that while subdued, is still stark. Upon entry, the palate is silky and layered with flavors that are reflective of this wine's aromatics—bright red fruit, rose petal and a touch of forest floor. The 2017 "Les Pommiers" boasts an exceptional purity of fruit, flavor and expression as it culminates in a bright, mouthwatering finish.