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_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_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_202780Bottle Size: 750MLWINE SPECTATOR 93 POINTS - "A dynamic, complex wine that retains polish and focus, offering compelling black raspberry, orange peel and savory spice flavors that build richness toward refined tannins. Drink now through 2026. Tasted twice, with consistent 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 and 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_207480Bottle Size: 750mlCakebread Cellars 2017 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 2017 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_207800Bottle Size: 750mlVinous Media: 95After tasting the best Pinot Noir produced in the world (Domaine de la Romanée-Conti), winemaker Josh Jensen scoured the California coast to find limestone soils (like they have in Burgundy) mixed with the right climate. He found an old limestone quarry perfectly suited to his needs. Since that point in time, Josh has fashioned some of the best Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays you can find in California.
ANTONIO GALLONI 93 POINTS - "One of the more expressive wines in the range, the 2016 Pinot Noir de Villiers Vineyard is soft, open knit and gracious, with an attractive combination of dark red cherry/plum fruit and the more floral/savory notes that develop from the 50% whole clusters. Lavender, mint, pine and sweet spice add layers of dimension to this supple, inviting Pinot from Calera. There is so much to like here."
- Item #: i_207250Bottle Size: 750mlANTONIO GALLONI 91 POINTS - "The 2016 Pinot Noir Mills Vineyard, from own-rooted vines, is one of the more open-knit wines in this range. Soft and gracious, with medium-bodied structure, the 2016 is nicely understated, but it also does not have the layered quality found in so many wines. Overall though, the Mills feels a bit stressed, an impression that is reinforced by the dried fruit, tobacco and licorice flavors. I would prefer to drink it sooner rather than later."
- Item #: i_207770Bottle Size: 750mlVinous Media: 95After tasting the best Pinot Noir produced in the world (Domaine de la Romanée-Conti), winemaker Josh Jensen scoured the California coast to find Limestone soils (like the have in Burgundy) mixed with the right climate. He found an old limestone quarry perfectly suited to his needs. Since that point in time, Josh has fashioned some of the best Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays you can find in California.
ANTONIO GALLONI 92 POINTS - "The 2016 Pinot Noir Ryan Vineyard is a tight, backward wine. Firm tannins give the Ryan a decidedly brooding feel. Smoke, licorice, leather, tobacco and incense emerge with time in the glass, adding to an impression of earthiness and gravitas. This is an especially somber style. More importantly, readers will have to be patient, as the 2016 is tightly wound and in no mood to show all of its cards."
- 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: 750mlANTONIO GALLONI'S VINOUS MEDIA 93 POINTS - "Vivid red. Expansive aromas of ripe red berries, candied flowers and baking spices, with a smoky mineral topnote that gains strength as the wine opens up. Coats the palate with appealing sweet raspberry and cherry liqueur flavors that tighten up and become spicier on the back half. Shows excellent clarity and floral lift on an impressively long finish that's shaped by fine-grained, even tannins."
- 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: 750mlJeb Dunnuck: 94 PointsJEB DUNNUCK 94+ POINTS - "The 2016 Pinot Noir Sanford and Benedict Vineyard is a brilliant wine that ranks with the creme de la creme of the vintage. Coming from one of the top sites in the Sta. Rita Hills, 70% destemmed, and aged 18 months in 30% new French oak, it has a vivid purple/plum color as well as captivating notes of black cherries, blackberries, ground herbs, forest floor, and scorched earth. With medium-bodied richness, a tight, vibrant, racy texture, and present tannins, it's another wine from this great estate that's going to benefit from 3-4 years of bottle age, and it will see its 15th birthday in fine form. It's the real deal."
ANTONIO GALLONI 93 POINTS - "An explosion of red and purplish berry fruit makes for a strong opening in the 2016 Pinot Noir Sanford and Benedict Vineyard. Exuberant, racy and full of flavor, the 2016 offers notable intensity while retaining the mid-weight style that is so typical of the year. This is classic S-and-B Pinot. "
- 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_220290Bottle Size: 750MLVinous Media: 91-94Jeb Dunnuck: 96 PointsJEB DUNNUCK 96 POINTS - "From a Russian River Valley site planted in 2007, the 2017 Pinot Noir Jentoft Vineyard Ryan is a selection of Swan and Calera clones and sees 15 months in 45% new French oak. This brilliant wine knocks it out of the park with its complex bouquet of darker fruits, smoked earth, and spice. Medium to full-bodied, incredibly layered and multi-dimensional on the palate, it's a complete, flawless balanced, incredibly impressive wine that will benefit from 2-3 years of bottle age and cruise over the following decade. This lineup is stacked with terrific wines, but this is one of the standouts."
ANTONIO GALLONI 94-97 POINTS - "The 2017 Pinot Noir Ryan Jentoft Vineyard is a stunner. Sweet, rich and explosive, the 2017 boasts striking inner perfume and fabulous balance. Sweet purplish berry fruit, lavender, spice and mint all lift from the glass in this vivid, exceptionally beautiful Pinot Noir. All the elements fall into place."
- 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.