Happy New Year everyone and thank you for visiting! This is a time when new beginnings and new goals are set for 2021. While everyone is ready for 2021 begin, it is also the perfect opportunity to pour a glass of delicious Pinot Noir from some past vintages! Over this holiday season I decided to put together a list of four Pinot Noirs from California that I recommend! I created this list with the novice wine drinker in mind who may be looking for a high quality Pinot on a smaller spending budget, to the self-proclaimed expert wine drinker and everyone in between.
Now, I have pretty much always stated that Cabernet Sauvignon is my favorite varietal, but Pinot Noir is definitely giving Cab a run for it’s money and is right on its heels as I have fallen more in love with Pinot Noir over the recent years. The reasoning? I believe it is easier to pair with a cheese & charcuterie board, a dinner meal from pasta to poultry to beef or even a heavier salad, and of course you can always just enjoy a glass on it’s own. While its competitor, the Cabernet Sauvignon is commonly known as the powerhouse bold wine that must be paired with a steak dinner and I find whenever I am hosting a wine night, guests usually do not want to start with a big heavy Cabernet. But enough about Cabernet, this list is solely dedicated for my new favorite varietal, created from the smooth and delicate Pinot Noir grape.
Over the holiday break I had a tasting set up at La Crema with my family that was sadly postponed due to the shutdown guidelines that went into effect in California. Luckily, my friends at La Crema did not want my family and I to miss out on their delicious Pinot Noir! Now many of you may think Chardonnay when you hear “La Crema”, but they produce so many other great varietals that I thin you should check out! Including this 100% 2018 Pinot Noir from the Sonoma Coast appellation which is a great option to bring to your next wine night at a very reasonable $25! This Pinot is also very easy to sip on with medium boldness and low tannins. I would pair this wine with a light pasta, poultry dish, or my favorite, a cheese and charcuterie board.
Now, Walt Wines has always been a go-to of mine for a quality Pinot Noir since I first had the pleasure of trying their wines a few years ago! This 100% “Blue Jay” Pinot Noir received a 93 Point score from Wine Enthusiast and is from the Anderson Valley appellation in Mendocino County. This wine is aged in 40% New French Oak for almost one year and has a very smooth finish. This Pinot is also a fantastic value at $44 and will be sure to start a conversation with your guests. Whenever I open a Walt Wine with friends, everyone approves! For a food pairing to compliment this wines’ notes of dark fruit, think of any dessert with some dark chocolate. Yum!
Three Sticks Wines
If you are in search of a wine for an upcoming special occasion, then I highly recommend checking out this 2018 Pinot Noir from Three Sticks Winery. From the prestigious Gap’s Vineyard on Sonoma Mountain, this 100% Pinot Noir receives the Pacific Ocean breeze as well as a good amount of sun exposure. It is aged for 15 months in French Oak. With a smooth finish, this Pinot Noir showcases tasting notes of oak, vanilla and red fruit. This wine is at a $70 price point, and could be aged in your wine collection for years or it can be enjoyed now!
Now if you saw my stories or blog post from last month, I had the chance to visit MacRostie Winery & Vineyards in beautiful Sonoma. The winery is nestled in the hills of Sonoma amongst some gorgeous views of the vineyards. They are also recognized for their amazing Pinot Noir selection from the Sonoma Coast and Russian River Valley AVAs. For the holidays MacRostie sent over this Chardonnay and Pinot Noir gift set consisting of six half bottles. Three Pinot Noir varietals from Sonoma Coast which display how beautifully the winemaker at MacRostie can produce some great wine from the delicate Pinot Noir grape. They still have a lot of different gift set options on their website that range in price. Currently, they are offering a single vineyard trio pack of full size bottles of three different Pinot Noirs for $190.
I hope all of this information was helpful as you look to make your next purchase of Pinot Noir. Overall, I believe any of these Pinot Noirs will be a crowd favorite! If you have any other Pinot Noirs that you love and that you think I should try please let me know. Cheers friends!