Friday, May 21, 2010

Great Pinot Noirs $25 & Under

"The Quest for a $20 Pinot Noir" from the WSJ Blog "On Wine" got us thinking. While it is admittedly difficult to find a great Pinot Noir for a reasonable price, we have found some in our tasting travels that are varietally correct and deliciously noteworthy, all for $25 or less.

The 2008 J. Wilkes Pinot Noir Santa Maria Valley ($25.99) is juicy with lots of red fruit and herbs and a silky texture. J. Wilkes' single vineyard Pinot Noirs are spectacular, and this blend of different vineyards shows the same deft hand Wilkes has with those pricier Pinots.

From the Carneros region, the 2006 Mahoney Pinot Noir ($23.99) really shows that great Pinot Noir earthiness along with layers of red fruit and a nice little touch of spice. The wine shows a lot of complexity for the price.

In the under $20 category, a favorite is
2007 Fleur de California Pinot Noir ($18.99), also from Carneros. It's elegant and fresh with bright cherry fruit, a hallmark of the Pinot Noir grape.

For those who are partial to the darker fruit style of Pinot, the 2008 Heron Pinot Noir Sonoma County ($16.99) is just that, with plum and earth and an alcohol level that is reliably in-check at 13%.

There are even some delicious options under $15, including the 2007 Cycles Clement Pinot Noir California ($14.99). Clean, lush berry fruit with a touch of cola, this is a great little party wine with loads of character.

Last, and certainly not least, is the 2008 Lucky Star Pinot Noir ($9.99), a ridiculously great value for a well-made, well-balanced wine. We searched the globe (well, not really but you get the point) for a Pinot Noir in this price category and it was not at all easy. When we tasted the Lucky Star, however, we were stunned at the vivid cherry and berry fruit and even a subtle hint of earth.

So, while it is a "quest", we have discovered some real treasures that deserve some praise -- and a glass of course! Cheers.

1 comment:

  1. Visit Palm Beach Food and Wine Festival’s blog to connect with other foodies and share about your favorite wines: